Welcome to the DuPage Birding Club Homepage! Our membership includes some of the area’s most expert birders, leaders in conservation efforts, and backyard birders as well.
If you’re a beginning bird watcher, trying to identify even a common species can be extremely frustrating, and many people give up before they actually begin. A small yellow bird flies up to the top of a bush. Hurry, grab your binoculars and start flipping through your field guide. Look at the bird again. Flip the pages – suddenly the bird is gone, but now you see another bird in a tree. Your page rifling and binocular lifting start all over again.
But wait – there is an easier way. Our club offers an outstanding field trip program. We welcome birders of ages and skill levels and typically offer more than 100 field trips a year in Preserves in DuPage, Kane, Will and Cook Counties. Other special sites we visit include eagle watching along the Mississippi, River, waterfowl watching at Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes, and grassland species at Midewin Tallgrass Prairie and Nachusa Grasslands.
Our trips are led by member volunteers and offer a great experience by all participants. Birds are highly visible creatures – and some species sport beautiful combinations of yellows, blues, reds, blacks and even greens. When I first started birding, I was amazed to discover that there is more than one sparrow, the House Sparrow, living in this area! Birds come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and birding will also make you more familiar with the natural beauty of the Chicagoland region. This activity will coax you out into new areas and let you take in all the fresh air and all the impressive scenery you can envision. Most important, though, is that birding is fun.
Visitors are always welcome – we do not charge fees for the trips. Check out the Upcoming Field Trips list below. Hope to see you on the trails!
The DuPage Birding Club Board of Directors is having a picnic at Churchill Woods (on July 25 from 1-5 pm) for all DBC members who volunteered to help with the Club in the last three years and all members who worked as Field Trip Leaders, were on any committee, or an officer of the club are invitated. We hope you can join us! The board and I are thankful for your commitment. We are all busy people with work, family commitments and other hobbies, and the fact that all of you have donated your time and effort to help make the club successful is a truly generous act. If you cannot attend the picnic, we still want you to know how much we appreciate your service to the club. Please RSVP. Select here for more information.
As a member of the DuPage Birding Club, you receive an Eagle Optics discount for 10% off of any non-sale Eagle Optics, Atlas Optics, or Vortex items, and 5% off any non-sale product manufactured by anyone else (Leica excluded).
This and That…
Welcome to the DuPage Birding Club!
Founded in 1985, the DuPage Birding Club is nationally known as one of the largest and most active birding groups in Illinois. Our mission is to promote birding among our 200+ members and the general public through education and field experiences that take advantage of the various habitats in DuPage County, the greater Chicago area, and other regional hotspots.
Upcoming Field Trips
Field Trip Participants: Please dress warm and dry for field trip weather and trail conditions. We expect everyone to enjoy birding in a safe manner by being careful and prudent.
Select f for more Detailed Field Trip Info!
Visit our **UPDATED** LENDING LIBRARY
Birding BOOKS, AUDIO,VIDEO AND MORE!!!
Select our DuPage Birding Club Apparel form to view the great selection of DBC Spiritwear apparel (created by Holy Cow Sports) that is embroidered with the DuPage Birding Club name and logo.
To order, download a copy of the order sheet and fill out your order. Drop off the completed sheet with payment to Vicky Sroczynski at the next DBC meeting. Merchandise can be picked up at the following DBC meeting date.
Click on the icon to read recent DBC Field Trip Reports
Next Club Meeting
July 9, 2015 7:30 p.m.
Learning to Bird by Ear: Recognizing and Identifying Birds by Their Vocalizations
Speaker: Geoffrey A. Williamson, Past President of the Chicago and Illinois Ornithological Societies, Professor of Electrical and Computing Engineering at IIT.
Many experienced birders will say that 90% of their birding is done "by ear." For those conducting censuses and surveys, this skill is especially important, as it enables one to recognize more efficiently and effectively the birds that are present on a survey route. But even the casual bird watcher will find ear-birding skills quite useful. In many situations, such as forest and marshland birding, birding by ear is valuable in locating and identifying birds when they are difficult to see. This presentation describes basic concepts in bird vocalizations and provides organizing principles for learning to bird by ear. The talk also discusses the many resources available for birders looking to acquire or improve ear-birding skills.
Geoff Williamson is a past president of the Chicago Ornithological Society (COS) and the Illinois Ornithological Society (IOS) and currently serves as chair of IOS's Ornithological Research and Data Committee, secretary of the Illinois Ornithological Records Committee (IORC), and co-editor of Illinois-Indiana regional reports for North American Birds, the journal of ornithological record published by the American Birding Association (ABA). Geoff has led more than 500 bird walks and field trips in the Chicago area, as well as several birding trips out of state. Much of his birding time is spent in Chicago's Lincoln Park. When not birding, Geoff works as a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where his research concerns mathematical modeling and analysis of biomedical systems, telecommunications applications, power electronics, and acoustic signals. He has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Cornell University.
Select here for more detailed Meeting information.
Cantigny - April 11, 2015
Today's monthly bird walk at Cantigny Park, co-sponsored by the DuPage Birding Club, was attended by 45 birders. A total of 54 species were seen or heard, our highest-ever total for April (topping 50 species in 2013). Because of the 5K run/walk in the park, we spent most of our time on the Cantigny golf course. It was a very productive day with nice weather and many highlights!
Most notably, we recorded our 150th all-time species at Cantigny: American White Pelican. A squadron of approximately 80 birds was spotted high in the sky as we stood at the back of the driving range. The flock was far away but the ID was never in doubt due to the large size (9-foot wingspan) of these bright white birds with black wingtips. April is the best chance we ever have to see these special migrants and today we finally did!
