Birding Illinois

Bird watching in Illinois can be a thrilling, heady adventure filled with color and song. And you can enjoy it out in the field or from your own backyard. Year-round, black-capped and Carolina chickadees add spirit to the day, giving their dee-dee-dee calls as they snatch seeds from a feeder or build nests in a tree hole right in your backyard. Year-round, too, woodpeckers, nuthatches, cardinals, and blue jays will all come to your yard if you provide them with food, water, and shelter. And during spring and fall migration, Baltimore orioles will eat orange halves provided for them, while scarlet tanagers may enjoy the suet that you put out for the woodpeckers and nuthatches.

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  • Illinois Birding & Nature Festivals

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BWD Festival Finder

During the peak of bird migration, there's nothing more exciting than attending a birding festival. The birds are spectacular and the people are great. If you haven't tried a festival yet, this is a must-do for next season! Use BWD's Birding and Nature Festival Finder to help you select from the many available in special areas all over the country.
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  • Illinois Birding Hotspots

Current Feature

Illinois Beach State Park lakefront. Photo by Wrongdave / Wikimedia

Ten Bird Watching Hotspots in Illinois

Every state has its top hotspots. Here are ten that we picked out for Illinois. Your Top Ten list may vary, but it doesn’t matter as long as we all get to go birding, right?
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  • Birds of Illinois

Current Feature

Greater prairie chicken displaying. Photo by GregTheBusker / Wikimedia.

10 Highlight Birds of Illinois

Here are ten bird species that make birding in Illinois exciting and special. Of course there are hundreds of other species to see, so don’t stop with just these ten!
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