Top eBird Hotspots

Songbirds & Shorebirds

Solo Tours Accepted

Explore Top eBird Hotspots in Chicago with an Expert Guide

Join us on this exclusive tour of Chicago’s amazing park system. Depending on your location, Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary and Jackson Park, two of Illinois’ top 10 eBird hotspots, are great starting points along the lakefront. With diverse habitats attracting an impressive array of bird species, this private tour will immerse you in the beauty of the feathered residents and migrating visitors. Be sure to get your binoculars and cameras ready to spot shorebirds exploring the beaches, terns soaring over the lake, and a vibrant mix of songbirds flitting through forests and grasslands.

From Brown Creepers and Winter Wrens to Clay-colored Sparrows and Black-throated Blue Warblers, any chosen day promises its own unique and captivating discoveries. As your guide, I’ll be there to help you spot and identify birds while also sharing intriguing natural history tidbits.

On this private tour, you will have a certain amount of autonomy, so please let me know if you have a particular target species in mind. I recommend we start the tour around sunrise, but you can select whatever meeting time works best for your schedule. We’ll find great birds regardless of when we are there! You also have the option to extend the tour if you wish for an extra fee.

Tour Highlights

Enjoy birding at Chicago’s prime locations and a haven for migrating birds

Borrow equipment if you need to, you can use our Celestron binoculars and Celestron Regal M2 80ED spotting scope to take your birding experience to the next level

Get your cameras ready to take beautiful shots of birds on the southwestern edge of Lake Michigan!

Witness how these vital pit stops serve for rest and nourishment before the birds continue on their incredible journeys

Discover unique and exciting birding opportunities on any given day in Chicago

Tailor your tour to suit your target list, photography goals, or natural history curiosities

Click the tabs below to find out more...

Trip Details

Trip Details



Meeting point

Choose one: Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary (north side) unless Jackson Park (south side) is requested.

Inquire about the potential of birding at a different location if you have interest.


  • Mid-March through May
  • Mid-August through November


Approximately 4 hours. The tour can be extended to a longer day and include other destinations for an additional $100.

Group size

1 to 8. Ideally, 5 or fewer


  • Binoculars if needed
  • Use of spotting scope
  • Transportation for 5 or fewer if requested

Not included

Snacks and drinks, so be sure to bring what you might need.

What to bring

  • Water bottle
  • Appropriate clothing for the season
  • Jacket
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Your own binoculars or scope
  • Phone/camera

About your guide

David Rupp, owner of IndiGo Birding, will lead this trip. David has over 25 years of birding experience and loves to share his joy for birding.

What to Expect

Typically we start this exclusive tour around sunrise to take advantage of the best birding opportunities possible in the area. We’ll be spending the majority of the time at the park where we meet, walking nice trails at a slow pace, tracking flocks of birds for great views and taking advantage of the various amazing photo opportunities. If time allows, we will drive to other nearby hotspots (like Lincoln Park or Burnham Park) that offer different habitats and potentially new birds for us to spot.

Private Tour Logistics

IndiGo Birding offers customized tours, designed specifically for you and your group. Please find below exactly what’s involved when you sign up for such a tour:

The cost for each personalized tour is calculated per tour, not per person. The cost of a tour ranges from $250 to $400, depending on the length and location of the tour. The cost does not change if you are by yourself or if you have a group of five. Most of the tours have a suggested length so that you know the approximate cost as you consider booking a tour. Payments are due on the day of the tour (cash or check preferred, credit cards accepted). The cost for large group tours is calculated on an individual basis.

Depending on the length of the tour, meals can be planned for the tour group. We can stop at a convenient restaurant to eat or we can pack our own lunches. You are encouraged to bring any snacks or drinks that you might need.

Celestron is the official sponsor of IndiGo Birding Nature Tours! Several models of Celestron binoculars and a Celestron Regal M2 80ED spotting scope will be available for your use. Using great optics can truly change your birding experience!

In case of inclement weather, a tour can be rescheduled if a suitable date and time can be found for both parties. If that is not possible, then the tour will be canceled at no charge.


I provide transportation for groups of 5 or fewer, which is the number my Honda Pilot can seat comfortably. I can either meet you at the destination or possibly pick you up along the way. I will gladly customize the logistics for each tour.

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