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County, Audubon, Field Museum, others declare 2016 as year to “Bird the Preserves”

Photo courtesy of the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Photo courtesy of the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Each March the timberdoodle begins a fascinating ritual known as the skydance.

“You can see them take up and do this really cool dance against the setting sun,” said Jim Phillips, fisheries biologist II with Cook County Forest Preserves. “It begins at dusk and how long they go is based on the amount of moonlight. If there’s a full moon, they’ll go all night long.”

The timberdoodle, nickname for the American woodcock, is just one of some 400 species of birds that either live in Illinois or pass through on migration. More than 200 such varieties can be seen and heard in the woodlands and waterways of Cook County Forest Preserves.

To celebrate this diversity and to encourage people to better understand, recognize and appreciate birds, the Forest Preserves, in partnership with many other organizations, including Audubon Chicago Region, Bird Conservation Network and the Field Museum, is declaring 2016 the year to “Bird the Preserves…” Please click here to read Donna Vickroy’s story in the Tribune/Daily Southtown.

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