With the tagline “Come for the flowers, stay for the birds”, you can infer that the Chicago Botanic Garden is a birder’s paradise. It is located in Glencoe, in the northern suburbs, about a 30-minute drive from downtown Chicago. It opened its gates more than 45 years ago. Birders from all around the Chicagoland area come to the 27 gardens and four natural areas covering around 385 acres. 255 bird species including Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Common Nighthawk, and 9,000+ plants thrive in the Chicago Botanic Garden.
The origins of the garden stem from the Chicago Horticultural Society founded in 1890. It is best known for its manicured grounds and diverse plant offerings. Don’t forget your binoculars! Even novice birders can join in on the fun with their daily guided birding tours. Birds are somewhat easy to spot since the gardens are well kept and there isn’t a lot of overgrowth. Summer is the best time to visit, not only for the nice weather, but you will be able to see the bird’s patterns and learn their field marks. The mornings are the best time to hear the birds’ songs and see them active. The colder seasons are less active since most birds are already in migration. With Lake Michigan being central on the Mississippi Flyway, approximately 7 million birds pass through the city in spring.
Owen has visited Chicago Botanic Garden numerous times since it is close to his home in Chicago. He has photographed the Mourning Dove, Pine Siskin, Killdeer, and others on various occasions since 2001.