Welcome to NCIOS!

The Rockford Bird Club

The NCIOS website was created to help connect area birders with each other to increase the enjoyment of birding in Northern Illinois. Here you will find information about area birding events, recent bird sightings, facts about area birds, and ways to improve your birding skills. Read about the history of the club.

View our calendar of events, with details of meetings and field trips.

Update on Christmas Bird Counts: The National Audubon Society has waived the $5.00 fee normally collected for Christmas Bird Count participation. Donations are still welcome to reduce their management costs. From Audubon: “…to minimize the effects of the loss of fee income, American Birds will no longer be printed on paper and mailed to participants, and Audubon will move to an online delivery of the summary results of the CBC.”

Calendars For Sale!!

NCIOS is offering bird calendars for sale. The calendars are filled with gorgeous bird photos and make wonderful gifts. The proceeds help support the promotion of local habitat restoration and bird education. Calendars can be purchased at:

The price is $5.00

New Winnebago County Checklist

The Winnebago County Field Checklist has been updated! You can download a copy (*updated April 2013) and print it out for your next birding trip! [PDF – 295 KB]

NCIOS meets at 7:00PM on the second Thursday of the month, except in June and September when the club meets at 6:00PM in area forest preserves and parks. NCIOS does not meet in July, August, or December. December is when the club participates in area Christmas Bird Counts.

Check out various live feeds of nesting birds including Eagles, Owls, and Falcons.

Meetings feature educational programs about birds, birding equipment, places and times to watch birds, recent area bird sightings, bird identification tips, members’ birding trips, etc. NCIOS offers monthly bird watching field trips to local sites of interest, as well as opportunities to participate in trips to out of state sites and annual Christmas, Spring, and Sandhill Crane bird counts. Visitors are always welcome and car pooling is available for field trips. Classes for beginning birders are offered from time to time. Birders are perhaps the friendliest groups of people, so come join us and find out why birding is such a fun activity.

Perhaps the best way to increase the joy of birding is by becoming a member. The cost is $10.00 a year; a low price for getting to learn from some of the top birders of the midwest. If you are already a member, check out the blog to post about recent sightings and help other birders out.

7 thoughts on “Welcome to NCIOS!”

  1. So impressed with Bracelets for Birds. Thanks to Audubon for
    for the showing .
    Lee Johnson’s dream for the area @ Sand Bluff came to fruition
    and MORE.

  2. My wife and I moved to Loves Park a few weeks ago and I am interested in joining NCIOS at the recommendation of Dan Williams.
    Prior to moving here I actively birded in central Illinois and was a member of the Peoria Audubon Society.

    While Dan told me a few things about the group I would like to know more on how to become involved with the organization.

    I live only one mile from Rock Cut State Park.


    John Mori

  3. I have an Idigo Blue Bunting in my feeder every morning. The first one I have ever seen. Are they common in Rockford?

  4. Hi Roxanne,.

    Yes, Indigo Buntings are common in this area. Their range goes from western Nebraska and Kansas to the Atlantic Ocean and from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

    Congrats on a nice feeder bird!

    Dan Williams

  5. Cannot believe a backyard bird today(northeast Rockford) . At edge of my woods was an Audubon oriole. They belong in Texas. Double the size of a goldfinch,an all black head, and a back entirely yellow. He(she) stayed afew minutes but left before I could get to my camera.

  6. Dear mr. Bach,

    Apologies for the long delay in responding to your post. I was unaware that it was in the general mailbox. I am not the site administrator and do not check the site very often.

    I am very sorry that you did not get a photo of the oriole at your feeder because, if it confirmed an Audubon’s Oriole, it would be the very first record of the occurrence of that species in the ornithological history of Illinois, so a photograph is especially necessary.

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. If you see a bird that you believe to be a rare one for this area, please post it here anyway. If my email appears in this response to you, please feel free to send me an email. Or, you can check the listserve IBET (Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts) and send an email to one of the folks who post there.

    Good Birding!

    Dan Williams

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