(Courtesy of the Field Museum)

The Chicago organization is joined by chapters in Detroit and Wisconsin in dropping “Audubon” and adopting the more inclusive, collaborative “Alliance.”

A team at the Field Museum processes birds killed in collisions with McCormick Place during a massive migratory wave Oct. 4-5, 2023. (Daryl Coldren / Field Museum)

While the full tally of dead will never be known, wildlife advocates are certain of one thing: The vast majority of bird losses in the past week were preventable.

John James Audubon's illustrations are still revered, but the naturalist's troubling history is being called into question. (Biodiversity Heritage Library)

As a more complete, and complex, portrait has emerged of John James Audubon, birders and ornithologists have struggled to reconcile their missions with the troubling aspects of his legacy: buying and selling slaves, plagiarism and the exploitation of natural resources.  

Orland Grassland, a thousand-acre restored prairie. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

“There are places you walk where you see sky touching the earth, and you can imagine this as the gateway to the Grand Prairie,” site steward Pat Hayes said of Orland Grassland.

Charlotte Pavelka and Doug Reitz on bird monitoring duty, June 2022, at Captain Daniel Wright Woods. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

This simple act of monitoring the presence of breeding birds at specified sites across the Chicago region is how the Bird Conservation Network has, over the course of more than 20 years, methodically amassed a data set that would be the envy of any research institution.

Rush Street has proposed a Rivers Casino as part of the under-construction 78 development on vacant land between the South Loop and Chinatown along the Chicago River. (Provided)

If a casino is coming to the riverfront, publicly accessible open green space should be a priority, as well as considerations for wildlife habitat, environmental advocates say. And the buildings themselves should be held to the highest standards of sustainability and climate resiliency.

More than 30 million migrating birds will pass over Illinois in the coming days. (Dariusz Grosa / Pexels)

With close to 100,000 birds expected to pass over Chicago this weekend, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its partners have issued a “lights out” alert for the city, encouraging building owners and residents to turn off as many lights as possible between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Hundreds of millions of birds are migrating through the U.S. Sept. 3-6. (hollandevens / Pixabay)

Chicago’s bright lights lure birds from their migratory path. With hundreds of thousands of birds passing overhead this weekend, the city needs to dim its glow. 

A piping plover on Waukegan Beach in 2018. (Ethan Ellis / Flickr)

More than 500 names were submitted for the chicks, which hatched in June, and the selected monikers reflect the history and spirit of Chicago.