Warblers and raptors are like passing ships these days, one on the way out of town, the other on the way in.
To take advantage of this sweet spot in the migratory timeline, when outgoing species mingle with incoming, the Chicago Park District and Chicago Ornithological Society (COS) have organized a "Big Sit" at Big Marsh Park on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Described by some as "tailgating for birders," a Big Sit involves hanging out within a designated "count circle" and patiently waiting for birds to appear. No experience is necessary to take part, and sanitized binoculars will be available.
Swing by for an hour or plant yourself at Big Marsh for the entire day, as the event is designed for people to come and go. COS advises people to bring a chair and to dress in warm layers — the stationary nature of a Big Sit can make for chilly birding.
Big Marsh Park is located at 11559 S. Stony Island Ave. Click here for additional information.
In addition to the Big Sit, there are a couple of other birding events happening this weekend:
Saturday: The organizations Environmentalists of Color, Equiticity and Organic Oneness are partnering on "Bikes, Birds and Environmental Justice," from 9 a.m. to noon. The event, designed to build Black and Brown solidarity, will kick off with an hour of birding activities at Douglas(s) Park, with an emphasis on the themes of migration and liberation, and will be followed by an eight-mile bike tour through North Lawndale and Little Village.
The ride will stop at sites that "demonstrate a path towards healing and justice," according to organizers. These include the African Heritage Garden in North Lawndale and the Semillas de Justicia (Seeds of Justice) garden and Hilco sites in Little Village. For more information or to register for the free event, click here.
Sunday: Join a bird walk at Humboldt Park, 7:30-9:30 a.m., starting out from the park's fieldhouse. Expect to see migrating sparrows and warblers and plenty of ducks and waders in this urban oasis. Beginners are welcome and organizers will have spare binoculars on hand. Advance RSVP is required; there will be no day-of in-person signup. Click here for more information or to register.