Important Bird Areas

Kane/McHenry County Swainson's Hawk Habitat

Illinois

Located in Kane and McHenry Counties, this unique area supports a mixture of row crop, small grain, turf grass, forage crop production and pastures interspersed with small farm, rural subdivisions and small communities and light industry.

Interspersed among these farms and subdivisions are scattered oak trees and other native plants.

The area's population is rapidly growing, as is traffic on all roads. Major new developments are proposed or in construction phase.

Ornithological Summary

This region of Kane and McHenry counties supports the only breeding population of Swainson's Hawk in the state and the only population east of the Mississippi River. Approximately five pairs of Swainson's Hawks have returned each spring to breed since the population was discovered in early 1970s. This area also supports a variety of early successional, savanna and grassland species such as Bobolink and Orchard Oriole. Three sod farms support small numbers of migrating shorebirds annually including Killdeer (1,000+), a few hundred American Golden-Plover and 15-20 Buff-breasted Sandpiper.

This site was chosen as an IBA because it met the criteria for breeding Swainson's Hawk.

Habitat

Rapidly residential and commercial development interspersed with oaks, reminiscent of savanna-like habitat.

×