Field Trips

  • Are you interested in learning more about birds and birding and would like to meet others who enjoy the natural world?
  • Field trips take place on most Saturdays following monthly meetings. Occasional mid-week trips are planned.
  • Destinations are chosen to highlight the best birding locations in our region’s finest natural areas in Will and surrounding counties.
  • Travel times are usually 20 to 60 minutes and carpooling is often available.
  • People at all levels of birding expertise-members and non-members-are welcome to participate.
  • Members assist others in bird identification as well as sharing their knowledge of plants, butterflies, dragonflies, etc.
  • If you are an expert, you can lend a hand. If a beginner, you can gain insight into the natural world.
  • Check out birding activities statewide -courtesy of the Illinois Audubon Society.


  • Location: Pilcher Park Nature Center, 2501 Highland Park Dr. Joliet, IL
  • Yearly Schedule: Second Thursday of every month from September to May except for December.
  • Time: 6:30 pm Social time/Refreshments, 6:45 pm Business Meeting, 7:00 pm Program
  • Programs feature experts in scientific research and notable authorities in the fields of ornithology, botany, zoology, and environmental studies as well as speakers who share wildlife adventures in all parts of the globe.


October Meeting & “Bird & Butterfly Sanctuary Certification” by Martha Sojka

Date: October 12, 2023
Time: Door Open 6:15pm, Meeting 6:45pm, Program to follow
Location: Pilcher Park Nature Center, 2501 Highland Park Drive, Joliet IL 60432
October 2023 Program

In 2022, Martha had her homesite certified by the Illinois Audubon Society as a Bird & Butterfly Sanctuary. Please join her for this presentation on the benefits of creating healthy habits and habitats. Come learn about the certification process, what a healthy habitat is and what kind of sustainable practices help nature and wildlife. Will County Audubon programs are free and open to the public. Snacks will be available, please bring your own beverage.

October Field Trip: Centennial Trail (Schneider’s Passage)

Date: October 14, 2023
Time: 8:00am - 10:00am
Location: Centennial Trail / I&M Canal (Schneider's Passage) 600 E. Romeo Rd. Romeoville 60446

Join us for our monthly birding hike at Centennial Trail! This is a little known birding hotspot boasting many diverse species and landscapes. We will be looking for late songbird migrants, early waterfowl in-comers, other wildlife, and even Bald Eagles. It’s an easy, straight walk on a paved trail down to the wide-waters of the Des Plaines River and back. 2 miles. Leader: Kara Morales

November Field Trip: Lake Renwick Waterfowl Hike

Date: November 11, 2023
Time: 8:00am
Location: Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve: 23202 W Renwick Rd, Plainfield IL 60544

The colonial nesting birds have gone south, but migrating waterfowl should be on the lake. Our monthly hike will take us uphill to the viewing area, then north on a flat trail along the lake for closer views. 2 miles total – out and back. Leader: Rita Renwick

November Field Trip: Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area

Date: November 18, 2023
Time: 4:00pm - sunset
Location: Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area 5822 Fish and Wildlife Ln, Medaryville, IN 47967
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Meet us at the viewing platform to observe the fall migration of the Sandhill Crane. We can expect between 10,000 and 30,000 cranes to gather in the refuge. The cranes descend on the grassland area about one hour before sunset. They gab and socialize for about an hour before dispersing into their roosting marshes at dusk. The experience is best described as a Happy Hour for the Sandhill Cranes. Spotting scopes or binoculars are recommended. It is an exciting event and well worth the two-hour drive to Medaryville, Indiana. Contact Michele Friske with any questions.