Club Meeting Facts:

The DuPage Birding Club meets eight times per year, usually on the second Thursday of January, March, April, May, July, September, October, and November at 7:30 pm. Unless otherwise noted, the club meetings take place at Faith Lutheran Church, 41 N. Park Blvd. (just north of Roosevelt Rd.), in Glen Ellyn. Park in the back of the church and enter through the glass doors, then go down the stairs to the meeting hall on your right.

A pre-meeting dinner will be held at 6:00 pm at a designated location. See details below.

The DuPage Birding Club is proud to have hosted some of the finest speakers in the birding world including Don and Lillian Stokes, Richard Crossley, Julie Zickefoose, Pete Dunne, Scott Weidensaul, Sandy Komito, Sheri Williamson, George Fenwick, and Alvaro Jaramillo. Visitors and new members are always welcome!


July 10, 2014        Speaker: Joel Greenburg

The Echoes of their Wings: The Life and Legacy of the Passenger Pigeon

The passenger pigeon was unlike any other bird. It probably numbered in the billions, making it the most abundant bird in North America if not the world. But this huge population was neither evenly distributed across the landscape nor was it any way cryptic: the species often formed aggregations so vast they are difficult for us to imagine. As just two examples, John James Audubon described a flight that darkened the sky for three days, and a nesting in 1871 spread across 850 square miles of central Wisconsin. But despite that abundance, a single flight around 1860 probably exceeded a billion birds and maybe three billion, exploitation for food and recreation destroyed the species in the wild by the first few years of the twentieth century. On September 1, 1914, Martha, the last of the species, died in the Cincinnati Zoo. This talk explores the story of the bird and highlights the important lessons that it presents to those of us in the 21st century.

Joel Greenberg has over 25 years experience working on natural resource related issues in the Midwest. Currently a Research Associate of both the Chicago Academy of Sciences Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Field Museum, he has authored four books including Of Prairie, Woods, and Waters: Two Centuries of Chicago Nature Writing.(2008, University of Chicago Press.); A Natural History of the Chicago Region (2002, University of Chicago Press); and  A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction, published in January 2014 by Bloomsbury USA. For the past four years he has been  a leader in Project Passenger Pigeon which aims to mark the anniversary of the species' extinction. He is co-producing with director David Mrazek the documentary, From  Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction. It will be available in spring of 2014. Greenberg has  JD and MA degrees from Washington University.

September 11, 2014        Speaker: Vic Berardi

Identifying Raptors In Flight, An Overview

The timing couldn’t be better for this presentation on raptor identification. Vic will be discussing some of the difficulties in identifying raptors in flight and how to begin breaking down the elements for successful identification.  Key ID features will be displayed for all our regularly occurring raptors in northeastern Illinois. Vic is one of the foremost authorities on hawk ID, and we’re fortunate that he’s always eager to share his knowledge.  His enthusiasm for hawkwatching is contagious and by the end of the evening you’ll be well prepared to head out to Greene Valley, Illinois Beach State Park or any other key hawkwatch site in the Midwest.

Vic Berardi is the founder of the all-volunteer Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch which has conducted 14 seasons of full time hawk migration monitoring.  This past fall he and a few others conducted several spot counts at a new hawk watch site at the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve on the shore of Lake Michigan in Highland Park, Il.

He recently served on the Board of Directors for the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) and is the Central Continental Flyway Editor for Hawk Migration Studies which is HMANA’s biannual publication. This year, he was the 2014 recipient of HMANA’s Appreciation Award for his outstanding service to further hawk migration studies and conservation.  In 2009 he was awarded the Service to Chicago Area Birders by the Chicago Audubon Society. In 2007 he was awarded the Grassroots Conservation Leadership Award for his leadership in raptor education and research.

