Meetings are held on the second Monday of the month, starting at 7:30 p.m. Meetings take place at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (Fullerton Parkway at Cannon Drive in Lincoln Park). We usually meet in the South Gallery on the second floor. Parking is available on either side of Cannon Drive just north of the museum's main entrance, and during the winter (after or before boating season) in the lot across from the museum entrance.
January 9, 2017 -- Doing a Big Year: The ABCs of Competitive Birding by Joe Lill. Have you seen the movie "The Big Year"? Member Joe Lill will do a presentation on big birding years, covering the history, rules and results of Big Years in North America and Illinois, as well as some of his own Big Year escapades. By meeting time, we will know the results of the ultra-competitive 2016 Big Year Competition! Joe is past-president of the Chicago Audubon Society and list compiler for the Illinois Ornithological Society. The evening will also include a mini-program focused on bird songs and calls.
February 13, 2017 -- Recent Developments in Knowledge of the Evolution of Birds by Mark Luscombe. Member Mark Luscombe will discuss recent discoveries adding to our knowledge of how birds may have evolved from dinosaurs. There will also be a mini-presentation on bird songs and calls.
March 13, 2017 -- Update on Birds and Illinois Audubon by Dr. James Herkert. New Illinois Audubon Society Executive Director Jim Herkert is making his first chapter visit to Fort Dearborn to meet and greet members and will give an update program on what is gong on with birds in Illinois and Illinois Audubon. Jim has a Master's degree in Biology from Illinois State and a Ph.D in Ecology, Ethology and Evolution from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana. He has served as Director of the Office of Resource Conservation for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources since 2009. He previously spent eight years with The Nature Conservancy, Illinois, including six as Director of Conservation Science, and 11 years on the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board. Jim is a nationally recognized authority on Midwest grassland birds, with published papers on the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on grassland species, and is active in the American Ornithologists' Union. There will also be a mini-program on bird songs and calls.
April 10, 2017 -- Renewable Energy Sources and Their Environmental Impact by Claire McPartlin. Claire McPartlin, with the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, will present a program on the environmental impact of renewable energy sources such as wind turbines, as compared to traditional sources such as coal-fired power plants. There will also be a mini-program on bird songs and calls.
May 8, 2017 -- Proposals for the North Pond Nature Sanctuary by the Lincoln Park Conservancy. The Lincoln Park Conservancy has developed a master plan for the rehabilitation of the North Pond, a sight for our regular bird walks. The Conservancy will explain the master plan and its status. We will have an opportunity to learn about the plans, make suggestions, and express any concerns. There will also be a mini-program on bird songs and calls.
June 12, 2017 -- Where Our Chicago Birds Go for the Winter by Doug Stotz. Doug Stotz, Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Field Museum, will share his experiences in South America studying how our Chicago area birds spend the winter. There will also be a mini-program on bird songs and calls.
September 11, 2017 -- The Life of J.J. Audubon by Lee Witkowski. Lee Witkowski. a member of Will county Audubon and Science Professor at Moraine Valley community College, will do a presentation on the life of John James Audubon. lee includes information about his early life as well as references about what was happening while he developed both his artistic style and scientific wisdom. There will also be a mini-program on bird calls and songs.
October 9, 2017 -- Evolutionary Ecology of Birds by Chris Whelan. Chris Whelan, adjunct faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will discuss his work on the evolutionary ecology of birds. Chris's work has included the foraging ecology of New World Warblers, seeking insights into their resource exploitation systems, habitat selection, and community organization; predation by insectivorous birds on the invasive gypsy moth caterpillar; causes and consequences of fruit consumption and seed dispersal by migratory songbirds; and avian pest control of forest leaf-chewing insects. There will also be a mini-program on bird songs and calls.
November 13, 2017 -- Animals A to Z by Jim Rowan.Jim Rowan, well-known nature photographer and living history re-enactor, and regular Fort Dearborn presenter, will share with us photos from Aardvarks to Zebras, with a few birds representing some of the letters in between. There will also be a mini-program on bird songs and calls.
December 11, 2017 -- Members' Night and Holiday Party. Bring a treat to share and be prepared to discuss the highlights of your 2017 birding year. Slides or internet photo downloads acceptable. Please contact Mark Luscombe at 847-267-2440 if you would like to participate and to state whether you wish to use slides or internet pictures. The video Audubon, a recent documentary on PBS, will also be screened