Besides being home to a world-class plant collection, the diverse habitat found at Starhill Forest is home to a variety of wildlife.


Since 1979, Edie Sternberg has recorded sightings of the various bird species that inhabit the Arboretum or at least pass through on their migration routes. In all, 119 species have been observed. See her checklist here.

During the winter months, various feeders with seed and suet are maintained to benefit the birds who spend the winter here. In the warmer months, hummingbird and oriole feeders are installed for those species. Hummingbird bandings occasionally take place on site.

A trail of bluebird houses is maintained around the arboretum. For years, Edie and the local Audubon Society have kept detailed records of the fledging success at each site.


Because of the diversity of plants and types of habitat available, the Arboretum is a great place to observe insect activity. Illinois College entomology students (including many interns) have contributed their collections from the site to a dedicated Starhill Forest collection that can be viewed in the biology department on campus. Contact us to view a list of species in that collection.


A diverse array of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, arachnids, and other animals have been observed at the Arboretum. Check out this gallery to view more of Starhill Forest’s wildlife.

Document the wildlife and plants you see at the Arboretum with the iNaturalist app!