Birding: All Birds

Compiled by James F. Steffen, Richard Biss and Laurence C. Binford

Enjoy birding at the Garden more when you have a guide: the Birds of Illinois field guide by Stan Tekiela is available in the Garden Shop, with a selection of other birding guides and gifts.

Spring Summer Fall Winter
Bittern, American VU
Bittern, Least CA
Blackbird, Brewer's*** CA CA CA
Blackbird, Red-winged*** VC VC C CA
Blackbird, Rusty VU VU
Blackbird, Yellow-headed CA CA
Bluebird, Eastern*** VU O CA
Bobolink* FC O O
Bufflehead VC VC C
Bunting, Indigo*** FC U U
Bunting, Snow CA U CA
Canvasback U U CA
Cardinal, Northern*** C C C FC
Catbird, Gray*** C FC FC AC
Chat, Yellow-breasted CA
Chickadee, Black-capped*** C C C C
Coot, American C FC CA
Cormorant, Double-crested U VU U
Cowbird, Brown-headed*** C C FC
Crane, Sandhill VU VU
Creeper, Brown FC U CA
Crossbill, Red CA CA
Crossbill, White-winged CA
Crow, American*** VC C VC C
Cuckoo, Black-billed* U O
Cuckoo, Yellow-billed** O O O
Dickcissel CA CA
Dove, Mourning*** VC C C CA
Dove, Rock*** FC U U U
Dowitcher, Short-billed U VU
Duck, American Black U VU U
Duck, Ring-necked VC VC O
Duck, Wood*** C C C CA
Dunlin O
Eagle, Bald CA O CA
Egret, Cattle O
Egret, Great FC U R
Egret, Reddish AC
Egret, Snowy AC AC
Falcon, Peregrine R VU
Finch, House*** C C FC FC
Finch, Purple VU U O
Flicker, Northern*** C FC FC
Flycatcher, Acadian O
Flycatcher, Alder U CA
Flycatcher, Great Crested*** FC U CA
Flycatcher, Least* C CA FC
Flycatcher, Olive-sided VU O
Flycatcher, Scissor-tailed AC
Flycatcher, Vermilion AC
Flycatcher, Willow*** FC FC U
Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied FC VU
Gadwall U C O
Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray*** FC CA
Goldeneye, Barrow's AC
Goldeneye, Common VC C C
Goldfinch, American*** C VC VC C
Goose, Cackling O CA O
Goose, Canada*** AB AB AB AB
Goose, Gr. White-fronted CA AC
Goose, Ross' AC AC
Goose, Snow CA AC O O
Goshawk, Northern CA
Grackle, Common*** AB VC FC CA
Grebe, Eared O CA
Grebe, Horned U CA
Grebe, Pied-billed FC CA FC AC
Grosbeak, Evening CA
Grosbeak, Rose-breasted*** FC VU FC
Gull, Bonapate's U O
Gull, California AC
Gull, Glaucous CA AC
Gull, Herring C R C FC
Gull, Laughing AC
Gull, Lesser Black-backed AC AC
Gull, Little AC
Gull, Ring-billed AB R VC FC
Gull, Thayer's CA
Harrier, Northern VU U CA
Hawk, Broad-winged* FC O VU
Hawk, Cooper's*** U O VU O
Hawk, Red-shouldered O CA CA
Hawk, Red-tailed*** U VU C U
Hawk, Rough-legged R VU
Hawk, Sharp-shinned U U O
Heron, Black-crowned Night*** U CA U CA
Heron, Great Blue FC FC FC CA
Heron, Green-backed** FC FC FC AC
Heron, Little Blue O CA CA
Heron, Yellow-crowned Night AC
Hummingbird, Ruby-throated** VU R U
Jay, Blue*** C C C O
Junco, Dark-eyed VC VC CA
Kestrel, American*** FC U U U
Killdeer*** C C C CA
Kingbird, Eastern*** C FC U
Kingbird, Western AC
Kingfisher, Belted*** FC U U O
Kinglet, Golden-crowned C VC CA
Kinglet, Ruby-crowned C FC
Lark, Horned VU CA
Longspur, Lapland CA O
Longspur, Smith's AC
Loon, Common O CA
Mallard*** VC AB AB VC
Martin, Purple*** VC AB FC
Meadowlark, Eastern*** FC O VU CA
Meadowlark, Western* O CA
Merganser, Common O O
Merganser, Hooded R CA FC CA
Merganser, Red-breasted C C FC
Merlin R VU
Mockingbird, Northern CA
Nighthawk, Common** U VU C
Nuthatch, Red-breasted U FC U
Nuthatch, White-breasted** VU VU VU CA
Oriole, Baltimore*** C C FC
Oriole, Orchard*** U U
Osprey U U
Ovenbird FC U
Owl, Eastern Screech*** CA CA CA CA
Owl, Great Horned*** O CA O CA
Owl, Long-eared AC
Owl, Northern Saw-whet CA AC
Owl, Short-eared O
Parula, Northern U VU
Pelican, American White AC AC
Phalarope, Wilson's CA
Phoebe, Eastern*** FC VU
Pintail, Northern O O CA
Pipit, American U CA
Plover, Lesser Golden CA
Plover, Semipalmated VU CA
Rail, Black AC
Rail, King CA
Rail, Virginia VU
Rail, Yellow AC AC
Redheaded Duck FC O
Redpoll, Common CA O O
Redpoll, Hoary AC
Redstart, American* C U VC
Robin, American*** AB VC AB C
Sandpiper, Baird's CA
Sandpiper, Buff-breasted CA
Sandpiper, Least FC FC CA
Sandpiper, Pectoral O U R
Sandpiper, Semipalmated U VU O
Sandpiper, Solitary FC U VU
Sandpiper, Spotted*** FC FC U
Sandpiper, Stilt CA
Sandpiper, Upland O
