Backyard Birds of Illinois

The wildlife shelters and public parks of Illinois provide birders a lot of material to discover. But, the most amazing part of the state is the great backyard bird count in the city of Chicago, Illinois.

State Bird of Illinois

Northern Cardinal was considered Illinois’ state bird in 1929, all appreciations to the students. Overall, the scarlet males, as well as red females, hold the honor of being the national birds of seven states. Usually, you can find Northern Cardinals in your backyard. These are relatively adored for their whistles and look.


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The Most Common Spots for Bird Watching in Illinois

The native birders like Illinois Beach State Park, generally due to the diversity obvious in its environment with dunes, seashores, woodlands, and marshlands. Approximately 300 species of birds have visited the state park, with the migratory season being particularly prevalent among birders.

Additionally, you might find the Red-headed Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, as well as Yellow-breasted Chat. The yearly hawk at the northern side of the park lets you do just that, see several hawks.

Furthermore, declared a significant bird area having around 270 species, Dixon Waterfowl Refuge contains visitors in hot season such as the Sora, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and Grasshopper Sparrow. In addition, fall as well as the spring season, have bird species like Short-eared Owl or Trumpeter Swan.

Backyard Bird Count in Illinois

A boasting 439 backyard bird species in its list, the region of Cook alone has grasped around 396 species. Lake, as well as Sangamon, contain 361 and 331 backyard bird species found in the counties, correspondingly. Furthermore, Clinto and Kane are a bit lower, having 330 as well as 322 species.

Besides, the definite hotspot is Montrose spot, Lincoln Park, and Chicago having 346 species found there. Carlyle Lake, as well as Illinois Beach, can also boast about both, with 308 various species of backyard birds visiting the regions.

Top Backyard Birds to See in Illinois

At one point, around 4,500 American White Pelicans were spotted at the Illinois River. Each time migrating alongside the state’s waterways, these white backyard birds having orange-colored beaks and feet and dark wings are about five-foot-tall upright. It catches little fishes using its lengthy beak. Generally seen in the southern area of the state, Mississippi Kites appear to show themselves throughout the breeding period. Approximately 14 inches in height, the backyard bird species contain grey tails and black, having a slightly dark color.

In addition, Monk Parakeets contain a small assembly among the backyard birds in Illinois; however, as a birder, you should be happy to find these 12-inch-big birds. These beautiful backyard birds contain a white throat, blue feathers, yellowish-green abdomen, and green top.

Moreover, birding in Chicago only will aid you to get some of the most popular backyard birds in Illinois, with species, for example, Mallard, Cooper’s Hawk, Caspian Tern, and Canada Goose. Besides, Orland park also contains some of the most common backyard birds of Illinois, for instance, American Golden Plover, Great Blue Heron, and Baird’s Sandpiper.

American Crow

The American Crow is a common bird found throughout the United States. It is the familiar all-black bird seen in treetops, fields, or perched on a power line. The American Crow usually feeds off of the ground but will eat anything from insects to garbage!

American Crow

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is found in the eastern United States. These black and white barred woodpeckers don’t have a red belly but a red cap. Red-bellied Woodpeckers are loud and can be heard a lot during the spring and summer. The Red-bellied Woodpecker uses its long tongue and sticky spit to catch prey in deep crevices in trees.

American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch is found all over North America. The Goldfinch is the state bird of New Jersey, Iowa, and Washington. The Goldfinch is bright yellow in color with some shiny black and white. Most bird feeders will attract the Goldfinch. Goldfinches are vegetarians and love sunflower seeds. The American Goldfinch is the only finch that molts its body feathers twice per year, once in the winter and then in the summer.

Dark-eyed Junco

The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most abundant birds in North America. They have a gray-brown body with bright white tail feathers. Dark-eyed Juncos are found on the ground in open or partially wooded areas. They have a twittering call and a trilling song.

European Starling

The European Starling is the most numerous songbird found throughout North America. They are an all-black bird with short tails, pointed bills, and triangular wings. Although in the winter, they are covered with white spots. These Starlings are sometimes viewed as aggressive as they run along the ground.

European Starling

Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is a purple-red finch that lives in eastern North America. They also have a large beak that they use to crack open seeds. The Purple Finch makes a warbling sound but can often mimic other birds like the Barn Swallow or Brown-headed Cowbird.


Birding in a state such as Illinois can be pleasurable. It’s not only about relishing the sight of beautiful birds having colorful tails and sizes; however, also about having the ideal exploration where you can get the beauty of the backyard birds in Illinois in a similar beautiful background. And Illinois gives you that.


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