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Cook County Bird Of The Month: The Osprey!

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 July Bird of the Month is the osprey.


Osprey have a good grip on things. A diet of almost exclusively live fish means manipulating slippery prey on the fly:

  • Flexible toes: When plunging talons first into the water, osprey can reverse their outertoe to strike with two toes in the front and two in the back - a tougher grip to escape.
  • Sharp feet: The barbed pads that line the soles of the bird's feet add extra gripping ability.
  • Aerodynamic approach: After a catch, osprey point fish forward to reduce wind resistance.

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

The Return of Osprey to Cook County
Thursday, July 7, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Saganashkee Slough East, Willow Springs

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


Inside A Cook County Osprey Nest.


* 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!

* Cook County Bird Of The Month: The Great Egret!




Comments welcome.


Posted on July 4, 2016

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