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Sora Rail at Emiquon

Local Birding

Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge

  1. From the intersection of SR (State Route) 78/N Main St. and SR 9/W Locust St. in Canton, follow SR 78 south out of Canton 10.9 miles.
  2. Turn west (right) on US 24/SR 78 and go 3.1 miles.
  3. Turn south (left) on SR 78/SR 97 for 6.1 miles to the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge parking area on the left.

eBird: Birding Hotspot Map

(Note: this is just west of Havana)

Description Derived from an Indian name for “spoon,” Emiquon refers to the historic plethora of freshwater mussels within this region of the Illinois River, the shells of which were used as spoons by early Native Americans.

Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) represents a massive effort undertaken by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other partners in restoring and managing native habitats throughout the backwaters and floodplain of the Illinois River. Historically, the middle reaches of the Illinois River's floodplain supported a vast mosaic of clear, shallow lakes, sloughs, bottomland hardwood forests, and tallgrass prairies.

Additional Information

Suggested Route/Stops Perhaps the best introduction to the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge would include a hike down the Frank C. Bellrose Nature Trail. There, not only birds and butterflies, but also mammals such as Striped Skunk, Raccoon, Opossum, and White-tailed Deer may be spotted along the trail.
Commonly Seen Birds Spring/Fall -- Visitors equipped with spotting scopes should carefully scan these newly-flooded lands for sandpipers and other shorebirds, especially during spring and fall migration periods. 

Winter -- Likewise, ducks and other waterfowl make use of the refuge during the winter months.

Over 250 species have been documented on eBird. 

Specialties Information; Hiking; Canoeing; Fishing; Viewing Platform; Picnic
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