Snowy owls like to perch on fence posts and telephone poles. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The snowy owl and the long-eared owl elicit the sort of reaction usually reserved for rock stars, including the intrusion of cameras into their personal space. Recent incidents involving aggressive photographers have reignited a debate over whether owls' locations should be shared publicly.

Some assembly required. Chicago's first Motus tower, during installation at Big Marsh Park. (Edward Warden / Chicago Ornithological Society)

The radio antenna, positioned at Big Marsh Park on the Southeast Side, helps fill a Chicago-sized gap in a growing network of receivers that's tracking the movement of migratory birds and other animals.   

(Tina Nord / Pexels)

What It Is. Why It Matters. How To Take Part.

One of the country’s longest-running community science projects is about to get underway. We’ve got all the details on Audubon Society’s 122nd annual Christmas Bird Count, including how to join the effort. 

The wrong-way small-billed elaenia, photographed Nov. 28, 2021, in Waukegan. (Courtesy of Geoffrey Williamson)

The sighting of a small-billed elaenia over the Thanksgiving holiday had bird lovers flocking to Waukegan from far and wide to catch a glimpse of this South American flycatcher, thousands of miles off course.

Vivid blue-green plumage and an unmistakable bright red bill are hallmarks of the male broad-billed hummingbird. (Courtesy of Nathan Goldberg)

Chicago birdwatchers were treated to a rare glimpse of a wayward hummingbird at LaBagh Wood, far beyond its normal range of the U.S.-Mexico border.

An American woodcock, aka, timberdoodle. (Flickr / USFWS Midwest Region)

The Chicago Ornithological Society has resumed small group bird hikes. Masks are a must, as is social distancing. 

Warblers are among the birds people can expect to see at Big Marsh. (Skeeze / Pixabay)

The all-day event Saturday will take advantage of a sweet spot in the migratory timeline, with organizers expecting to record outgoing and incoming species.

Yellow warblers are among the birds that have been banded for future identification at a new Chicago station. (Silver Leapers / Flickr)

North America has lost nearly 3 billion birds in the last 50 years. A new bird banding station at Big Marsh Park is part of a massive effort to figure out ways to help our feathered friends. 

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.

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

The three chicks hatched in mid-June and now local birding organizations have created a contest to give them names. Submissions are open through Wednesday.