Sandpiper, White-rumped O CA
Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied U U CA
Scaup, Greater C FC O
Scaup, Lesser AB CA C FC
Scoter, White-winged CA CA
Shoveler, Northern C FC CA
Shrike, Northern O AC
Siskin, Pine*** U FC FC
Snipe, Common FC FC
Sora U R
Sparrow, American Tree FC VC FC
Sparrow, Chipping*** C C C
Sparrow, Clay-colored CA O
Sparrow, Field FC U CA
Sparrow, Fox C FC
Sparrow, Grasshopper* R CA CA
Sparrow, Harris's CA CA
Sparrow, Henslow's AC
Sparrow, House*** VC VC VC VC
Sparrow, Lark AC
Sparrow, Le Conte's O CA
Sparrow, Lincoln's FC FC
Sparrow, Savannah* C CA FC
Sparrow, Nelson's O
Sparrow, Song*** VC VC C U
Sparrow, Swamp C C CA
Sparrow, Vesper U O
Sparrow, White-crowned C FC
Sparrow, White-throated C VC CA
Starling, European*** VC VC AB C
Swallow, Bank C U O
Swallow, Barn*** C VC C
Swallow, Cave AC
Swallow, Cliff*** FC FC VU
Swallow, N. Rough-winged*** C C CA
Swallow, Tree*** VC FC U
Swan, Mute O CA CA
Swan, Tundra CA CA CA
Swift, Chimney** C FC AB
Tanager, Scarlet*** FC CA
Tanager, Summer CA
Teal, Blue-winged* C O FC
Teal, Green-winged U FC CA
Tern, Black O
Tern, Caspian FC U VU
Tern, Common AC
Tern, Forester's CA CA
Thrasher, Brown*** U O VU
Thrush, Gray-cheecked FC U
Thrush, Hermit FC C CA
Thrush, Swainson's C C
Thrush, Wood*** U U VU
Titmouse, Tufted AC
Towhee, Eastern U VU
Veery* FC CA VU
Vireo, Bell's CA
Vireo, Philadelphia FC FC
Vireo, Red-eyed*** C FC FC
Vireo, Blue-headed U VU
Vireo, Warbling*** FC FC U
Vireo, White-eyed O
Vireo, Yellow-throated* U CA R
Vulture, Turkey VU U
Warbler, Bay-breasted FC FC
Warbler, Black-and-white* FC CA FC
Warbler, Black-throated Blue VU VU
Warbler, Black-throated Green FC FC
Warbler, Blackburnian FC U
Warbler, Blackpoll FC C
Warbler, Blue-winged U VU
Warbler, Cape May FC FC
Warbler, Cerulean O
Warbler, Chestnut-sided C FC
Warbler, Golden-winged U U
Warbler, Hooded O
Warbler, Kentucky O
Warbler, Magnolia C C
Warbler, Nashville C FC
Warbler, Orange-crowned FC VU
Warbler, Palm VC VC
Warbler, Pine VU O AC
Warbler, Prairie O
Warbler, Prothonotary O
Warbler, Tennessee C FC
Warbler, Townsend's AC
Warbler, Worm-eating O
Warbler, Yellow-rumped VC AB CA
Warbler, Yellow-throated CA
Warbler, Yellow*** FC FC VU
Warbler, Canada C U
Warbler, Connecticut VU VU
Waterthrush, Louisiana CA
Warbler, Mourning U VU
Waterthrush, Northern C FC
Warbler, Wilson's C FC
Waxwing, Bohemian AC AC
Waxwing, Cedar*** C C VC C
Whippoorwill O CA
Wigeon, American FC C
Willet CA
Wood-Pewee, Eastern*** FC FC FC
Woodcock, American VU VU
Woodpecker, Downy*** FC FC FC U
Woodpecker, Hairy*** U VU U O
Woodpecker, Pileated CA
Woodpecker, Red-bellied*** U U VU O
Woodpecker, Red-headed*** VU VU VU
Wren, Carolina CA CA CA
Wren, House*** FC FC FC
Wren, Marsh*** R O
Wren, Sedge R O
Wren, Winter U U CA
Yellowlegs, Greater VU VU U
Yellowlegs, Lesser FC U VU
Yellowthroat, Common*** FC FC FC
Swallow, Violet-green AC
Duck, Ruddy C CA C CA
Plover, Black-bellied AC
Solitaire, Townsend's AC
Phoebe, Say's AC
Grosbeak, Blue AC
Nuthatch, Brown-headed AC
Dove, Eurasian Collard AC
Ibis, White-faced AC
Monk Parakeet AC
Gallinule, Common AC
Godwit, Marbled AC
Owl, Barn AC



Regular (expected annually; defined as the average number of individual birds per birding day, week, or month expected by an experienced observer under normal circumstances in the proper habitat at the optimum time of season):

P= Permanent Residents (although wild birds are possible; look for clipped wing)
AB = Abundant (30+ per day)
VC = Very Common (10-30 per day)
C= Common (3-10 per day)
FC = Fairly Common (1-3 per day)
U = Uncommon (2 per week to 1 per day)
VU = Very Uncommon (3 per month to 2 per week)
R = Rare (1-3 per month)

Irregular (absent some years; defined as an average of one record by all observers in the stated number of years):

O = Occasional (1-3 years)
CA = Casual (3-11 years)
AC = Accidental (11+ years)

Designations for winter water birds are based on periods when lakes are mostly icefree.


(***) Confirmed
(**) Probable
(*) Possible
(~)  Captive birds


Spring (March 6 - June 5)
Summer (June 6 - August 15)
Fall (August 16 - November 30)
Winter (December 1 - March 5)