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Montrose Point Ranked Top Birding Spot In State

By Justin Breen | January 30, 2017 6:13am | Updated on February 7, 2017 11:43am

A snowy owl at Montrose Point. [Twitter/Jreich]

CHICAGO — What's the top birding spot in Illinois?

It's right in Chicago, according to bird experts.

Dozens of birders in the Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts voted in a survey organized by Oliver Burrus, who said almost half picked Montrose as the top birding spot. Other Chicago spots in the top 10 include Jackson Park (sixth) and Lake Calumet (seventh).

Montrose Point is Chicago's most diverse bird area with 329 bird species documented.

"Montrose Point is great for birds because it sticks out in Lake Michigan and traps migrants there and it is the perfect habitat for migrants," Burrus said.

The full list:

1. Montrose Point

2. Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge and Emiquon Preserve

3. Illinois Beach State Park

4. Carlyle Lake

5. Hennepin-Hopper Lakes

6. Jackson Park

7. Fermilab (tie)

7. Palos (tie)

7. Lake Calumet (tie)

7. Waukegan (tie)

11. Mississippi Palisades State Park

12. The Fox River


Whimbrel, aka, Hudsonian Curlew, Montrose Beach in Chicago, late September 2015. #whimbrel #montrosebirdsanctuary #scolopacidae

A photo posted by Robert D. Hughes (@robertdhughes63) on


#redwingedblackbird #montrosebirdsanctuary #lovechicago #serenityspotinchicago @best.of.chicago

A photo posted by Life Through My Lens (@cdmorrisey) on