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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 Advocacy site is the answer! For a biweekly update on national environmental and conservation issues.  

Another good source of information on state issues is the Bird Conservation Network. Primarily active in the Chicago area and surrounding counties, this site is  active by through a number of initiatives.  Additionally, BCN writes policy and informational papers on the latest research to provide science-based guidance for proper land management practices.  This is a good source of information for governmental bodies to establish policies. 


Conservation News

May 9, 2018

Local Natural Areas Now Open to Public for Birding

With a press release today, the Peoria Audubon Society is inviting members and visitors to visit its conservation properties:

  1. Oak Bluff Savanna Nature Preserve

  2. Brimfield Railroad Prairie Nature Preserve

Both properties are now birding hotspots open for public birding.


The Oak Bluff Savanna Nature Preserve is a 22-acre high quality oak woodlands, savanna and hill prairie in Marshall County. It is located about 4 miles southwest of Henry, Illinois; 2 miles west of Route 29 on County Road 1150N. (Google Map Directions)  Dozens of warbler species may be found in the preserve during spring and fall migration. Resident birds such as Eastern Bluebird, Indigo Bunting and Baltimore Orioles can be found nesting on the site. Bird Surveys have shown over 150 species of birds utilize this natural area.


The Brimfield Railroad Prairie Nature Preserve (Photo Gallery; Prescribed Burn) is a 6-acre restored native prairie in Peoria County. It is a ˝ mile long strip near Brimfield that was once railroad right of way, located at 18320 W Forney Road, Brimfield. The Jubilee Prairie Dawgs, a volunteer group dedicated to native prairie restoration, have partnered with Peoria Audubon Society to help maintain this prairie. It contains over 100 native prairie plant species, which are a critical part of the food web for many species of birds, butterflies and bees. 


Both of these high quality habitats are listed as protected lands by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission to assist with the protection of high quality natural areas and habitats of endangered and threatened species. Peoria Audubon Society is committed to long term conservation of these areas and is excited to share them with the public.

Peoria Audubon Society encourages visitors to record their bird sightings on these properties at eBird.org. Both nature preserves are listed as public birding hotspots. The nature preserves are open for hiking, viewing and enjoying the natural areas. No camping, no fires, no hunting or fishing, no collecting, and no restroom facilities are available. Visitors are asked to follow "Leave no Trace" principles when visiting Peoria Audubon properties, or any natural area.

Peoria Audubon Society encourages visitors to record their bird sightings on these properties at eBird.org. These nature preserves are listed as public birding hotspots and are open for:

  • Birding

  • Hiking

  • Enjoyment of Nature

  • Showcase examples of high biodiversity site for education and outreach

Please note that for the long-term conservation of the nature preserve there are a number of restrictions:

  • No camping

  • No fires

  • No hunting

  • No fishing

  • No collecting of plants or seeds.

  • No restroom facilities are available.

Visitors are asked to follow the “Leave No Trace” principles for outdoor ethics when visiting Peoria Audubon properties, or any natural area.

Any questions or comments about Peoria Audubon’s Nature Preserves should be emailed to audubon@peoriaaudubon.org


Oak Bluff Savanna and Prairie Nature Preserve

August 27, 2015

Oak Bluff Savanna 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

Enjoy the Results ...


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