Chicago-area bird guiding

Red Hill Birding is based in Chicago, where its founder, Josh Engel, grew up birding. We are die-hard fans of our local birding and love to share our local birds with Chicagoans and visitors alike. Whether it's your first time birding, you want to give the gift of birding to a friend or family member, or you just have to see a Connecticut Warbler or Henslow's Sparrow, we are here to help. 


Give the gift of birding

We simply love taking people birding and we like to think it shows. A few hours of birding with an expert makes a unique and wonderful gift. Whether it's for a spouse, children, or a group of friends or family, we will work with you to make sure the details are just right. There's no minimum on the number of participants; we can accommodate individuals or groups no matter the size. 


Day trips for birders

Chicago might not be famous for birding, but it should be! No matter the time of year, there are great birds to be seen, and we want to help you find them. You might be in town on business and have a few hours to get away to a local hotspot, or you might be on vacation and want to spend a day in the field, seeing a side of Chicago that most people don't know exists. We are happy to try to find you target birds--say a Connecticut Warbler in late May or Henslow's Sparrow and Bobolink in early summer--or just head out to see what we can find. It's not unusual to find 20 species of warblers at the right time of year!

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birds and architecture

If Chicago isn't world-renowned for its birding, its famed architecture more than makes up for it, something we Chicagoans are rightfully proud of. We are happy to split the day (or several days) between birding and "building-ing," checking out local birding hotspots in the morning and heading downtown for a personal architecture tour with an expert guide in the afternoon. 


multi-day trips

Chicago is a great starting off point for a variety of multi-day birding trips. For example, you can head to central Michigan to see Kirtland's Warbler and other breeding species, and you could extend that trip to look for boreal birds like Spruce Grouse and Black-backed Woodpecker in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (or to the Lake Erie shore for some of the best migration birding in the world). Or you could stay in Illinois to bird along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, incredibly diverse areas that are excellent for warblers, shorebirds, waterfowl, and more. There are many more possibilities and we'd be thrilled to put together the right trip for you. 


Farnsworth house special

One of the most influential and important residences built in the 20th century, this Mies van der Rohe-designed house is an icon of mid-century architecture, located 55 miles southwest of Chicago. One of its original purposes was to give the feeling of being in nature, resulting in grounds that are excellent for birding. This trip combines birding the grounds and surrounding area with a private tour of this architectural masterpiece. We can run it as a day trip from Chicago (with transportation provided, if necessary), as an overnight trip, or we can meet you there.  


requests for information

As far as we're concerned, the more people who appreciate Chicago for its birding, the better. Even if you don't want to hire a guide, we are happy to help you with information so that you get the most out of your birding time in the Chicago area. Click on the Contact Us link to get in touch. 

Thanks for everything. I really enjoyed the day and learned a lot. Youโ€™re a great guide.
— M.M., Chicago day trip