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Cook County Bird Of The Month: The Great Egret!

Throughout 2016, the Forest Preserves of Cook County invites visitors to see some of the most interesting native and migrating birds in the Preserves.

Each month during the Forest Preserves' 2016 Bird the Preserves initiative, a new bird will be highlighted. Visitors will have the opportunity to spot the bird of the month at an event or program, and learn what makes that bird so special. The June Bird of the Month is the great egret.


Whether fishing or fighting, the great egret's razor-sharp bill is an amazing tool:

  • Stalking & spearing: Standing motionless or slowly wading in shallow water, great egrets wait for prey (mainly small fish and amphibians) to swim by. With a swift stab of the bill, they pierce or snap up the oblivious prey - then swallow them whole.
  • Sibling rivalry: Dominant chicks have been known to use their bills to attack weaker siblings in the nest, sometimes resulting in death.
  • Nest defense: Great egrets most often nest in isolated tree-top colonies with other water birds. If a predator manages to make it to a nest, they'll be met with sharp thrusting bills.

To see the June Bird of the Month, check out this event:

Birds at Baker's Lake
Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m.
Baker's Lake, Inverness
Hosted by Crabtree Nature Center

In addition to learning about the featured Bird of the Month and enjoying birding programs and events, birders of all skill levels can explore the preserves with teams competing in the Forest Preserves' Big Year birding competition.

During the Big Year competition, the preserves compete instead of the people. Participants will visit their team's preserve and log all bird sightings in eBird, an online birding checklist program. All are welcome to join these searches and binoculars will be available for loan.

The competition runs from March 1 to Dec. 31, and is a great way to challenge yourself and explore a local preserve, make new friends and experience what birding is all about. To learn more about the Big Year competition, visit

Join a growing movement of nature lovers and bird the preserves this year while enjoying the many amenities offered throughout the Forest Preserves, including miles of marked trails, major waterways that can be canoed or kayaked, dedicated nature preserves and more.

Support for Bird the Preserves was generously provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through Chicago Wilderness. For more information, visit


* Experience Birding In The Cook County Forest Preserves!

* Cook County Bird Of The Month: The Timberdoodle.

* Cook County Bird Of The Month: The Wood Duck!

* Cook County Bird Of The Month: The Baltimore Oriole!




Comments welcome.


Posted on June 8, 2016

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