News and Events



Field TripsField

Stewardship DaysStewardship




May 2022

Next >>

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Program: No Borders Beneath Their Wings
Meeting: Conservation Committee
Bird Walk: Pecatonica River Forest Preserve
Field Trip: Accessible Birding Event
Field Trip: Wildflowers & Birds of the Palisades & Green Island
Meeting: NIAS Board Meeting
Bird Walk: Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve
World Migratory Bird Day CelebrationWorld Migratory Bird Day Celebration
Bird Walk: Krape Park
Silver Creek Bird Festival
Bird Walk: Espenscheid Forest Preserve
Field Trip: An Evening of Birding at Lost Mound
Field Trip: Shelter
New Moon Campfire at Silver Creek

Program: No Borders Beneath Their Wings

Tuesday, May 3, 2022
7 p.m.
St. John United Church of Christ, Fellowship Hall, 1010 Park Blvd., Freeport, IL
Presenter: Suzanne Falconer

Tropical Wings is the Friends Group of the National Park Service Sister Parks partnership between 14 National Parks in the Upper Midwest, and 7 National Parks in Costa Rica, focused on the neotropical migratory birds that we share. “No Borders beneath their Wings” will explore the work being done “for the birds,” including the annual Bird-a-thon trip to Costa Rica. Tropical Wings is committed to engaging citizens in celebrating and sustaining this natural phenomenon through education and habitat preservation both in Costa Rica and the Upper Midwest.

Suzanne Falconer works in education and  humanitarian concerns globally. The natural world has absorbed her attention since her eyes spotted bright birds in a mobile swirling above her crib. As birds connect our world beyond geographical lines, Suzanne said yes to an invitation to participate in and forward the collaboration of the Sister Parks. Her leisure pursuits overlap with land restoration, volunteer citizen science, and wandering our IL prairie terrains.

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

MeetingsMeeting: Conservation Committee

Wednesday, May 4, 2022
6:30 p.m.
Call for location information
Coordinator: Teresa Smith, 815-238-3963

Conservation Committee Meeting at 6:30 pm. Contact Teresa at 815-238-3963 if you would like to participate.

Field TripsBird Walk: Pecatonica River Forest Preserve

Thursday, May 5, 2022
8 – 11 a.m.
Coordinator: Richard Benning, 815-865-5279

Pecatonica River Forest Preserve (main entrance by the campground). A special bonus of this walk will be stunning wildflowers and perhaps singing frogs! Take Hwy. 20 east from Freeport and turn left (north) on Pecatonica Rd. Drive through the village of Pecatonica. After crossing the river continue north about 3 ½ miles until Brick School Rd. Turn right (east) and drive about 2 miles, then the road curves to the left (north). The entrance is about ¼ mile past the curve.

Field TripsField Trip: Accessible Birding Event

Saturday, May 7, 2022
8 – 10 a.m.
Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd., Freeport, IL
Coordinators: Gary Gordon and Juliet Moderow

Accessible trail – Meet at the trail opening near Mogle Center (we will have signs)

The Northwest Illinois Audubon Society is committed to ensuring that birding and the outdoors are welcoming, inclusive, and safe to everybody and every body! We are working with the RAMP Center to lead an accessible birding event to enjoy this year’s spring migration.

We will use the 1/3-mile hard-packed accessible trail at Oakdale Nature Preserve and will lead a birding identification outing. If you do not have binoculars, we will have some available to borrow during the event.

Field TripsField Trip: Wildflowers & Birds of the Palisades & Green Island

Monday, May 9, 2022
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mississippi Palisades State Park, Savanna, IL
Coordinator: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204
Each spring the Mississippi Palisades State Park just north of Savanna is filled with a dazzling array of woodland wildflowers and unique songbirds. This year we also will look for shorebirds and other wetland species at Green Island Wildlife Management Area, just across the Mississippi River.
We’ll begin at the Palisades, observing such wildflowers delights as Large-Flowered Trillium and Amethyst Shooting Star, as well as looking for Palisades specialty birds like the Yellow-throated Warbler and the Northern Parula Warbler.
After eating our sack lunches at the Palisades, we will head for Green Island in Jackson county, Iowa. There we will slowly cruise the roads adjacent to the wetlands looking for sandpipers, plovers, rails and other wetland birds.
Bring binoculars and a sack lunch. Parts of the trail at the Palisades are steep and/or narrow so a hiking stick may be helpful.
Meet at the first parking lot inside the south entrance to the Mississippi Palisades State Park, about a mile north of Savanna just off of Hwy. 84. Please confirm your attendance by calling Mary.

MeetingsMeeting: NIAS Board Meeting

Tuesday, May 10, 2022
7 p.m.
St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 Park Blvd., Freeport, IL

Field TripsBird Walk: Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve

Thursday, May 12, 2022
8 – 11 a.m.
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Forreston, IL (SE corner of West Grove and Freeport Rds)
Coordinator: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southeast corner of West Grove and Freeport Rds. The parking area is off of West Grove Rd. We also hope to observe blooming spring wildflowers. Be sure to wear a hat, long sleeves, long pants (light colored is best) and socks long enough to tuck your pant legs into (for tick avoidance).

EventsWorld Migratory Bird Day Celebration

Saturday, May 14, 2022
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S Cranes Grove Rd, Freeport, IL

Join us for a fun, family-friendly event at Oakdale Nature Preserve. This location provides wonderful birding opportunities as well as a chance to explore the habitat along the creeks that flow through the preserve. Volunteers from our chapter and from the University of Illinois Extension will be hosting. We will have activities for all ages and abilities.

