Birds in Illinois
The wildlife refuges and state parks of Illinois give birders plenty of material to explore. However, the most surprising part of the state is the number of birding destinations in the city of Illinois, Chicago.
What Is The State Bird Of Illinois?
In 1929, Northern Cardinal was made Illinois’ state bird, all thanks to the schoolchildren. In total, the scarlet males and red females have the honor of being the state birds of 7 states. It’s safe to say that you usually see this bird in your backyard. These are quite loved for their whistles and appearance.
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What Are The Top Spots For Bird Watching In Illinois?
The local birders love Illinois Beach State Park, mainly because of the diversity evident in its habitat with dunes, beaches, forests, and marshlands. At least 300 species have visited the park, with the migratory season being especially popular among birders. You might come across the Red-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Willow Flycatcher. The annual hawk at the north side of the park allows you to do just that, watch a variety of hawks.
Declared an important bird area with 270 species, Dixon Waterfowl Refuge has visitors in summer like the Sora, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Yellow-headed Blackbird. Fall and spring have bird species such as Trumpeter Swan and Short-eared Owl.
How Many Birds Can You See In Illinois?
Boasting 439 species in its list, the county of Cook alone has seen 396. Lake and Sangamon are also at the top with 361 and 331 species spotted in the counties respectively. Clinto and Kane are a little lower with 330 and 322 species.
The undoubted hotspot is Montrose Point, Lincoln Park, Chicago with 346 species spotted there. Carlyle Lake and Illinois Beach can also brag about both having 308 varied species of bird visiting the areas.
Top Birds To See In Illinois
At one point, 4500 American White Pelicans were seen at the Illinois River. Always migrating along the state’s rivers, these white birds with orange-colored bill and feet, a throat pouch, and black wings are about 5 foot tall standing. It catches smaller fishes with its long bill.
Mostly seen in the southern region of the state, Mississippi kites seem to only show themselves during breeding season. About 14 inches in height, the species has grey tail and black, with a slightly darker shade to them.
Monk Parakeets have a really small colony among the birds in Illinois but as a birder, you would be delighted to come across these 12 inch tall birds. These colorful birds have a white colored throat, blue wings, green top, and yellowish-green belly color.
Common Birds To See In Illinois
Birding in Chicago alone will help you some of the most common birds in Illinois, with species such as Mallard, Copper’s Hawk, Canada Goose, and Caspian tern. Orland park also has some of the most common Illinois birds such as American golden plover, Blue Heron, Baird’s sandpiper.
Birding in a state like Illinois can be quite fun. It’s not just about enjoying the sight of interesting birds with colorful tails or shapes and sizes but also having the perfect adventure where you can see the beauty of the birds in Illinois in an equally scenic backdrop. And Illinois provides you just that.