There are many bird clubs, Audubon societies, and other groups in the Chicago region that can help you get into birding or enhance the birding that you are already doing. Here we include a list of many of the local groups, most of which offer field trips, talks, and other activities for members. Bird Division scientists give regular talks to these groups and sometimes lead bird walks for them--check the organizations' websites for more details.
Illinois Ornithological Society: A statewide birding organization.
Upcoming field trip, October 6, 2012: Josh Engel is leading a field trip for the IOS called Lakefront Hotspots, starting at Chicago's Montrose Point. See the IOS trips page for details.
Illinois Young Birders: A statewide birding organization with monthly field trips and other activities for budding birders and naturalists 18 and under. Several of the members have interned at the Field Museum.
CITY OF CHICAGO
Evanston North Shore Bird Club
Upcoming talk, October 23, 2012: Curator John Bates will be giving a talk called "Studying birds in Africa's Albertine Rift: challenges and successes of the Field Museum's Bird Division." The talk is free and open to the public at the Evanston Ecology Center.
DuPage Birding Club
Upcoming talk, October 11, 2012: Josh Engel will be giving a talk on the birds and wildlife of the incredible island of Madagascar. Free and open to the public in Glen Ellyn, click on bird club link for details.
Prairie Woods Audubon Society
Upcoming talk, October 18, 2012: Josh Engel will talking about "South Africa: Birds & Beauty!" at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg.