Birding Winnebago County

Ferguson Forest Preserve

Location Information

The Sugar River on the south side of the preserve borders 525 acres of old agricultural fields that have been returned to marsh and prairie plantings. A trail on top of an old leveeborders the river and affords views over the marshland.
Ferguson Forest Preserve
8602 W Winslow Rd
Durand, Illinois

Species & Habitat

Signature bird & wildlife: Bald Eagles, Pileated Woodpeckers, Barred Owls and Prothonotary Warblers all nest here. Mink, Muskrat, Beaver and River Otters use the river and marshes. Short-eared Owls can sometimes be seen hunting over the marshes from late fall through early spring. Many migratory waterbirds including Trumpeter and Tundra Swans, American White Pelicans, ducks and shorebirds stop off in the marsh pools. Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers and Rough-legged Hawk hunt here. Migrant songbirds are abundant in spring and fall.
Rare bird & wildlife: Blue Winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Great Blue Heron, and Green Heron.
Habitats: Flood Plain Forested, Wetlands, and Restored Prairie.

Site Access Information

Admission Charges: None
Hours of operation: Sunrise to one half hour after sunset.
Seasonality of site: Preserve properties open to public for year round use - some roads or gates not accessable or open in winter months for vehicle travel.
Site Restrictions: There is room to park on Harrison Road just north of the metal bridge over the Sugar River by the cable gate at the levee, and the other parking area on Winslow Road will be more developed shortly. An outhouse is available just to the south on Harrison Road at the Two Rivers Forest Preserve.Other site restrictions may apply, as per the Forest Preserves General Use Ordinance and Regulations (see District Web Site)

Site Assessment Information

Amenities: parking areas
Other: Mowed hiking trails


Directions: 8602 west Winslow Road, Shirland, IL 61079

Driving Directions