All events

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FIELD TRIP: Northwestern University Campus

Saturday, May 4, 2019

This area is a stopover for migrants of all kinds heading north in spring.  Park on the lake side of the upper deck of the south parking lot off of Sheridan Rd. and Clark St., north of Clark St. beach, at 8:30 a.m. Leaders: Libby Hill and TBA.

Illinois Spring Bird Count

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Contact Joel Greenberg for Lake Co. assignments (630-725-6660). Contact Alan Anderson ( for Cook Co. assignments.

FIELD TRIP: Fridays at Skokie Lagoons

Friday, May 3, 2019

These Friday trips pack a great list of warbler species during spring migration. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at Erickson Woods Forest Preserve parking lot. Turn north into the parking lot from Willow Rd. just east of the Edens Expressway. Leader: Lynne Carpenter


FIELD TRIP: Perkins Woods

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Look for warblers and other migrants (and also a great display of spring wildflowers. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the corner of Ewing Ave. and Grant St. Park along Ewing Ave.  Leader: John Bates or Josh Engel. 

“Bird Migration in the Great Lakes, A Twelve Month Spectacle.” Robert Russell

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

We will highlight a series of migrant species that portray the vast range of migration patterns that individual species depict. From Red Knots that winter on Chiloe Island, Chile and Marbled Godwits that cross Lake Superior to winter in Baja to five-ounce thrushes that fly the length of Lake Michigan in a single night, the spectacle of bird migration in the Great Lakes is one of the wonders of Midwestern natural history. Bob Russell is a retired US Fish and Wildlife Service bird biologist who was the shorebird specialist for the Great Lakes region working in 8 different Midwest states.

3rd program in ENSBC's 100th Birthday celebration!


Air Station Prairie Woodcocks.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Come out to see the spectacular aerial displays of the American Woodcock at dusk! The Air Station Prairie in Glenview is a great location for these displays and we may even spot a woodcock on the ground. Meet on the deck of the interpretive center at 6:45 p.m. Dress for the weather.  Leader: Jeff Sanders. 

FIELD TRIP: Looney Trip 100th Birthday event!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Back by popular demand.  Meet at 8:00 a.m. at east side of Diamond Lake. Consolidated carpooling from the Gale Street Restaurant parking lot, 935 Diamond Lake Rd. Mundelein. RSVP with leader David B. Johnson: Space limited to 8-9 cars. Trip will end at approx. 2:30 p.m. Lunch at El Puerto, Fox Lake.

“ Confessions of a Counter: From Birder to Scientist.” Richard Horwitz

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

I went on my first Evanston North Shore CBC in 1962 when I was 13 years old, and I continued for 13 years until I moved.  I am now in Philadelphia at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and remain a birder but as a scientist I focus on fish so my tabulations of (tribulations with?) both groups continue. Some may even say I count obsessively. Population assessments are vital in understanding species and how best to manage them. Illustrated through personal anecdotes, this talk will explore different methodologies, illustrate how population numbers obtained for one purpose can be used or misused for other purposes, and will look at specific examples of population assessments.

2nd program in ENSBC's 100th Birthday celebration!

“The Changing Bird Life of the Chicago Region" Joel Greenberg

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The first written accounts of local birds were published in the 1850s. This talk looks at fluctuating bird population over the ensuing 150 years. Some birds have disappeared altogether or are barely hanging on, while others have increased dramatically. One surprising example are the two local black corvids. When the prairies were intact, common ravens were the dominant species while crows were restricted to wooded riparian areas. But once the prairie lands were converted to agriculture, the ravens totally disappeared and the crows took over.  Joel has a strong interest in historical natural history and has written three books related to that topic.

Note Location Information: This talk will take place in the Linton Room of the Levy Center, 300 Dodge Avenue, Evanston. The Levy Center is south of the intersection of Oakton St and Dodge Ave., north of the intersection of Howard St. and Dodge Ave. on the west side of the street. Park in the parking lot.

The first event in our 100th Birthday Celebration Series


Gull Frolic, Sponsored by IOS

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Start Time – 9:30 a.m.

