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Peoria Audubon Newsletter:

 The Bird's Eye View

Latest Copy

October 2014



Photo Gallery

Birding Tour of the Illinois River




Secure, On-line Donations to Peoria Audubon Society


Peoria Audubon Meetings

Bob Gillespie:

Saving the Prairie Chicken


Wed., Dec. 10, 2014 @ 7:00 PM

Forest Park Nature Center



Bob Gillespie, Natural Resources Coordinator at Prairie Ridge State Natural Area will give a presentation on the latest efforts to save the Greater Prairie Chicken. Once commonly found in over 92 of Illinois 102 counties, the Greater Prairie Chickenís numbers now teeter on the verge of extirpation in the prairie state.

Greater Prairie Chicken


Bob coordinated an effort to augment our Illinois population with birds from Kansas. Learn the science behind bringing back a species from the brink of extinction and how Illinois is restoring habitat to bring the booming grounds back to the prairie state.


Peoria Audubon Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at Forest Park Nature Center.  Everyone is welcome.  And, the meetings are FREE!


Public is Always Welcome

Meetings are free and open to the public


Monthly meetings of Peoria Audubon Society are held at 

Forest Park Nature Center in Peoria Heights.


Christmas Bird Count

115th Annual Event

Longest running Citizen Science survey in the world!

This year, National Audubon Society will be hosting the 115th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count.  Across the USA and select locations in the western hemisphere, the count will take place Dec 14, 2012 to January 5, 2013. This event is the longest running Citizen Science survey in the world. The Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends. Tens of thousands of participants know that it is also a lot of fun.

Data from the over 2,300 location circles are entered after the count and become available for researchers - and the public - to query.  And locally the Peoria Audubon Society sponsors 3 Christmas counts

Peoria Count Circle - Christmas Bird Count


How does a bird count work?

Teams of birders go "into the field" in a defined area within the 15-mile diameter count circle and take a census of birds.  [Peoria count circle is shown above.  A separate count circle is defined for Chautauqua and for Chillicothe.]  This means that each bird the team sees is identified by species and counted.  With large flocks, a scientific estimate is made on the number in the flock.  The time and distance traveled (both on foot and in a vehicle) is logged.  Each team is responsible to report on the species they find within their areas. 


How can I learn more and volunteer to participate?
The Peoria Audubon Society hosts three local Christmas Bird Counts, with each count centered on a different 15-mile diameter count circle.  To learn more and volunteer for one of the 3 local counts, contact one of the 3 count organizers below.

  • Peoria - Sat. Dec. 20, 2014

    Contact Mike Miller (309)681-2825 to participate

  • Chautauqua - Sat. Dec. 27, 2014
    Contact Richard Bjorklund (309) 968-6502 to participate
  • Chillicothe - Sat. Jan. 3, 2015
    Contact Tracy Fox (309-369-5331) to participate

How do I go on a count?

Contact one (or more) of the above count organizers to go out and count birds.  In each of the identified regions within a count circle, a team leader will contact the team members to get organized and discuss any logistics or answer any questions. 


What if I am a novice and not good at identifying a species?

Novice birders are teamed up with people more seasoned at identifying and counting the expected species.  It is a great opportunity for a beginning birder to go out and learn more about the diversity of birds around us.  The pace is leisurely and, although the data is scientifically valid, it is important to take your time and have fun!  Each team determines where and when to take breaks - which takes on an increased importance when the temperatures are low.  Peoria Audubon encourages beginning birders to join in the count.  Each team leader takes pride in making the experience enjoyable for all participants.


Keep watching the Calendar of Events  for details on Peoria Audubon and other local activities.  The public are always welcome!  We would like to see you there!

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