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Fall Migration Photography Tour at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

A Bell’s vireo rests in branches at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.

A Bell’s vireo rests in branches at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. Photo by Richard Hickson.

Participants can experience native woodland birds, butterflies and other migrating prairie species, and learn new ways to take photos of them on National Public Lands Day, September 24.
Celebrate National Public Lands Day exploring and experiencing fall colors and migrating species at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. Midewin will host a Fall Migration Photography Tour through Prairie Creek Woods on Saturday morning, September 24.

Monarch butterflies roost in the trees near the Iron Bridge Trailhead at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie during their annual fall migration to Mexico and California. Photo by Ronald Kapala.

Bring a camera and hike along with experienced photography instructors through the pristine Prairie Creek Woods at America's only national tallgrass prairie. See migrating monarchs and birds such as vireos, warblers or flycatchers, as well as year-round woodland birds, including hairy woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers and cardinals.

More details, including a map to the meeting point near the River Road Seedbeds, are posted online at More information about the area where the tours will take place is found online at
Will County Audubon Society Vice President Greg Dubois will guide two groups, sharing information about bird watching as well as photography.
Early Bird Session: 8 to 9:30 a.m. “Getting an early start will increase our chances of spotting migrating and year-round woodland birds,” DuBois says. “We hope that the rewards of 'getting up with the birds' will be terrific photo opportunities and the chance to see some things that we don’t typically have the opportunity to experience in the later hours of the morning.”
Veterans Session: 9:30 to 11 a.m. U.S. military veterans and family members: Meet at 9:30 a.m. for a 90-minute tour hosted by the USDA Forest Service, the Will County Audubon Society and Brushwood Center's “At Ease” Nature Platoon. For photos to be considered for the USDA Forest Service Date Planner, bring an extra memory card to share the photos.
The National Environmental Education Foundation has identified “Giving Back Together” as this year’s National Public Lands Day theme. It is a reminder of the great gift that America’s public lands have provided as we faced unprecedented challenges together in recent years.
“Our shared natural areas are still here for us,” said Midewin Prairie supervisor Christina Henderson. “They are here for us to try to help de-stress, clear our minds, re-focus on the positive and tap into those wonderfully enriched sensory experiences that are so valuable. Whether you visit Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie or another public land area, try to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors on this very special day.”
Participants of all ages, skills and interests are welcome in either of the Fall Migration Photography Tour groups.
To register to participate in the Fall Migration Photography Tour at Midewin, call 815-423-6370 or email [email protected].