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March 2022

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Monthly Program: Peggy Doty, Woodpeckers of Illinois
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Meeting: NIAS Board Meeting
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Field Trip: Skunk Cabbage Walk at Franklin Creek
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Event: Elkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch
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Field Trip: Springtime Scavenger HuntEvent: Elkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch
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Field Trip: Spring Mississippi River Waterfowl
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Event: Elkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch
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Monthly Program: Peggy Doty, Woodpeckers of Illinois

Tuesday, March 1, 2022
7 p.m.
Via Zoom
Presenter: Peggy Doty

Please email nwilaudubon@gmail.com if interested in the program and a Zoom link will be sent out a week before the program date.

Woodpeckers are incredibly unique and have been around for millions of years. They require specific habitats and are very noticeable by their sound and movement. There are seven species of woodpeckers living in Illinois habitats. What many may not know is how critical woodpeckers are to some of our common backyard birds. This program is valuable for the beginner birder as well as the veteran one. You won’t want to miss it, Peggy's programs are always enlightening and fun!

Peggy received her Bachelor of Science in zoology with a specialization in wildlife management from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She also holds a Master of Education from Northern Illinois University. Doty received the 2007 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Northern Illinois University’s College of Education. The award was for her contributions to the field of outdoor and environmental education.

Click here to see all recorded programs on the NIAS YouTube Channel.

MeetingsMeeting: NIAS Board Meeting

Tuesday, March 8, 2022
7 p.m.
St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 Park Blvd., Freeport, IL

Field TripsField Trip: Skunk Cabbage Walk at Franklin Creek

Friday, March 11, 2022
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Forreston, IL Municipal Parking Lot, between library and Subway
Coordinator: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204 (call to register)

Join us as we stroll the hard-surfaced paths at the Franklin Creek State Natural Area in northern Lee County looking for that wetland harbinger of spring, Skunk Cabbage. If the weather conditions are right we may see the interesting patterns that are made when heat from the growing Skunk Cabbage melts a circle of snow or ice around the emerging plant.

Predicting plant emergence is an educated guess. After you have called to register, Mary will call you if cancellation is necessary.

We will car-caravan from the Forreston municipal lot (adjacent to the library) at 1:30. Each driver will be given a map in case we get separated.

EventsEvent: Elkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch

Monday, March 14, 2022
7 p.m.
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Forreston, IL (SE corner of West Grove and Freeport Rds)
Coordinator: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204 (call to register)

Join us for this evening outing to watch and listen for American Woodcocks performing their amazing courtship display. It will be especially gratifying to witness the return of these birds after what may be a long hard winter. In the past we have had 3-6 woodocks performing their twilight display for about 3-4 weeks. When and if this begins is an educated guess, so be sure to call the listed coordinator to register in advance and to receive confirmation that the birds have returned and the weather is suitable.

The preserve is located about 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southeast corner of West Grove and Freeport Roads. The parking lot is off of West Grove Rd.

Field TripsField Trip: Springtime Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, March 19, 2022
10 – 11 a.m.
Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd., Freeport, IL
Coordinator: Adam Moderow, adamoderow@gmail.com, 815-541-5842

As spring begins, the animals and plants around us begin to make their voices heard and colors seen. Just like we get more active as the weather begins to warm, so does the natural world around us. In this lesson, we will look for the signs of that increased activity. There will be a brief explanation and then a scavenger hunt through Oakdale to see what is poking through the snow. We will divide into teams and see who can find the most signs of spring. Make sure to dress warmly and have your eyes and ears ready. Meet by the Mogle building, just off of the parking lot.

Contact Adam Moderow at adamoderow@gmail.com or at 815-541-5842 to register in case it becomes necessary to limit the number of participants.

EventsEvent: Elkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch

Saturday, March 19, 2022
7 p.m.
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Forreston, IL (SE corner of West Grove and Freeport Rds)
Coordinator: Anne Straight, 815-938-3263 (call to register)

Join us for this evening outing to watch and listen for American Woodcocks performing their amazing courtship display. It will be especially gratifying to witness the return of these birds after what may be a long hard winter. In the past we have had 3-6 woodocks performing their twilight display for about 3-4 weeks. When and if this begins is an educated guess, so be sure to call the listed coordinator to register in advance and to receive confirmation that the birds have returned and the weather is suitable.

The preserve is located about 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southeast corner of West Grove and Freeport Roads. The parking lot is off of West Grove Rd.

Field TripsField Trip: Spring Mississippi River Waterfowl

Saturday, March 26, 2022
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
FWS Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center, 7071 Riverview Rd, Thomson, IL
Coordinator: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204 (call to register)

Join us as we look for migrating waterfowl on the Mississippi River south of Savanna. Usually a wide variety of both diving and dabbling ducks can be observed, with males in their colorful breeding plumage. We also should see grebes, pelicans, eagles, geese and some songbirds. Hopefully we’ll spot some cranes and swans as well.

Meet at the river overlook across from the FWS Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center, 7071 Riverview Rd., Thomson, as Spring Lake will likely be closed. Other downstream sites that we’ll visit include Big Slough, Thomson Causeway and Lock and Dam #13. Bring a sack lunch if you plan to stay past noon.

EventsEvent: Elkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch

Tuesday, March 29, 2022
7 p.m.
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Forreston, IL (SE corner of West Grove and Freeport Rds)
Coordinator: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204 (call to register)

Join us for this evening outing to watch and listen for American Woodcocks performing their amazing courtship display. It will be especially gratifying to witness the return of these birds after what may be a long hard winter. In the past we have had 3-6 woodocks performing their twilight display for about 3-4 weeks. When and if this begins is an educated guess, so be sure to call the listed coordinator to register in advance and to receive confirmation that the birds have returned and the weather is suitable.

The preserve is located about 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southeast corner of West Grove and Freeport Roads. The parking lot is off of West Grove Rd.