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State of the Birds

Report on Climate Change

Clck to download report (PDF)

In this State of the Birds report, we consider one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time, climate change. How will the impacts of climate change influence our bird populations and their habitats?

Stay Current ...

Need to find out the latest on national issues? National Audubon's Issues and Action site is the answer! For a biweekly update on national environmental issues, there's Audubon Advisory. With each issue, you learn where Audubon stands and how to voice your opinion. Subscribe online today.

For periodic updates on state environmental issues, consider joining the Illinois Sierra Club Activist Network. It provides breaking news on state-wide environmental issues via email. Subscribe online today.

Another good source of information on state issues is the Bird Conservation Network. Primarily active in the Chicago area and surrounding counties, this site's associated email discussion list has kept abreast of issues such as the proposed Open Lands funding cuts in the FY2005 state budget. The site contains information on joining the email list as well as an archive.

 

Conservation News

----- Press Release -----

August 27, 2015

Oak Bluff Prairie Nature Preserve

The Peoria Audubon Society, acting as a land trust, accepted the gift of 22 acres of land in Marshall County as part of its efforts to protect high quality habitat along the Illinois River Bluffs ecological corridor.

This gift of high quality oak woodlands, savanna, and hill prairie included a maintenance endowment for future needs. The entire gift is valued at over $100,000.  It includes the Oak Bluff Savanna Nature Preserve, dedicates Illinois State Nature Preserve.  Access to the site is by permission of the Peoria Audubon Society.

Maury Showing Oak Bluff

Located about 4 miles west of Henry, Illinois, the former owners, Maury Brucker and Emiko Yang worked over 20 years preserving and enhancing the quality of the natural features on the site.  Maury and Emiko’s enhancements included:

  • Hiring a botanist to survey and document the native plants found on the property.  
  • Facilitating a grant from the Midwest Foresters to restore 9 acres of woodlands
  • Received assistance from the State Wildlife Grant system of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, to have a Restoration Ecologist assist in the removal of invasive, non-native plants in the prairie habitats.
  • Restoring 3 acres of former farm ground to a high quality native prairie. 

Emiko Gazing Over Frog Pond

This high quality natural area sits on an important migratory flyway for numerous species of neotropical songbirds as they migrate from their breeding habitat in the north to their wintering grounds in Central and South America.  

  • Dozens of warbler species can be found in the preserve during spring and fall migration.
  • Resident species such as Eastern Bluebird, Indigo Bunting, and Baltimore Orioles are found nesting on the site.  
  • Recent bird surveys show that over 160 species of birds utilize this important natural area; which will be preserved for future generations. 

Registered with Illinois Nature Preserves Commission

On behalf of the residents of Central Illinois, Peoria Audubon Society is fortunate to conserve this important habitat for generations to come. 

Brimfield Railroad Prairie Nature Preserve

Prairie in Peoria County

A 6.20 acre parcel of restored native prairie was donated to Peoria Audubon Society in August 2010.  The 1/2 mile long strip, near Brimfield, IL was once railroad right-of-way.  With the rails and ties removed, the property is only 104 feet wide, but has been documented by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission to contain greater than 100 native prairie species, including 4 reintroduced populations of the state endangered Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra). 

Brimfield Railroad Prairie Nature Preserve

Much of the credit for the growth of biodiversity of prairie species goes to the local volunteer group The Jubilee Prairie Dawgs, who have been managing the site.  The structure and composition of the prairie community has been improved through prescribed burns, brush cutting, and exotic plant removal from a program that was initiated in 1992. 

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle

Part of Peoria Audubon's Land Acquisition Policy is that the area should have significant ecological value and provide habitat for native species of fauna and/or flora.  The diverse number of native prairie species is supporting a like number of fauna. 

The prairie preserve is not developed to handle large numbers of visitors, but all inquiries and questions on the prairie should be sent to the Peoria Audubon Board at audubon@peoriaaudubon.org

Click Here for more information on the Brimfield Railroad Prairie Nature Preserve.  

Bluebird Trail

Bluebird Trail at Springdale Cemetery

Springdale Cemetery established a bluebird trail, courtesy of volunteers from Peoria Audubon Society and Peoria Wilds.  On March 17, 2007, Peoria Wilds volunteers performed a controlled burn and then installed three bluebird nest boxes near the Springdale savanna.

On March 24, 2007, volunteers from Peoria Audubon installed another six bluebird boxes around the Springdale cemetery property.  Paula Ferguson and others from Peoria Audubon monitor the nest boxes on a weekly basis to check the nests, and help the bluebird broods succeed.  More...

Click for More information

Springdale Cemetery Savanna

Thanks for your help!

The Savanna at Springdale Cemetery in Peoria is a native remnant of the tallgrass oak savanna that once covered Illinois River bluffs prior to European settlement - and the only such remnant located within the city of Peoria.  In 2006, the Peoria Audubon Board was informed that Springdale Cemetery Management Authority had considered converting the savanna to burial plots.

The Peoria Audubon Board went on record to the Cemetery Authority asking that the savanna be maintained in its natural state rather than converting it to burial plots.  Thanks to your help, the natural state was preserved.  More...

Deer at Springdale Cemetery Savanna

The Peoria Wilds a local not-for-profit grass roots organization spent countless hours restoring the tallgrass oak savanna to it's historic, pre settlement condition.

"This natural area is a rare remnant of 10,000-year-old tallgrass oak savanna, the ecological community that dominated the Illinois River bluffs prior to European settlement.  Tall prairie grasses, such as Big Bluestem and Indian grass, oak trees, and wildflowers were common in this community."  

More ...

Local Habitat Project Completed

$11,000 Bird Habitat Project Completed in 2006

Peoria Audubon improved 10 acres of habitat for savanna birds such as Eastern Towhees, Field Sparrows and Eastern Wood Pewees at Oak Bluff Savanna over the last two years (2005-06).  The work was financed entirely by a $5500 grant from the Midwest Forester's Partnership and volunteer matching work by Maury Brucker and Emiko Yang on their property near Henry, Illinois.... More


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