2017 Illinois Audubon Society Spring Gathering

Registration Information ↓



This year’s Spring Gathering will be held at the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center in St. Charles, IL.

Program and Schedule

Friday, May 19
4:00—9:00 p.m.Registration at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, Silent Auction and Raffle Open***
6:00—7:00 p.m.Barbecue Buffet
7:00 p.m.Program: Kane County Audubon Chimney Swift Tower Project presented by Rich and Marion Miller, Kane County Audubon Society. We will be looking at the results of their award-winning (Illinois Audubon Society Volunteers of the Year) Chimney Swift project. Learn about Chimney Swifts and their conservation needs, the genesis of the tower project and how a community working together made the project a reality.
8:00 p.m.A Look at the Weekend by Bob Andrini, President, Kane County Audubon Society
Saturday, May 20
6:30/7:30 a.m.Field Trips depart from Quality Inn & Suites
5:00 p.m.Social Hour, Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, Silent Auction and Raffle open
6:00 p.m.Banquet, Hickory Knolls Discovery Center
7:00 p.m.Program: Images from 38 Years as a Museum Naturalist by Dave Willard (past curator of the Bird Lab, The Field Museum). In his 38-year association with The Field Museum, Dave Willard traveled to all of the continents for bird research trips and tours. In this presentation, he will share some of his most memorable experiences.
Silent Auction and Raffle will immediately follow program.
Sunday, May 21
7:30 a.m.Morning Field Trips depart from Quality Inn & Suites
11:30 a.m.Lunch at Hickory Knolls Natural Area pavilion. Bird compilation following lunch.

Field Trips

When purchasing your registration to the Spring Gathering, you will be able to choose your first and second choice of the following field trips. Field trips will take place on Saturday, per the schedule above.

TRIP FULL    Swainson’s Hawk Site and Hampshire Forest Preserve

As one of Kane County Forest Preserve’s larger holdings, the property contains plenty of diverse habitat. Historically, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Yellow-throated Vireo have nested in the preserve. As an island of trees and shrubs, surrounded by agriculture, it attracts many migrants. Near Hampshire is Illinois’ only traditional nesting Swainson’s Hawk. The nest has always been on private property but the hawks can be seen from a roadway. Trip is 22 miles from Quality Inn and Suites. Easy to moderate walking on asphalt and mowed trails.

TRIP FULL    Burnidge Forest Preserve and Yellow-headed Blackbird

This major open space has the greatest diversity of habitats in Kane County. With open water ponds, sand dune hills, prairie recreations, pine plantations and more, this preserve offers birders an extensive area to build a large list. Nearby are the settling ponds of the Pingree Grove Treatment Plant where Yellow-headed Blackbirds regularly nest. Trip is 16 miles from Quality Inn and Suites. Easy to moderate walking on packed gravel and mowed trails.

TRIP FULL    Fermi National Lab and Elsen’s Hill/West DuPage Woods Forest Preserve

The Lab was created between West Chicago and Batavia during the early 1970s. Many farms in both Kane and DuPage were purchased and combined to create this 6,800 acre open space. Birding and bird records began almost at the beginning of the Lab. Now a regular hotspot in the area, birding records can be viewed on its web site. DuPage Forest Preserve District’s Elsen’s Hill/West DuPage Woods is a classical migrant trap in the suburban landscape. One of its claims to fame is the presence of a Black-throated Gray Warbler for more than a week. Trip is 8 miles from Quality Inn and Suites. Moderate walking on mowed trails.

James “Pate” Philip State Park and Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve

This is the only state park in Kane County (but we have to share it with DuPage and Cook counties!). Its creation brought a massive area together, protecting a diversity of habitat and the headwaters of drainage to the Fox River. Combined with Pratt’s Wayne Woods, the birding opportunities are endless. Trip is 7 miles from Quality Inn and Suites. Easy to moderate walking on packed gravel and mowed trails.

Hotel Information

Quality Inn and Suites of St. Charles
1600 E Main Street, St. Charles Illinois 60174
$89/room or $105/suite
A block of rooms has been reserved under “Kane County Audubon Society.” Please mention this when making your reservation. The block will expire on April 25, 2017


Membership is not required to attend the Spring Gathering. Download 2017 Spring Registration (.pdf), register by mail and pay by check or register online below:


Friday Barbeque Buffet$7.00Pulled pork sandwiches, salad, sides, desserts and beverage.
Saturday Box Lunch$10.50Choose from ham, turkey or veggie (also select box lunch for Montrose/Field Museum here)

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Saturday Banquet$25.00Barbeque chicken/pork, salad, sides, dessert and beverage

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Sunday Box Lunch$10.50Choose from ham, turkey or veggie

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