Birding from Boats

Tags: Attend, Urban Canoe Adventures, CREW opportunities, Ticketed events, River education, and Canoe Program

Birding from Boats

~ May 18, 2024 ~ 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. ~

River Park Boat Launch

3000 W. Argyle St., Chicago, IL 60625

$40 per person, $35 for Friends members

Register Here

Join the President of COS and FOCR's expert canoe guides for birding by boats down the Chicago River in search of migrant warblers, waterfowl, swallows, and much more. Enjoy birds on the river in a whole new way as wildlife often only seen from afar can be encountered up close in the low canopies and shorelines of the wild Chicago River. All are welcome, from beginning to expert birders. Registration is required, no walk ups are allowed. Members use the code: "Members" at registration.

Trips are three hours long, rain or shine. Friends’ canoe guides will help you safely load in and out of the boats, offer paddling instruction and answer questions. We provide boats, paddles, life jackets, and canoe guides for this unforgettable experience. Paddlers 10-16 years are welcome when paddling with a guardian. Younger river lovers are welcome to sit in the center of the canoes and enjoy the experience with their families (no need to buy a ticket for center passengers). 

As a special thank you for your support, all paddlers receive a complementary one-year Friends’ membership! Friends’ membership includes: 

  • Invitations to special events 
  • Free entry to the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
  • Discounts on Friends paddles and other events
  • Free subscription to our River Reporter newsletter
  • Monthly Volunteer E-Newsletter and Bi-weekly Friends E-Newsletters.
    You can unsubscribe from any communications easily, just hit the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email!


Trip costs may be refunded up to a week in advance. Any cancellations within 7 days of the trip are non-refundable. If trips are cancelled due to weather and/or hazardous conditions, participants will be offered the option of rescheduling or will be fully refunded. Click here for other trip FAQs.