The Gull Frolic is a unique winter event at Illinois’ premier gull-watching hotspot: North Point Marina. Bring your binoculars, scope and cold weather gear, and join birders outside of the yacht club to enjoy close study of some of our harder-to-find winter species such as Iceland (Thayer’s Iceland and Kumlien’s Iceland) and Glaucous Gulls!  A variety of waterfowl typically make an appearance too (scoters and other diving ducks), along with the occasional raptor, owl, or winter finch. Birders wearing bright orange hats will be available to help answer questions along the “boardwalk”.  REGISTRATION REQUIRED!

For more information:

PROGRAM: Walter Marcisz and Nat Miller: “Doing it Secretively in the Marsh: How Monitoring of Breeding Marsh Birds is Inspiring Wetland Restoration in the Calumet Region.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Wetland birds of the Calumet region have faced precipitous declines over the past 30 years. The conversion of rich marsh to open-water ponds or mono-cultures of invasive species has put secretive marsh species like Common Gallinule, Least Bittern and King Rail on the fast-track to extirpation. However, new and intensive monitoring and wetland restoration is setting the stage for an amazing comeback story. Nat Miller is the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Flyway Director of Conservation for National Audubon Society. Walter Marcisz, our popular speaker, has been a Chicago area birder for over 50 years. 

Waukegan Christmas Count

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Organizer: Joel Greenberg, Compiler: Adam Sell.


Christmas Bird Count: Chicago-North Shore Christmas Count

Saturday, December 29, 2018

56th Chicago-North Shore Count and ENSBC Post-Count Potluck dinner at Libby Hill’s house, 2715 Woodland Rd, Evanston.  Arrive any time after 4 p.m.  Contact Libby Hill at 847-475-2096 or for more information about the dinner. Organizer: Joel Greenberg,

Chicago Lakefront Christmas Count

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Organizer: Joel Greenberg,, Compiler: Geoff Williamson.

Chicago Urban Count.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

53rd Chicago Urban Count. 

Organizer/compiler:  Jeffrey Sanders, 847-657-6431.

PROGRAM: John Bates: “What is a Species?”

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Species make up your life list, your year list and your field guides, but they are also key units of evolution and units of conservation and scientists do not always agree on what is and what is not a species (and sometimes they even flip flop).  John Bates, Associate Curator of Birds at the Field Museum will discuss the issues, challenges and value of defining species (or not) with examples from around the world.

FIELD TRIP: Jeff Sanders' Fall Specialty Trip! North Shore Lakefront

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The 49th Annual Jeff Sanders’ Fall Specialty Trip. We’ll visit North Shore lakefront. Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the end of Park Avenue in Glencoe, right at the lake, and we will proceed from there. Bring scopes and dress for cold lake wind. Leader: Jeff Sanders, 847-657-6431.  NOTE CHANGE OF MEETING LOCATION.

PROGRAM: Terry Miesle: “Chasing the Rusty-patched Bumblebee.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The rusty- patched bumblebee, Bombus affinis, has become the poster child for our dangerously declining wild native bees. Why it was chosen, how it became endangered, and what can be done about it are the topics of Terry Miesle's beautifully illustrated talk. Citizen Scientists can help by sending observations to reporting agencies, and Terry will provide information to help you identify and photograph these bees.  Terry has been formally monitoring insects, focusing on bees, at Fermilab Natural Areas since 2014 and has photographed numerous prairies throughout the Chicago region.  He's involved with the Native Bee Awareness Initiative and reports data to Beespotter and other data collection agencies.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Expect sparrows, late passerines including a few late warblers and other passerines, maybe a hawk or 2 if the winds are right. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at The Grove: east side of Milwaukee Ave., just south of Lake Ave., in the second parking lot that leads to the Interpretive Center.  Leader: Jeff Sanders.

FIELD TRIP: Perkins Woods

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Join us for our final walk of this migration season at 7:30 a.m. Look for warblers, thrushes and other migrants.  Meet at the corner of Grant and Ewing.