Calendar of Programs and Events


Join us for Wild Writings!
CCAS is proud to present a new initiative that aims to unite and connect people that enjoy nature-related literature. Our new reading group – Wild Writings – will officially kick off on March 15th! Each month, participants will read a short segment of nature-related literature and have an informal meeting (via Zoom) to discuss the reading.

If you’d like to know more about Wild Writings, or if you are interested in joining our reading group, please email our Program Chair, Alida de Flamingh, at

Monthly Meeting and Seminar Schedule

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Celebrate PRIDE with us: Queering Sex Determination
Thursday, May 6th  at 7:00 PM CST

Meeting ID: 871 5735 2520
Password: CCAS
Talk description:
People often incorrectly view sex determination as a simple biological fact, but this conceptualization of sex is oversimplified and inaccurate. In this talk we push back on these narratives by introducing aspects of sex determination and assignment in humans and wildlife with the aim to highlight the methods, variance, and complexity of sex assignment in wildlife. We hope this work can help counter the recent increase in trans- and intersex-exclusive arguments and legislation, often based in oversimplified beliefs about binary sex assignment and gender identity. Through this presentation, we hope that people will expand their understanding of sex determination to be more expansive and more supportive of intersex and transgender identities with the understanding that science should not gatekeep gender identities. We approach this through wildlife ecology, genetics, and the social sciences. Please join us on this exploration of the variety and awesomeness of nature!
Short Bio: Nathan Alexander is a UIUC NRES graduate student who predominantly studies species distributions, landscape genetics, and population genetics, currently working on the plains pocket gopher. While he grew up in Carbondale, IL, he completed his BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Science at Oregon State University and his MS in Wildlife Ecology at Humboldt State University in Northern California. Since moving to Champaign-Urbana in 2017, Nathan has served on the board of a local LGBTQ+ nonprofit and is currently serving on the UIUC’s LGBTRC Advisory Committee. Nathan enjoys knitting, crosswords, and terrible puns, but he promises to limit the puns in the presentation. Follow Nathan on Twitter at @smammal_bio

Illinois Spring Bird Count
May 8, 2021
The Illinois Spring Bird Count was initiated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in 1975. It occurs annually on the Saturday that falls between May 4th and May 10th. The SBC is an annual census conducted in all 102 counties of Illinois! Each county has a compiler responsible for assigning volunteers to a count area within their county.
For Champaign County, please contact Elizabeth Chato – or at (217)344-6803

Spring Bird-a-Thon
May 9th to May 16th 
During the Bird-a-Thon, teams eagerly search for as many bird species they can find within 24hrs! Teams may choose to count during any 24hr period within the count window of May 9th to May 16th. Pledge donations are based on the number of species seen by your selected team, or individuals may pledge a flat amount. How many birds will you find!?
Please participate or choose a team and pledge your support!
For more info, contact Beth Chato by email or at 344-6803.
The Spring Bird-a-Thon is the CCAS’s annual fundraiser for our Kendeigh Grant Fund which offers $1,000 or more in grants to those studying ornithology in Illinois. Since its beginning in 1982, the Charles S. Kendeigh Research Grant project has funded over $30,000 of research on Illinois birds. Many grant recipients have gone on to prestigious careers in the natural history field. With your support, we are able to help fund more grants in Illinois every year!
If you don’t want to participate but still want to contribute to the Champaign County Audubon Society Education Fund, please do so here:


Sunday Morning Bird Walks
Sunday, March 28th – May 30th 2021
Frequency TBD
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM – Meet at the Anita Purves Nature Center parking lot
Busey Woods and Crystal Lake Park

Walks officially last about 1 1/2 hours (though some folks stay later if the birding is good).
On alternate weeks, stay tuned for virtual bird hikes via FB Live!

This Spring We:
1. Require Sign-Ups: Please use this form if you fully intend to participate:

2. Are limiting walks to 10 participants. If you decide you are unable to attend, please remove your name from the sign up so someone else can!
3. Require face masks (do not attend if you feel unwell or were potentially exposed)
4. Strict adherence to social distancing and COVID guidelines
**This year we are obviously encouraging people to do things a little differently with COVID-19, however, fortunately, there are no state-imposed limits right now on outdoor activities – limit in person contact and avoid carpooling with others. Meet up at the birding site and practice social distancing and wear face masks. We also unfortunately have to discourage any post count potlucks or gatherings, particularly indoors. Please be smart and be safe to protect our volunteers. **
The Sunday Morning Bird Walks started in the 1940’s. Birders of all skill levels are welcome!
We begin every week at the Anita Purves Nature Center parking lot and then decide whether to walk into Crystal Lake Park or Busey Woods. These parks play host to 36 species of warblers every spring as well as large numbers of vireos, thrushes, orioles and tanagers.
Bird walks are held on Sunday mornings during the spring and fall migration seasons: March-May & September-October

Recurring Events

Sunday Morning Birdwalks
March-May & Sept-Oct
Sundays, 7:30 – 9 a.m.
Our most popular event! Meet at the Anita Purves Nature Center parking lot, 1505 N. Broadway, Urbana, at 7:30 a.m. Walks in the nearby Busey Woods and Crystal Lake Park officially last about 1 1/2 hours (though some intrepid birders stay later).

Feb-May & Sept-Dec
First Thursday of the month, 7 p.m.
Guest speakers present on a variety of topics throughout the year. Programs are usually located at the Urbana Free Library auditorium (no programs January, June, July, August)

Bird Counts
See Bird Count page.

Board Meetings
Third Monday of the month, 7:00pm
Champaign Public Library – Friends Conference Room
(No meetings June, July, December) 
In 2021, we will be meeting via ZOOM. If you would like details on how to join, please email

For more learning opportunities, please see programs and events offered at two local park districts:
Urbana Park District
Champaign County Forest Preserve District