Fort Dearborn Chapter, the Illinois Audubon Society, was organized on February 12, 1973, at the Chicago Academy of Sciences in order to establish an Illinois Audubon Society chapter in the heart of Chicago. Presidents of the Chapter have included Kay Scharf, Margaret Murley and Wayne Svoboda.
Meetings are held at 7:30 p.m., on the second Monday of each month, September through June, at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois.
An important activity of the Chapter, since 1975, has been the co-sponsorship of bird walks with the Lincoln Park Zoo and compilation of the results. These mini-trips are held every Tuesday and Sunday from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. during the months of April, May, September and October, meeting at the Bird House in Lincoln Park Zoo. About 100 species are sighted in the zoo and park area nearby, during both the spring and fall migration. Most of the walks are led by members of the Chapter.
Other local projects to which Fort Dearborn Chapter lends its support are the Bird Conservation Network; Chicago Wilderness; Calumet Ecological Park Association; the National Butterfly Count with North Park Village Nature Center since 1987; and Spring and Winter Bird Census Counts. Fort Dearborn also submits the results of its birdwalks to ebird.org.
All-day field trips are held in good birding spots in the Chicago region and some overnight trips to other birding areas in the Midwest.
All meetings and bird walks are open to the public.
The Illinois Audubon Society, with which the Fort Dearborn Chapter is affiliated, was organized in 1897 for the protection of wild birds and the preservation of the natural environment. It works on conservation efforts throughout the state of Illinois. Illinois Audubon maintains a number of sanctuaries and works with the State of Illinois Department of Conservation to acquire and protect endangered and rare habitat areas within the state.
The Fort Dearborn Chapter is not affiliated with the National Audubon Society.
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