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Local Birding

Marshall State Fish & Wildlife Area

Directions The Marshall State Fish & Wildlife Area, Babb Slough boat ramp, campground and headquarters are off of Highway 26 between Spring Bay and Lacon. It is 12 miles north of Spring Bay and 5 miles south of Lacon and is well signed. There is also an upland area with trails, accessed by going north of the headquarters on Highway 26 then taking Township Road east and following the signs.

Illinois DNR site map   eBird Hotspot

GPS Coord. GPS Coordinates: N 40.95450; W 89.42854
Description The area consists of Illinois River backwaters, bottomland forest, as well as oak hickory bluffs. This diversity gives a great opportunity for seeing a wide variety of bird species. This is a popular hunting area, so care should be taken, especially in the fall. Some areas may be closed to non-hunting use.

Illinois DNR Marshall State Fish & Wildlife Area web page

Suggested Route/Stops Boat Ramp -- From the boat ramp there is an expansive view of Babb Slough, at times you may see large concentrations of waterfowl.

Slough Trail -- From the north end of the campground there is a trail that follows the edge of the slough. Wood ducks, Pileated Woodpecker, and other lowland birds will likely be seen on this walk

Upland Trails -- Several miles of relatively easy trails will give you an opportunity to see the common woodland birds.

Commonly Seen Birds Spring/Fall -- Migratory waterfowl.

Summer -- Large cormorant population, a Heron rookery across Babb Slough, and possibly Bald Eagle.

Winter -- Bald Eagles, Gulls, and if there is open water, diving ducks.

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