Laona Heights Sugar River Colored Sands Sugar River Two Rivers Ferguson Hartley Memorial Trask Bridge Four Lakes Pecatonica River Pecatonica Wetlands Crooked River Grove Creek Seward Bluffs Klehm Forest Preserve Severson Dells Fuller Memorial Cedar Cliff Indian Hill Hinchliff Memorial Kilbuck Bluffs Trailside Kishwaukee Gorge South Kishwaukee Gorge North Rockford Rotary Kishwaukee River Oak Ridge Blackhawk Springs Deer Run Espenscheid Memorial McKiski County Line Kieselburg Roland Olson Stone Bridge Clayton Andrews Ledges Hononegah J. Norman Jensen Millrace Isle Macktown Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Headquarters

Marsh Birds

In general, birds that rely on marsh/wetland habitat have declined drastically in Illinois in the last thirty years due to habitat destruction. An Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) study of 12 wetland bird species reveals that ten have shown declines since the study began in 1980. The study found especially precipitous declines in populations of the common moorhen, American Coot, Black Tern, Blue-winged Teal, Sora, and Yellow-headed Blackbird. Only two species are actually thriving: the Mute Swan and Sandhill Crane, The study is the first to document, over such a long period, the significant decline of many wetland birds in the region.

Thanks to four healthy rivers, and protected wetlands along their corridors, Winnebago County supports numerous cranes, egrets, sand pipers, plovers and herons. Sandhill Cranes have been documented nesting in Pecatonica Wetlands and County Line Forest Preserves, and the threatened Yellow-crowned Night Heron has been documented at Sugar River and Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserves. Other rare species that take refuge in forest preserve marshes and wetlands include: Sora, Black-crowned Night Heron, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Great Egret, Pied-billed Grebe. Common wetland bird species in Winnebago County include: Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Virginia Rail, Black-bellied Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Blue-winged Teal and the Sedge Wren.