Meetings & Programs

General meetings and programs of the Lake County Audubon are held at 7:30pm on the first Monday of the month October through May skipping the month of January.  These meetings / programs are open to the public as well as members and are typically held in the second floor meeting room of the Libertyville Village Hall, located at 118 W. Cook Street, which is just across the street to the north of the Cook Memorial Library.

For our 2017 events and bird walks click here


    2016 – 2017  Program Schedule


October 3.  Local Bat Monitoring and Their Health by Melissa Alderson. Nearly 5.7 million bats have died due to White-nose Syndrome (WNS). Lake County is home to bat species affected by WNS. During this presentation, the Lake County Forest Preserve's acoustic bat monitoring program will be discussed along with results of the surveys, local bat natural history and current WNS information. Survey equipment and educational materials will be shown.

Melissa Alderson has been an environmental educator and volunteer habitat steward for over 14 years. She has a degree in Biology emphasizing animal behavior and ecology from Northern Illinois University and her Master's in Teaching Biological Science from Miami University. She teaches preschool to adult aged programs and enjoys teaching about wildlife and native landscaping topics.


November 7.  Natural History of Owls by Steve Bailey. Steve will describe and discuss each of the eight species of owl which can be found in Illinois. There will be some discussion on their biology, ecology and occurrence in the state, as well as discussion on their roosting habits and habitat, where each can be found, and how any person can go about finding their own owls by looking for some typical signs that owls are around. He will also show program attendees actual owl specimens so that they can view the size, plumage and other body features of each owl. You will also get to hold and study both owl feathers and pellets that will be passed around, as well as hear what each owl sounds like.

Steve Bailey has worked as an ornithologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey for more than 20 years, specializing in breeding birds. He is currently involved with a long-term bird and plant monitoring program, the Critical Trends Assessment Program. This involves conducting breeding bird censuses at 500+ study sites throughout all 102 Illinois counties, on randomly chosen sites on both public and private lands. In addition, he serves an an Associate Editor, Photo Editor, Writer and breeding season field notes compiler for several books, magazines and other scientific journals. He also serves on many other committees.


December 5.  Beyond Listing: Why eBird is Your Best Friend by Matthew Cvetas, President of the Illinois Ornithological Society.  

  • What is eBird?: Where birding, science and conservation meet.

  • What can I do with eBird?: Submit observations, explore data and track list.

  • Yeah that's great and all seriously....what can I REALLY DO with eBIRD?: Learn new stuff, find more birds and use cool apps.

Matthew Cvetas is a training professional with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, who got into birding 10 years ago when a pair of Eastern Bluebirds flew across his path while out for a run in his local park. He's been hooked on birding and bird photography ever since. Matthew is also president of the Illinois Young Birders, a member of Chicago Ornithological Society and a regional data reviewer for eBird.


February 6.  Like No Place on Earth by Ken Klick. 

Lake County’s rich diversity of native plants and animals has excited naturalists for many years; historic descriptions note bison, ruffed grouse and lynx roaming our once expansive prairies and woodlands.  Today there are sightings of mountain lion, bobcat and wolves passing through our suburbanized landscape. Our County’s plant diversity is equally unique and varied, with habitats ranging from glacial relic bogs with rare carnivorous plants, to dry dunes supporting plants typical of the arid Great Plains. These and other diverse habitats truly place Lake County in the crossroads of biological diversity. Ken’s program will explore Lake County’s unique geologic, climatic, and human history which has shaped our biologic diversity of native plants and animals. Special attention will be given to species where volunteer support has assisted the Lake County Forest Preserve District in protecting and expanding habitat so that these species of concern can persist for the future generations.   

Ken Klick is a botanist and naturalist, and has served as a professional restoration ecologist for the Lake County Forest Preserve District for over 22 years. 


March 6.  Birding Lake County by Nan Buckardt.  Over 350 species of birds have been recorded in Lake County. You want to get out there to see them all but have limited time or don’t know for sure where to start.  Learn about locations in Lake County that will maximize your chances of seeing certain groups of birds. Looking for spring waterfowl?  Where should you bird to see neo-tropical migrants?  Are there specialties that you might see? This program is for you!

Nan Buckardt says she has the privilege of having a career that feeds her passion for birds.  As Director of Education for the Lake County Forest Preserves for more than 30 years, she leads a team that brings their environmental message to more than 60,000 people annually.  Nan’s most favorite time is birding with her husband and adult children.  Family vacations are always wrapped around exploring new habitats and looking at birds.


April 3.   Migrating Birds by Doug Stotz.   Nearly all the birds that occur around Chicago are migratory. More than half of the birds regularly migrating through Chicago winter mostly or entirely south of the United States. What happens during the months these spend in the Neotropics? Each migratory species has its own unique migration, wintering distribution and ecological pattern, so this talk will focus on where these migrants winter, what habitats they use and how these migrants interact with those habitats and resident avifauna. The threats to the boreal migrants and the habitats they occupy will be discussed. I'll also consider what species appear to be the most threatened by what is happening on their wintering grounds, and how the different parts of the annual cycle interact in defining the long-term survival of these birds.

Douglas Stotz has been at the Field Museum since 1994 and is a Senior Conservation Ecologist in the Keller Science Action Center. He received his Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Chicago in 1990.  He is a fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union and a member of both the North American and South American Checklist Committees.  He is active in efforts to preserve biodiversity and threatened habitats, both in the Chicago region and in other countries. In Chicago, he focuses on bird migration and the effects of climate change on bird populations and is Climate Change Task Force co-chair for Chicago Wilderness. He also does research in South America. As part of Field Museum’s tropical Rapid Inventory teams, he has participated in 25 inventories in South America and Cuba.  He has authored two books: Birds of Peru, and Neotropical Birds: Ecology and Conservation.

May 1.  Natural History of Odonata: Dragonflies and Damselflies by Marla Garrison. 

The insect order Odonata is an ancient group with ancestors dating back over 300 million years to a time when dragonfly-like creatures with two and a half foot wingspans ruled the air. Today these successful aquatic insects represent a diverse group of carnivores with a complex life cycle. The 100 plus species known from Illinois can be excellent wetland indicators and are truly fascinating to observe. Experience an image intensive, up close and personal presentation of this intriguing, and visually splendid, group of insects. Through macro and micro photography, come explore the captivating world of local dragonfly and damselfly fauna including their anatomy, life history, behaviors and diversity.

Marla Garrison is a biology faculty member at McHenry County College. She sits on the Executive Council of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas and is the author of Damselflies of Chicagoland, a local area field guide available online for free download through Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History by clicking here: . She conducts field studies and surveys in McHenry County and throughout the state of Illinois. 


DuBois, R. 2005. Damselflies of the North Woods. Kollath-Stensaas Publishing, Duluth, Minnesota. 128 pp.

Garrison, M. 2011. Damselflies of Chicagoland: A Photo Field Guide, version 2. 135 pp.

Lam, Ed. 2004. Damselflies of the Northeast. Biodiversity Books, Forest Hill, New York. 96 pp.

Legler K., D. Legler, and D. Westover. 2013. Color Guide to Dragonflies of Wisconsin. Edition 5.1. Karl Legler, Sauk City, Wisconsin (this new version has been expanded to include all WI species of dragonflies; available from

Mead, K. 2009. Dragonflies of the Northwoods. 2nd Edition. Kollath-Stensaas Publishing, Duluth, Minnesota. 193 pp.

Paulson, D. 2012. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.