Bird The Preserves

Bird Conservation Success Stories and Trips

This year and next, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and the Bird Conservation Network are teaming up to highlight some of the bird conservation success stories in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Creative collaborations between government and nonprofit agencies, and volunteer monitors and stewards are improving habitat and increasing bird populations in grasslands, wetlands, woodlands and shrublands.  We’ll visit some of the best.  Please join us to experience some great birding, some great local conservationists and some great success stories.

 

 

Eggers Grove

Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 a.m.

 

Eggers Grove is a landbird migrant hotspot in the Calumet area, and it also contains one of the city’s most productive wetlands.  Removal of invasive plants to make a healthier woodland and hydrologic changes in the wetland must take into consideration the needs of birds. Join us on this day in the heart of spring migration to to meet some of the people who have made and are making the restoration happen. Hear their story of how volunteers, Forest Preserves of Cook County, the Field Museum, and the US Army Corps of Engineers improved habitat for wetland and woodland bird species, and how this site fits into a larger wetland conservation plan for the Calumet Region. Walk the trail with expert birders who will help you see warblers, vireos and flycatchers in the woods, as well as wetland birds such as Pied-Billed Grebes in the marsh. 

DIRECTIONS AND DETAILS:
We will meet at the Eggers Grove Caretakers’ Building, entrance at 112th St. and Avenue E, Chicago. Wear long pants and long sleeves, and waterproof shoes
.  To register contact: Judy Pollock, .
View Location in Google Maps

 

Bergman Slough & Cap Sauer Woodlands

Saturday, June 11 at 7:30 a.m.

 

In 2001, Bergman Slough Preserve was a fallow, row-crop farm field, interspersed with degraded sections of remnant prairie savanna that since has been restored to high quality native prairie, wetland, and savanna of award-winning regional importance.

Join staff from the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Openlands, and the Bird Conservation Network on a walk to learn of the history of Bergman Slough and the adjacent woodland in Cap Sauers Holdings; of the exemplary use of natural prairie landscaping, ecological restoration, and conservation design; and to observe present day native plants such as White Wild Indigo, Wild Hyacinth, Blue-eyed Grass, and Golden Alexanders and bird species of conservation concern breeding there now such as Henslow's Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows, Red-headed Woodpeckers, and Osprey.

DIRECTIONS AND DETAILS:
Meeting location will depend on site conditions and will be emailed to registrants. To register contact: Judy Pollock, .

 

Orland Grasslands

Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 a.m.

 

The story of Orland Grasslands is a stunning example of what can happen when people dream big and work cooperatively. This 960-acre preserve, once a degraded farmland, is now one of the largest grassland habitat restoration projects in Cook County. Join us to meet some of the people who have made and are making it happen. Hear their story of how volunteers, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Openlands, Audubon Chicago Region and the US Army Corps of Engineers rolled back the years to a time when this area sparkled with prairie, ponds and streams and teemed with bird life. Walk the Bird Song Trail with expert birders who will help you see Meadow Larks, Bobolinks and Dickcissels perched in lush vegetation, as well as many shorebirds including Pied-Billed Grebe families gliding among muskrat mounds in the ponds. Everyone will receive a packet with a bird check list, map, and a brochure giving a brief history of the site.

DIRECTIONS AND DETAILS:
We will meet in the parking lot on 167th St. just west of La Grange Rd. Wear long pants and long sleeves, waterproof shoes, and a hat
. To register contact: Judy Pollock, .

 

Powderhorn Prairie and Marsh

Saturday, August 13 at 8:30 a.m.

 

Powderhorn Lake Forest Preserve is a high-quality remnant of the once continuous mix of prairie, sedge meadow, savanna and wetland in the Calumet region that existed before the Industrial Age, and today, with the benefit of ongoing ecological restoration and management, the remnant has become a haven for native plants and birds and the only state-dedicated nature preserve within Chicago city limits (Powderhorn Prairie and Marsh Nature Preserve). Join folks from the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Friends of the Forest Preserves, the Calumet Stewardship Initiative and the Bird Conservation Network on a birding and ecology walk through black oak savanna, short grass and tallgrass sand prairies right next to wetlands containing a rich variety of plants. Hazelnut, elderberry and buttonbush shrubs accompany lower-growing plants such as prickly pear cactus, nodding wild onion, Indian hemp, partridge pea, purple love grass, cinnamon willow-herb, rough blazingstar, Turk’s cap lily, slender false foxglove and many more. Controlling willow while maintaining Willow Flycatcher habitat will be also discussed.

DIRECTIONS AND DETAILS:
We will meet in the parking lot on Brainard Ave. east of Burnham Ave. Wear long pants and long sleeves, waterproof shoes, and a hat
. To register contact: Judy Pollock, .

 

McGinnis Slough

Saturday, September 10 at 7:00 a.m.

 

Join Forest Preserve Staff, Ecologists, and Bird Conservation Network Monitors at McGinnis Slough to learn about the Slough's origin, history, and observe and understand why shorebirds (such as plovers and sandpipers) migrating south from their Arctic nesting grounds to their winter grounds in Central and South America are attracted to the mudflats exposed by the yearly drawdown of water in July. This shallow, 300-acre body of water also serves as an important migratory stopover for waders (such as herons and egrets) and waterfowl; the Forest Preserve District's waterfowl conservation efforts in the Palos area will also be discussed.

DIRECTIONS AND DETAILS:
Meet in parking lot west of LaGrange Road/96th Avenue and south of 131st. and 135st. in Orland Park. Bring your own scope or use those provided. 
To register contact: Judy Pollock, .

 

LaBagh Woods

Saturday, October 22 at 8:00 a.m.

 

This small urban preserve along the Chicago River is a hotspot for migrants.  Hear their story of how The North Branch Restoration Project with the Centennial Volunteers, Cook County FPD, and the Chicago Ornithological Society are gradually converting an invasive-choked area to an attractive, healthy native bird habitat. Native shrub plantings are the key strategy being used; citizen involvement with shrub plantings and fundraising will be discussed.   Walk the preserve with expert birders, district staff, and stewards who will help you see late fall migrants and other preserve wildlife.

DIRECTIONS AND DETAILS:
Meet in parking lot on the east side of Cicero just north of Foster. Wear long pants and long sleeves, waterproof shoes, and a hat. To register contact: Judy Pollock, .

 

 



Support for Bird the Preserves was generously provided by the Forest Preserves of Cook County and
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
through Chicago Wilderness.


 

Working Together for Birds and Habitats