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Volunteers Needed for Annual Chicago Area June Bird Count

A cartoon drawing of a bird in flight.

Images courtesy of BCN

The Bird Conservation Network (BCN) volunteer organization, comprising 21 separate conservation groups across Northeast Illinois, is dedicated to the preservation of our endemic breeding bird species. Lake County Audubon, a charter member of BCN, is looking for birders to help launch an expansion with the June 2022 bird count survey at selected preserves across the region.

Because the count data is used for habitat conservation planning and scientific studies, volunteers with at least three years of birding experience are needed and should be able to identify birds breeding in our area by both sound and sight. Individuals can volunteer to monitor alone or team up with a birding friend to monitor together. Only one birder in a team needs to be adept at identifying birds by sound. Areas available in Lake County include Lakewood, Cuba Marsh and Fort Sheridan Forest Preserves.

Monitoring entails two bird survey visits in June at predetermined points in one of the selected preserves for 10 minutes at each point. Results are entered into a special Forest Preserve smartphone app (mECO) at each point. The app automatically records weather conditions and also prompts for questions about the foliage.

For the past 20 years, these surveys have provided vital information for understanding the population trends of the key species. Most importantly, this detailed data is used by forest preserve districts and other land managers to identify their properties’ most critical preservation and restoration needs.

For more information or to volunteer, email BCN Monitor Coordinator Charlotte Pavelka at [email protected]. For more information, visit