In addition to Vic’s dedication to the IBSP Hawk Watch and HMANA, he also finds time to write articles on hawk watching, give hawk identification seminars and raptor conservation related talks.  Vic is also an accomplished photographer and many of his photos have been published in several magazines, including Outdoor Illinois, Hawk Migration Studies and Birdwatching Magazine along with two new guide books, “Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America” by Donald and Lillian Stokes and “Hawks   At A  Distance” by Jerry Liguori.  He also regularly donates his photos for use in raptor conservation efforts.

Vic is also a member of the Raptor Research Foundation, HawkWatch International and several other birding organizations including the Illinois Ornithological Society in which he served as a Board member for 4 years and Field Trip Chair for 3 years

October 09, 2014        Speaker: Gary Sullivan

Restoring an internationally important complex of wetlands, prairie, and savanna: the 2,700-acre Dixon Waterfowl Refuge.


Up until 2001, the 2,700-acre Dixon Waterfowl Refuge was just another corn and soybean levee district on the Illinois River whose members were struggling to make ends meet. In April of that year, the Wetlands Initiative acquired the district and began restoring the mosaic of wetland and upland habitats that once characterized much of the Illinois River floodplain and its adjacent areas. Thirteen years later, the refuge is one of the most diverse and truly spectacular natural areas in the state.  More than 600 native plant species have been identified across the landscape, which supports an equally impressive cross-section of Illinois’ wildlife, including over 270 bird species and a diversity of butterflies, dragonflies, fish, herps, and mammals. The strategy that made this

Meeting starting time 7:30 pm unless indicated otherwise. The hall will be open at 7:00 pm for socializing.

Map below showing the pre-meeting restaurant place (A) and meeting location (B):

A. Panera Bread, 541 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn, IL

B. Faith Lutheran Church, 41 N. Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL

View Larger Map

restoration succeed was based the principal that high levels of biological diversity result in strong and resilient ecological functioning. From the beginning, the goal was to restore as much native plant diversity as possible in order to provide the structural framework needed to support the rich wildlife diversity once found throughout the north-central Illinois River Valley. In recognition of this effort, the Dixon Refuge was recognized in 2012 as one of only 34 sites in the United States as a wetland of international importance, based on the rare, high-quality wetlands found there and the massive numbers of migratory  waterfowl dependent upon the site.

Gary Sullivan is the senior ecologist with The Wetlands Initiative, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Chicago that is dedicated to restoring wetland resources in the Midwest. Gary received a doctorate in the reproductive ecology of aquatic plants from Binghamton University, NY with Dr. John Titus in 1995. He conducted postdoctoral research for four years with Dr. Joy Zedler at San Diego State University, CA on how ecosystems develop in order to design and restore self-sustaining coastal wetlands in southern California and Baja, Mexico. From there, he conducted research sponsored by the National Research Council on estuarine and coastal stream function at the US EPA’s Coastal Ecology Branch on the Oregon coast. He has worked with The Wetlands Initiative since 2001, focusing on the development of large-scale landscape restoration projects that incorporate a complex mosaic of habitat, hydrology, and wetland and upland plant communities to promote ecosystem integrity, biological diversity, and high quality wildlife habitat.

November 13, 2014        Speaker: Amar Ayash

Gull Identification

November is the perfect time to brush up on your gull identification skills. Many birders approach gull identification with apprehension because they are “too hard” or “all look alike” and those different ages are confusing.  Whether experienced or not, don't miss Amar Ayash's presentation where he'll review with us some of the key ID points of our expected winter gulls. Some of the species we'll focus on include Herring, Thayer's, Iceland and the black-backed gulls. Amar will also speak about our hooded gulls, and share with us some gull-watching tips. This will help prepare you for winter gull identification and the Gull Frolic in 2015.

Amar spends most of his time in the field watching and photographing gulls. He maintains "", a website devoted to gulls and gull-watching. He's published several recent articles in Birding magazine, and hosts the facebook group "North American Gulls". Ayyash serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Ornithological Society, and also coordinates the annual Gull Frolic here in Illinois.