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Local Birding

Copperas Creek
(part of Rice Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area)

Directions From the Interstate 474-Highway 24 interchange in Bartonville, go about 20 miles south on Highway 24 until you reach the town of Banner. Turn east on Copperas Creek Road, passing through the town of Banner. About one mile past Banner, you will be in the Copperas Creek area.

Location is shown on the Illinois DNR Rice Lake site map.


eBird: Birding Hotspot Map

Google Map to Copperas Creek

Description The Copperas Creek watershed consists of portions of the Banner Marsh and Rice Lake State Fish & Wildlife Areas (covered on their own pages in this site), as well as private property. As you drive toward the Illinois River on Copperas Creek Road, Banner Marsh property is on your left, Rice Lake property on your right. The Copperas Creek area is mainly bottomland forest that is occasionally flooded. Large tracts of snags provide habitat for cavity nesters. A walk-in area provides access to Big Lake, an excellent shorebird area. Copperas Creek Road itself ends at the Illinois River.
Suggested Route/Stops The best birding at Copperas Creek is along the levee road closest to the town of Banner. During migration, good numbers of warblers and vireos can be found anywhere along the road and shorebird numbers on Big Lake near the narrows dam are second only to Chautauqua. In summer, activity continues as Pileated Woodpeckers, Prothonotary Warblers, and other bottomland forest birds nest. In winter, Bald Eagles roost in the area.
Commonly Seen Birds Spring/Fall -- Migrating warblers and vireos. Large variety and numbers of shorebirds. Ospreys. Dabbling ducks.

Summer -- Cavity-nesting birds such as Pileated Woodpeckers and Prothonotary Warblers.

Winter -- Bald Eagles.

Click For Google Map to Copperas Creek

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