Spring Has Begun in Crow Island Woods

  • Scilla (Siberian Squill) in late March

Greetings from Crow Island Woods!

Tired of being locked down in the house with your family? Come enjoy a walk in Crow Island Woods! Even in this time of social distancing, there is plenty of space out here for everyone to enjoy.

This time of year, the woods are breaking dormancy from a cold winter, stirring and singing as the first birds begin returning north from their winter refuge in warmer southern temperatures in late March. Frogs can be heard calling and other wildlife are busy making nests and seeing what’s new. The rainy days soften the ground and encourage the May flowers to begin their 2020.

Critters and people alike are walking through the woods observing the changes from last year. One big change is the progress that has been made on the Winnetka Park District (WPD) Crow Island Woods Stewardship Plan over the winter. The middle of the woods has been cleared of non-native brush, providing more suitable habitat for Illinois plants and wildlife. The WPD will be planting native trees this spring and summer which will support cardinals, blue jays, red-tailed hawks, squirrels, chipmunks, and countless other forest friends.

In mid-May, Friends of Crow Island Woods and WPD plan to host a “garlic mustard pull” where volunteers will enjoy time outside together (even if we have to do it six feet apart) restoring health to Crow Island by pulling one of the most invasive and ecosystem-destroying weeds in our area. Stay tuned for more information about this event!

About Friends of Crow Island Woods

Friends of Crow Island Woods is committed to protecting, maintaining, and sharing this jewel of the Winnetka Park District by:

  • enabling more people to enjoy the Crow Island Woods through events, educational materials and programs
  • helping the WPD pursue their five-phase stewardship plan, maintaining the trails, planting and caring for new trees, sowing wildflower seeds, and removing invasive species
  • raising money to help accomplish these goals.

If you’re interested in any of these things, please join our mailing list.


  • Juvenile Great Horned Owls

Many birds live in and around Crow Island Woods, or stop here during migration season to recharge during their long journeys.  Our birds range from the very large (Adult Great Horned Owls are often over two feet tall) to very small (Ruby-throated Hummingbirds weigh somewhere between a nickel and a quarter).  Some are relatively drab, but others are the brightest blue (Indigo Bunting), iridescent green (Hummingbird), or bright orange (Baltimore Oriole)!

Many birds migrate, so you’ll see different birds every time you come to Crow Island Woods.  Here’s a list of birds you might see during Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.