Please wear appropriate footwear, especially if you choose to explore the water. Bring binoculars if you have any and we will have some available to borrow.
This is a rain or shine event and hope to have plenty of shelter in case of rain. Save the Tabernacle, Inc., will also open the Tabernacle.

EventsWorld Migratory Bird Day Celebration

Saturday, May 14, 2022
10 a.m. – noon
Freeport Art Plaza, 11-15 E Douglas St, Freeport, IL

Our chapter will be celebrating our second annual World Migratory Bird Day on this day with the global theme “Dim the Lights for Birds at Night” to focus on the impacts of light pollution on migratory birds.
The University of Illinois Extension and the Freeport Public Library will also be part of this event! We will also have bird treats from The Cookie Jar bakery!
We plan to have a bird decal activity with Miss Amanda to prevent window strikes and other various activities led by Extension and our chapter volunteers. We will provide educational materials related to migrating birds and how to provide resources and protection during their migration.
In case of inclement weather or need for indoor space, the event will be held in the Freeport Public Library, conference Room A and B. For up-to-date information, please visit our Facebook page and website closer to the event.

Field TripsBird Walk: Krape Park

Thursday, May 19, 2022
8 – 11 a.m.
Krape Park, 1799 Park Blvd, Freeport, IL
Coordinator: Juliet Moderow, 201-233-0946

Krape Park, Freeport. Meet in the parking lot by the dam, first left after bridge and duck pond.

Every year our chapter schedules spring bird walks to leisurely observe, enjoy and learn about these migratory species.

EventsSilver Creek Bird Festival

Saturday, May 21, 2022
8 – 11 a.m.
Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Leaf River, IL (SE corner of Leaf River and West Grove Rds)
Coordinator: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

Join us for an informative, fun, family-friendly morning as we explore the Silver Creek Biodiversity preserve for the many migrating and resident birds found there. One hundred five species of birds have been documented in the grasslands, woodlands and stream corridors of Silver Creek.

Tours will begin at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00a.m. The 10:00 tour will be specificallyoriented to kids and families, including information on how to use binoculars. No binocs? No worries! Audubon binoculars will be available to use during each tour.

Free “Illinois Birds” pocket guides will bedistributed while supplies last. We’ll have
a shady rest area with chairs, as well as a restroom, beverages and snacks. There are no fees. Like all Audubon activities, non-members are welcome. Bring your family and friends!

The preserve is located about 2 miles south of Leaf River (S. Main St. in Leaf River becomes Leaf River Rd.), with parking just off of Leaf River Rd. If weather is questionable, call Mary at 815-938-3204. We hope to see you there!

Field TripsBird Walk: Espenscheid Forest Preserve

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
8 – 11 a.m.
Harry and Dorothy Espenscheid Forest Preserve
Coordinator: Richard Benning (815-865-5279

Harry and Dorothy Espenscheid Forest Preserve, northeast of Freeport. Take Hwy. 75 east out of Freeport. From the junction of Hwy. 20 bypass and Hwy. 75, continue about 5 miles to Cedarville Rd. Turn right (east) on Cedarville Rd. and drive 4.2 miles to Eggert Rd. Turn left (north) on Eggert Rd. and go 1.8 miles to Farm School Rd. Turn right (east) and go .3 miles to the preserve parking area, on the north side of the road.

Field TripsField Trip: An Evening of Birding at Lost Mound

Friday, May 27, 2022
6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Fish & Wildlife Office, 3700 Army Depot Rd, Savanna, IL
Coordinator: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

Join us as we travel alongside sand prairies, sand savannas and the mighty Mississippi in search of birds at the Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge just north of Savanna. Of primary interest will be the awesome courtship display of the Common Nighthawk, as well as vocalization of both Eastern Whip-poor-wills and American Woodcocks. There will be enough time to observe many of the grassland species of Lost Mound as well.
Meet in the parking area of the Fish and Wildlife office building at Lost Mound. The refuge entrance road is about nine miles north of Savanna on Hwy. 84. Turn left onto the refuge entrance road, cross the railroad tracks and continue up the hill. At the intersection at the top of the hill turn right and continue for about ½ mile. The parking area is on your left.
We’ll car-caravan on the paved roads and do little or no walking. Bring binoculars. The timing sequence will be songbirds, Common Nighthawk, American Woodcock and at the end, Whip-poor-wills. If you want to leave the caravan for an earlier departure you may do so. Call Mary to confirm your attendance.

Field TripsField Trip: Shelter

Saturday, May 28, 2022
10 – 11 a.m.
Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd., Freeport, IL
Coordinator: Adam Moderow,, 815-541-5842

One of the most difficult things about being in nature during winter is staying warm. Having a fire is great but better than that is knowing how to build a shelter to hold that heat. In this lesson, we will discuss and demonstrate materials and techniques of constructing a simple shelter. We will then get our hands dirty and put up our own small shelter. We aren’t building a house, but we can find protection in what is available around our feet.

Meet by the Mogle building, just off of the parking lot.

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

EventsNew Moon Campfire at Silver Creek

Tuesday, May 31, 2022
7 p.m.
Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve
Coordinator: May Blackmore, 815-938-3204

New Moon campfire at the Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve. At 7 p.m. we’ll take a leisurely stroll to observe blooming plants and resident birds. The campfire will start at 8 p.m. S’mores will be provided. Bring a lawn chair, flashlight and water (if desired).

The preserve is Located about 2 miles south of Leaf River (S. Main St. in Leaf River becomes Leaf River Rd.), with parking just off of Leaf River Rd. If weather is questionable call Mary at 815-938-3204.