The volunteers of the Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Chicago's Lincoln Park are dedicated to maintaining, improving and creating a nature area on Chicago's lakefront. We hope to enhance this Sanctuary so that it can be home to many native species of plants and animals that would otherwise be missing from this urban environment. We also want to provide essential habitat for migrating birds to rest and feed in during their journeys. We look to diverse natural areas for our inspiration, and try to bring some of that diversity to this microcosm of nature in Chicago.

Lake View Citizens Council logoThis project is sponsored by the Lake View Citizens Council in cooperation with the Chicago Park District. 

Great last Saturday of March work day

Lots of willing volunteers, regulars and a gaggle of folk from Loyola alike, led to a very productive work day.

Check out photos of how much brush we hauled out for pickup and chipping.

Annual Jarvis Shed Fall Cleanup Rocks!

On Saturday, November 22 a dozen intrepid volunteers spent the day cleaning and reorganizing the Jarvis Nature shed, The weather gods were kind, sparing us rainy or frigid conditions and all, Jarvis regulars and energetic Loyola students alike, pitched in to refurbish the shed so it's ready for next year's work. Click on the attachments below to check out photos of the effort and your fellow volunteers.

Thanks to all who helped out.  Stop by for our next work day, December 13, to see the transformation for yourself.

Transplanting Kentucky Coffee Trees

Click on the 'Trees 01' image section to see two of the four young Kentucky Coffee trees transplanted by Terry and his team of dedicated volunteers on Saturday, October 25, 2014. Look for them between the two paths outside the East side of the sanctuary fence. And be sure to check their progress towards adulthood next spring.

Mass planting at April 26th workday; additional workdays on Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th.

We are having nearly 12,000 plants delivered early Saturday morning which we will plant in the shadier areas of Barry Burton's Grove (just north of the main Sanctuary). The species to be planted include:

Field trip?

Update: 25 May 2013 Well, not quite enough interest for May 26 or 27. Many people out of town, or otherwise busy. Maybe we'll try for Warren Woods next spring. A much less ambitious trip, which perhaps we can do soon, would be to visit a few of our local fens. 3 are less that 50 miles from Jarvis, and are within 20 miles of each other. Maybe late June or early July?

Tree planting beginning May 12th; field trip postponed

First, the field trip planned for May 6th was postponed. Perhaps we can try again on May 20th to get to Warren Woods and Sarrett Nature Center.

Next, our schedule has changed again, this time because of plant availability. We thought the trees and shrubs weren't going to be available until June and July, but it turns out the forbs aren't going to be available until June, and the trees are ready now, so that means we get to start planting trees first. Actually, that makes sense for our planting plans; we were going to hold off on planting the understory in the areas where we're putting the trees until late June or July; now we can do that sooner.

Field trip, plant inventory days, and seeds for April 14th

Three separate items:

First, how about a field trip Sunday May 6th? I'm not certain with the our unusual weather that we'll catch all the ephemerals that should normally be blooming this time of year, but it will undoubtedly be interesting in any case. Our destination will be Berrien county in southeast Michigan. Specifically, a site along the lakefront, and also Warren Woods, which is inland.


Phil King has been birding at Jarvis for 12 years. Here are all his sightings: R=rare
HERONS, ETC. Great Blue, Green, Black-Crowned Night, Bittern.
GULLS. Ring-Billed, Herring.
DUCKS. Mallard, Wood, Gadwall, Blue-Winged Teal.
SHOREBIRDS. Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Woodcock.
RAILS, ETC. Virginia, Sora.
RAPTORS. Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-Shinned Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawk, Kestrel.
OWLS. Great-Horned, Long-Eared.

Heavy work may be coming to Jarvis

We may be seeing some heavy equipment working inside the fenced area at the Sanctuary soon. I met with 2 of the District's plumbers today, to discuss fixing some of the "lawn hydrants" inside, so that we'll have a source of water for the trees that we'll be planting this summer in the northeast corner. It turns out that to either install new ones, or maybe to repair existing ones, they'll need to do some excavation with heavy equipment. And they'll also need to have the areas accessible for this equipment.

Warm winter speeds up spring for some plants

I'm just jotting a brief note to mention some unusual sightings made by myself and others recently. Aside from the fact that people have been seeing a Cooper's hawk this winter, there's also been a peregrine falcon around, both of which have been more than a bit disturbed by the presence of a great horned owl. Along with the crows, they've been pretty vocal about it. So keep your eyes and ears open for them if you visit Jarvis this winter.

At our workday last Saturday (Jan 28th) we noticed that snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) were up already and in bud, and scilla AKA Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) leaves were also appearing. Both of these species are common ornamentals and very early bloomers, but are really "pretty weeds" in a natural area like the Sanctuary. What is unusual is that this is at least a month before we usually see them appear.

I didn't think about it at the time, because we were mostly working in a different area, but there is one native plant that isn't far behind these two in making it's first appearance each spring and that's skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus).

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