NPR Highlights Bird Watching in Park Forest


A Cooper’s Hawk is photographed not far from the Central Park Wetlands, an area where the bird has frequented recently. (Photo: Beth Brecher)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Thorn Creek Nature Center and Preserve in Park Forest was recently featured on Chicago Public Radio with a five-minute narrative on the annual Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) that recently took place.

Now in its 108th year, the CBC is a three-week observational study by volunteers to collect census information on bird sightings. During the count, participants around the country take to the fields to count different bird species sighted in their areas.

This year, observations were conducted from December 14th to January 5th and although unfavorable conditions during the count are expected to negatively impact results in some areas, local watchers in Park Forest did not let a little chill hold them back from taking part in the study.

34 people participated in the study at Thorn Creek Nature Center and Preserve with 59 different bird species identified.  Of the reported sightings included Cooper’s Hawks, Ring-necked Pheasants, Great Horned Owls and White throated Sparrows. 

Listen to the Chicago Public Radio feature here.

Results reported from Thorn Creek Nature Center and Preserve during the Bird Count can be found here.

Thorn Creek Nature Center is housed in an historic building built in 1862.  A gothic frame country church, its notable architectural features include curved ceiling, tongue-and-groove paneling and a raised pulpit. Its current attractions are displays of the preserve’s flora and fauna, a bird feeder viewing area, Eugene E. Schwartz reference library and an expanded children’s section.

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve is comprised of 1200 acres of oak-hickory woodland, dotted with vernal ponds and dissected by Thorn Creek and its tributary streams. Over 3 1/2 miles of trails meander through woodland, floodplain forest, scenic ravines and pine plantations. The trail leads past a vernal pond to marshy Owl Lake and on to a wetland overlook. The preserve also shelters an historic farm, the Hornicek Farm, old-field habitat and restored prairie.

The 1200 acre nature preserve and nature center is managed through a unique inter-governmental agreement between the Villages of Park Forest and University Park , the Forest Preserve District of Will County and the Friends of Thorn Creek.

Thorn Creek Nature Center and Preserve is located at 247 Monee Road. For more information on events, please visit the Recreation & Parks areas of the Village website at: www.villageofparkforest.com or call 708-747-6320.