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Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation

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Join official raptor counters as they scan the skies and share their tips for identification. Last year, more than 3,000 raptors of 17 different species were identified. Help spot migrating raptors, and visit bird education stations set up along the trails to learn about raptor adaptations, the amazing world of woodpeckers, and waterfowl identification on Lake Michigan. 

Hawkwatching in mid-October allows for the viewer to witness the largest amount of diversity of species with a backdrop of beautiful fall colors. The species, at their peak migration during this time, include sharp-shinned hawk and merlin, with red-tailed hawk and other large buteos.

Event Details:

Lake County Hawkfest
Saturday, October 15 | 1:30–4 pm
Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve | FREE and open to all ages.

Free bird walks, photography workshops, birding presentations and other hawk-related activities will be offered as part of Hawkfest on October 14 and 15 at Lake Forest College, Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve and Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve

Related Hawkfest Activities

Friday, October 14

Lake County Hawkfest Dinner and Keynote: Join us for a buffet dinner followed by a talk on the history of hawk watching in northern Illinois with experts, Dave Johnson and Vic Berardi. 6–7 pm at Lake Forest College. Fees and registration apply. Register now »

Illinois Hawk Watching Presentation: Explore the history of hawk watching in northern Illinois with experts, Dave Johnson and Vic Berardi. 7:15–9 pm at Lake Forest College. Fees and registration apply. Register now »

Saturday, October 15

Free Bird Walks: Head out to Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve or Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve for free morning bird walks led by experienced birdwatchers. 7–8:30 am. Registration required. Register for Fort Sheridan » Register for Middlefork Savanna »

Hawk Identification: Vic Berardi will discuss the nuances of hawk identification, using stunning photographs to differentiate species. 9:15–10:15 am at Lake Forest College. Fees and registration apply. Register now »

Raptor Photography: Join Vic Berardi, one of the best hawk photographers in Illinois, as he shares tips and tricks for getting the perfect photo. 10:30–11 am at Lake Forest College. Fees and registration apply. Register now »

Bird Photography: Join local bird photography expert Mike Trahan to learn how to prepare for and take great bird photos in a variety of settings. 11:15 am–12:15 pm at Lake Forest College. Fees and registration apply. Register now »

Birding Lake County: Join birding expert Nan Buckardt to discover favorite spots in Lake County to look for birds in all seasons. 1–2 pm at Lake Forest College. Fees and registration apply. Register now »

Hawkfest: Experience the fall hawk migration, see live raptors and join official raptor counters as they scan the skies and share their tips for identification. 1:30–4 pm at Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve. FREE. No registration required. Learn more »

Bird Rehabilitation: Meet some local raptors as licensed rehabilitator Dawn Keller shares stories about the challenges and successes of bird rehabilitation. 2:15–3:15 pm at Lake Forest College. Fees and registration apply. Register now »

 

Register for all five Hawkfest workshops to be held on Saturday at the discounted rate of $25.

Register for Saturday Pass

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