A Hobby for the Birds

For the past 40 years birds have fascinated Joe Suchecki, so much so that he started bird watching on a regular basis.

“It’s just been kind of a long evolution, something just kind of clicked between me and the birds and I started doing it long ago and it’s something I still enjoy doing today,” said Suchecki.

It’s a hobby growing in popularity in the area, because of availability to anyone.

“We’re very fortunate here in DuPage County in that we have great opportunities for birding essentially year round. It’s a great activity whether you’re eight years old or whether you’re eighty years old. A number of preserves have different species that people can enjoy,” said Naturalist at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center, Ron Skleney.

To feed the community’s growing interest the Forest Preserve offers many opportunities to get the most out of bird watching in DuPage County.

“The Forest Preserve has a number of walks that we offer throughout the year. Two in particular are Fullersbird Fridays, that’s Fullers-bird Fridays, they’re held at Fullersburg Woods, there are both spring walks as well as fall walks, and you can find out about those in the Conservationist or online at dupageforest.org and additionally I offer a series of spring bird walks here at Willowbrook Wildlife Center typically focused on spring migration. Another great opportunity, and where residents of Northeastern Illinois are so fortunate is that DuPage Birding Club is one of the most active birding organizations in the entire country. In an average year, they offer over 85 field trips and bird walks, if you will. All of them are free,” said Skleney.

As an active member of the DuPage Birding Club, Sucheki not only gets to enjoy his favorite species of bird, but the relationships he builds as well.

“The grassland birds that we see here are of great interest to me there are a number of grassland birds, maybe 7 or 8 species that live here. Meadowlarks and Bobolinks,Sparrows. Those are my specialty so I spend a lot of time here looking for those. It’s a combination of finding the birds and seeing them but also the camaraderie of sharing interests with friends and others,” said Suchecki.

The best time for birding in our area goes from mid June to early August, so grab your binoculars and get your eyes to the skies.

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