A Birding Club for kids, teens, and young adults
A Birding Club for kids, teens, and young adults

Upcoming Field Trips

The Illinois Young Birders take field trips throughout the year to birding hotspots around the state. All young birders are welcome to attend but please note the following information. All young birders must fill out a
Field Trip Permission Form at the beginning of each year before they can participate on trips.
Please download, fill out, and save the .pdf form, then e-mail it back to , the ILYB Field Trips Coordinator. Please contact Josh to RSVP for trips or if you have any questions or difficulties filling out the form.


Josh Engel and Matthew Cvetas are your Illinois Young Birders (ILYB) Field Trip Coordinators and are excited about the opportunities of birding with you. The format of these events will be similar to what you’ve experienced in the past with most events beginning in the morning and going until lunch time (or beyond as noted). We suggest you bring food (including lunch) and water, dress for the weather, and wear appropriate footwear for hiking through snow, mud, or tall grass. In warmer months, we will try to picnic together on location; in these colder months, be prepared to snack in the car, as there might not always be an opportunity to dine together at a restaurant. We will have extra binoculars for ILYB members to use should they need them.


Code of Conduct
The safety of minors attending events sponsored by Illinois Young Birders (ILYB) is the highest priority. All ILYB partner organizations, members, and field trip participants must abide by the Code of Conduct at all times.

Booming Prairie Chickens

March 24-25th

We're mixing things up this year. Our annual overnight will be Saturday, March 24th, in Effingham. We'll rise early Sunday morning to get into the blinds to watch the endangered Greater Prairie-Chicken booming on a lek. Afterward, we'll tour the area looking for American Golden-Plover and Loggerhead Shrike. This trip will be limited to 12 young birders and adults total, ages 12+ only.

Register for this event

Early Spring Migrants

Sunday, April 16th 7:30 A.M.

We'll search the Kankakee area for Smith's Longspur, American Golden-Plover, and perhaps early warblers like Louisiana Waterthrush.

Register for this event


Sunday, May 20th 6:30 A.M.

Anything can happen along the Chicago lakefront in May. Join us at Montrose in a search for Connecticut Warbler at the peak of their migration.

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Big Day at Illinois Beach State Park

Saturday, June 16th 4:00 A.M.

Our innaugural Big Day will take place at Illiois Beach State Park. We haven't quite worked out all the details, but we'll start early and end late. Join us for a whole day of fast paced birding.

Register for this event

Banding at Camp Sagawau

Saturday, July 21st 9:00 A.M.

We have an educational outing scheduled for July at Camp Sagawau in Lemont. We'll learn more about the benefits of bird banding and get to see a demonstration up close.

Register for this event

Third Annual ILYB Symposium

Saturday,August 25th 9:00 A.M.

Our annual conference will take place at Ryerson Conservation Area. We hope you'll join us for a day of birding, education, and art.

Register for this event


If you are an adult who is interested in volunteering as a chaperone or field trip leader, please contact Josh Engel (see e-mail above) for information on the process for obtaining an Illinois State fingerprint background check and where to send your results. ALL ADULT VOLUNTEERS ON ILYB FIELD TRIPS MUST HAVE STATE FINGERPRINT BACKGROUND CHECKS. The background checks take about 2-3 weeks to get processed, and must be received by IOS prior to date of field trip. All volunteer background checks will be kept in a locked file and will never be shared with anyone. This check only needs to be done once, but it is necessary to ensure the protection of our young birders. Space is limited to 3 Adult Volunteers per trip. Parents of young birders don’t need to do the fingerprint check.



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