McGinnis Slough, part of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, is in Palos Park, Illinois, a south Chicago suburb. McGinnis is part of the 14,000-acre Palos Preserves complex of woods, sloughs and lakes carved thousands of years ago by the advance and retreat of glaciers.
These preserves are interspersed with highways and residential and business subdivisions.

The slough is more of a lake, created by humans, with surrounding shoreline and shrubby edges. Migratory ducks and shorebirds as well as some breeding wetland species including herons use the slough and its environs.

Ornithological Summary

McGinnis Slough attracts migratory waterfowl and shorebirds as well as post-breeding waders. In fall, hundreds of ducks, cormorants, herons and egrets use the lake and its edges for feeding and loafing. One fall day, 3,000 American Coots, 300 Ruddy Ducks, 100 Buffleheads and 350 Double-crested Cormorants rested on the lake.

In late summer, small numbers of immature Little Blue Herons congregate at the water's edge, along with greater numbers of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons, sometimes in the hundreds.

Confirmed breeders at the slough include Common Moorhen, Pied-billed Grebe and Yellow-breasted Chat.

This site was chosen as an IBA because it met the criteria for breeding Black-crowned Night-heron.


McGinnis Slough is a 315-acre lake surrounded by shoreline and shrubby edges.

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