A flyby Osprey was another nice surprise, one of the few times we've seen one during a walk. We also found "April specialties" such as Eastern Towhee, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Brown Creeper, Yellow-Rumped Warbler and both kinglet species. A Winter Wren was heard but not seen.
Near the Golf Academy we observed an active Red-Tailed Hawk nest with a bird presumably sitting on eggs. This same nest was also active in 2014. We also located an apparent Cooper's Hawk nest in the park with male and female birds present. [More]
Sunday, July 5, 4:00 p.m.
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Leader: Jeff Smith
Saturday, July 11, 8:30 a.m.
Cantigny Golf, Wheaton
Leader: Jeff Reiter
Saturday, July 11, 9:00 a.m.
Swainsonʼs Hawks, Kane County
Leader: Bob and Karen Fisher
Sunday, July 12, 8:00 a.m.
Lincoln Marsh, Wheaton
Leader: John Cebula
Saturday, July 18, 7:30 a.m.
Fullersburg Woods, Oak Broo
Leader: Lesa Hipes
Saturday, July 25, 7:30 a.m.
Lyman Woods, Downers Grove
Leader: Joan Campbell
Website Design: Jim Green Photos: Christian Goers
Heron Rookery, Danada FP - April 1, 2015
We had a great morning for enjoying the birds on our DBC FT last Wednesday, April 1st. Counting ourselves, we had 13 birders participate in our Danada Heron Rookery field trip. Joan Campbell kept the log and filed our eBird report. We logged 22 bird species. But most of all, we enjoyed the large Heron Rookery in a bog in the Danada Forest Preserve. The count was 80 Great Blue Herons who were working on their nests. I Have attached a PDF copy of our eBird report.
Watching the Herons coming and going was such a special privilege. I took some photos using both my Lumix pocket camera and my Samsung cell phone. Some of these photos were taken through our 20x-60x spotting scope (digi-scoping). I have attached some selected shots just for fun.
Jean and I believe that everyone who participated truly enjoyed the experience.
Meacham Grove - May 7, 2015
Jean and I, along with Nancy and Leslie, took the Meacham Grove field trip on Tuesday morning, May 7th. The weather was great. We saw some nice birds. Our tally was 32 species.
Note that the large area that at one time was a wet marsh is now quite dry, owing to draining. Further, this trip came before the heavy rains of late. The vernal ponds were dry back in the woods. Leslie and I spent a lot of time looking for warblers in the western part of the preserve. We were not rewarded for our effort. Hence our tally was less than in past years.
I filed our listing on the Club's eBird account. A copy of the listing is attached in PDF format.
We took a some photos with my pocket Lumix camera. I have attached a selection just for fun.
Jean and I have 2 more DuPage Birding Club field trips remaining for May.
Glacier Park in McHenry- May 20, 2015
I have found some time to capture our May 20th DBC field trip to Glacial Park up in McHenry County. I was a good experience for our 5 birders, even though rain curtailed our chances to see some birds. John, thank you for the eBird report of 66 species.
Jean and I took some photos. She got some good shots. I have attached some just for fun. The sandhill cranes were great. So was the birding experience.
2015 DuPAGE COUNTY SPRING BIRD COUNT RESULTS
May 9, 2015 was a decent weather day, and the birds cooperated! 129 birders (11 fewer than 2014’s recording breaking 140 birders) counted 27,283 birds (just a hundred or so less than last year). We identified 169 species, 12 less than last year’s 181 species total. See results.
Among the rarities reported was our first Common Goldeneye in the 43 year history of the DuPage SBC, found on the DesPlaines River on the S side of Waterfall Glen, a LeConte’s Sparrow found by Marcia and Lee Nye at the Arb (just the 3rd record in DuPage since the Count began), and a Mississippi Kite spotted by Eric Secker as it circled over the W Branch of the DuPage River at Elsen’s Hill (the 4th for DuPage since the Count began). The goldeneye raises our species recorded total since the Count began to 258 species.
We set all time high counts for 6 different species, The aforementioned C Goldeneye, Ospreys (11), Black-billed Cuckoos (14), 199 Warbling Vireos (about 4 times our historical average), 156 Red-eyed Vireos (5 times our historical average!), Carolina Wrens (11), and an astounding 113 Pine Siskins. But the population pendulum continues to swing the other way for Am. Kestrels and Am. Crows. Kestrels are in decline nationally, and certainly the habitat transition here in DuPage from rural to suburban exacerbates that decline. Anyone want to lobby for a kestrel nest box program at suitable locations here in DuPage? Our local crows still aren’t recovering from the West Nile epidemic that began 10+ years ago. Brown Thrashers seem to be less abundant than they were 25 years ago, though they show no signs of a continuing decline. Continue…
Cantigny - June 13, 2015
Last Saturday's bird walk at Cantigny Park, co-sponsored by the DuPage Birding Club, was attended by 44 birders. A total of 51 species were seen or heard. Thanks to all who attended the walk and especially the leaders, Joan Campbell and Jim Frazier. Joan and Jim are not only excellent birders but able Cantigny Park volunteers who I knew would be just fine in my absence. I am still on vacation and apologize for the lateness of this report. (For the record, I encountered a singing Northern Mockingbird on Sunday at the Boston shipyard that's home to the USS Constitution. Sure didn't expect that!)
NEXT MONTH, on July 11 at 8:30 am, please join us at Cantigny Golf for "Purple Martins 101" by Cantigny volunteer Ray Feld. If you've never attended this annual "workshop" definitely put this on your calendar and bring your camera -- it's always a fun and informative morning. More details are posted online at Cantigny.org. Feel free to arrive at 7:30 for some light birding in the golf clubhouse area prior to Ray's presentation.
See you soon and have a great summer of birding!