The Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area is situated between the Des Plaines and Kankakee Rivers 10 miles south of Joliet and 55 miles southwest of Chicago in Will County. The U.S. government owned the land until 1948, at which time the Ilinois Department of Conservation (now the Illinois Department of Natural Resources) acquired the site.

This state conservation area consists of fields, woods, thickets, marshes and riverine habitat as well as 80 acres of a natural prairie remnant, designated as a state dedicated nature preserve.

Ornithological Summary

Diverse habitat offers nesting and resting spots for myriad bird species. The grassland and thickets attract breeding Orchard Oriole, Bell's Vireo, White-eyed Vireo and Yellow-breasted Chat. Woodlands harbor breeding Tufted Titmouse, American Redstart, Whip-poor-will, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Black-billed Cuckoo. Winter landbirds include Rough-legged Hawk and Eastern Meadowlark.

Plenty of waterbirds and marsh birds visit this state conservation area as well. These include wintering Gadwall, Common Goldeneye, Lesser Scaup and Bufflehead as well as a variety of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds.

This site was chosen as an IBA because it met the criteria for breeding Orchard Oriole.


Illinois Department of Natural Resources c/o site Supervisor Des Plaines Conservation Area 24621 N. River Road Wilmington, IL 60481


The site contains marshes, riverine habitat, shrublands and thickets and is situated between the DesPlaines and Kanakee Rivers.

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