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Bird migration focus of McHenry County Conservation District fall programs

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 5:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 10:49 a.m. CDT

RINGWOOD – Fall is the best time to watch for migrating birds and the McHenry County Conservation District has several programs lined up to take advantage.

• Migratory Madness: 8 to 10:30 a.m. Sept. 13 or 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 18 at Glacial Park’s Kettle Parking Lot, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Birdwatchers will hike through the park looking for migrating birds and then head to the Lost Valley Visitor Center for refreshments. Attendees, who need to be age 14 or older, should bring binoculars and field guides if they have them. The program is free for county residents and $2 for nonresidents. The deadline to register is Tuesday for the morning outing and Sept. 14 for the evening outing.

• Migratory Hawk Hike: 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 4 at Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Those ages 14 and older will learn about hawks, their fall migration patterns and identification tips. The program begins at the amphitheater with a live raptor presentation and end with a hike through Glacial Park in search of the resident and migratory hawks. Attendees should bring binoculars if they have them. The conservation district will have a limited supply to loan. A separate but simultaneous program is available for kids ages 5 to 11. The program is free for county residents and $6 for nonresidents. The deadline to register is Sept. 30.

• Hawks and their Habitats: 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 4 at Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Kids ages 5 to 11 will learn all about hawks and the places they live in this two-hour program, which will begin at the amphitheater with a live raptor presentation. A hike filled with games will follow. A separate but simultaneous program Migratory Hawk Hike geared for adults also is offered. The program is free for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. The deadline to register is Sept. 30.

• Turkey Talk: 2 to 3 p.m. Nov. 16 at Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, 13315 Pleasant Valley Road, Woodstock. Adults and families will learn about this bird through games and a short exploratory hike during this program. It is free for county residents and $5 for nonresidents. The deadline to register is Nov. 12.

• Backyard Birding: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Nov. 22, at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. This program will focus on how to identify McHenry County’s winter birds and how to attract them. Participants will make a simple bird feeder to take home. The program is open to adults and families. It costs $5 for county residents and $7 for nonresidents. The deadline to register is Nov. 18.

Prior registration is required for all programs and can be completed online at www.MCCDistrict.org, by mail-in and drop-off at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road in Crystal Lake, drop-off only at Lost Valley Visitor Center, Route 31 and Harts Road in Ringwood, or for free programs only, by phone at 815-479-5779.

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