Rockford Bird Club Celebrates 60th Anniversary

The North Central Ilinois Ornithological Society (NCIOS) started in 1947 with just a few people. Since then membership has grown and tonight we celebrated 60 years of the Bird Club.

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Some pictures from the good ‘ole days.

We started the celebration by having a wonderful dinner catered by a fellow birder. Chicken was not on the menu.

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The minutes from the first NCIOS meeting.

Some of the veteran members talked about past experiences and showed slides of the history of the bird club.

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President of NCIOS Ken Frey

Lee Johnson founded Winnebago County’s bird-banding station, Sand Bluff Bird Observatory in 1967. Lee is undeniably Winnebago’s County’s most famous birder and is credited with sparking many a birder’s passion, including Birdfreak’s and Veery’s.

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Lee Johnson – The Birdman of Shirland, Illinois

Fellow birder and neighbor Jack Armstrong spoke of his experiences as a birder and a biology teacher. He mentors many young people and his passion for birding is infectious.

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Jack Armstrong who says “as long as there is a bird you are never alone; birds are everywhere.”

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There was a historical display of the NCIOS from 1947-present

NCIOS meetings are held at Burpee Museum which earned national press with Jane, the female T-Rex that was found in Montana. They also have a nice collection of stuffed birds including an Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

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There are many more birds located elsewhere at Burpee, but these are above the main entrance.

Northern Illinois is a great place to go birding, especially during migration. We’ve seen 30 species of Warblers just in the past two years. Top places are Sugar River and Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserves, Rock Cut State Park, and Nygren Wetlands. For up close looks at some of the warblers that pass through, Sand Bluff Bird Observatory is the best place to go. Banded birds might not count for your lifelist, but it makes future identification a lot easier.

3 thoughts on “Rockford Bird Club Celebrates 60th Anniversary

  1. It’s nice to spend time with so many like-minded people. Much like the blogosphere – it brings together so many good people that care about our environment.

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