This past weekend we visited a newly opened preserve in DeKalb County, Illinois called “Prairie Oaks Forest Preserve”.
Immediately we were impressed by the variety of habitat which included some wetlands, large stately oaks, and some restored prairie/savanna.
There is also a fairly large, older forest that is far removed from the road.
The preserve is located in the middle of farm fields so we bet that during migration, the place will be hopping with warblers and more.
We found mostly sparrows: Fox, White-throated, and White-crowned. Plus tons of Dark-eyed Juncos and a hunting Red-tailed Hawk.
We startled a group of around four deer as well.
The entire time we were there we noticed how quiet it was other than natural sounds.
There are many trails that criss-cross which we covered in about an hour. The terrain is easy and nearly flat and the time hiking/birding could be shortened by not doing all the loops.
There are also many picnic tables so you could have a picnic after a good hike.
Overall, we really enjoyed this new preserve and the work they did to restore the habitat. I plan on returning a number of times as it is on my alternative route home from work.
The one drawback is that dogs are not allowed at all at the preserve!