Shawnee National Forest: Birding & Ecology in Southern Illinois
Join naturalists in Shawnee National Forest for lessons on birding and ecology as you explore its varied ecosystems, search for herons, raptors, tanagers and more.
Rating (4.88)
Program No. 22300RJ
5 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Experience the best birding in Illinois as you search for herons, woodpeckers and more in Shawnee National Forest! Along the way, learn about the region’s wildflowers, mammal life and general ecology with naturalists who lead informative walks along the park’s cypress swamps and sandstone bluffs. Search for species according to season, with springtime focusing on neo-tropical warblers, butterflies and wildflowers. Autumn presents opportunities to learn about waterfowl, woodpeckers and raptor rehabilitation. Beginner birders learn the techniques for spotting their favorite species, while advanced birders enjoy opportunities to explore on their own.
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
Hiking up to three miles a day over varied terrain.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore the diverse habitats that support the unique plants and wildlife of this region.
  • Spot tanagers, warblers and woodpeckers among the cypress trees of the primordial bayou of Southern Illinois, designated a “Wetland of International Importance.”
  • Enjoy a sunset pontoon ride along one of Illinois' most scenic lakes with 27 miles of undisturbed shoreline.

General Notes

All Road Scholar birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1 in the field. We adhere to the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics. Learn more at http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html
Featured Expert
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Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer received his bachelor’s in outdoor recreation from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is the co-founder of the Land for Learning Institute, is a Wilderness First Responder, and facilitator for Project Wild and Leave No Trace. Alan has over 15 years experience leading canoe expeditions on rivers, lakes and swamps and is also a lead instructor for birding excursions.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Curt Carter
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Alan Shearer
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Suggested Reading List
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