There are a few things you need for a perfect bird watching experience, and two essentials are a pair of 10×50 binoculars and a list with the best spots for this activity. The United States abound in such places, so maybe the hardest part will be for you to choose just one for the next destination of your trip.
Among the many destinations that are ideal for bird watchers, some truly stand out. They are the places you should write down and try to cover as a passionate bird watcher. Let’s take a look at the most popular options you can find across the US.
Point Reyes National Seashore, California
National parks are ideal for bird watching, but there are some that simply stand out above the rest. Point Reyes National Seashore, located in California, is a fantastic location that houses around 490 different species of birds.
Here are some points of interest you should know of. The Abbotts Lagoon is located in the northern part of the park and is an excellent place to be in fall or winter for observing various shorebirds. Also, don’t forget to visit the area around the lighthouse, where many birds of prey can be seen.
Birds you can watch when you visit here are the snowy plover, the northern spotted owl, and many different birds of prey and shorebirds.
If you go bird watching in Alaska, Nome is one excellent location to try out. Beginning with the last days of May, plenty of tourists choose to come here to observe beautiful species such as Pacific golden plovers and mergansers.
Hundreds of types of birds call this place their home during the Alaskan summer, and they can be seen in all their glory until fall comes. Red-necked grebes, loons, and phalaropes can be watched through a pair of binoculars.
To give you some pointers on making the best out of your visit to Nome, just watch the three roads that lead out of the place. Along the Teller road, you can watch plovers, while the Kougarok road will take you to a place where bluethroats often appear.
A place that is often pointed out by bird watchers as being paradise on earth for numerous species of winged animals is Tucson. You might not expect a city to be part of a list of places where you can go bird watching, but Tucson is an experience in itself. Another great part of traveling here for bird watching is that the city offers high-quality amenities, while you can engage in some pleasant and relaxing activities.
As you may well expect, certain places in Tucson are better for bird watching than others. For instance, The Evergreen Cemetery is the best place to be if you want to watch pine warbler migrating in early winter.
Another excellent location is the Sentinel Peak Park, where various species of hawks can be observed by someone who has the proper equipment. Although the city is an attractive bird-watching destination in itself, it is highly recommended to go out the city borders, too, so that you can observe species such as the gray hawk, the painted redstart, or the trogon.
Grand Isle, Louisiana
This barrier island in Louisiana was often described as a veritable magnet for birds that migrate during spring. Due to the unique ecosystem shaped by nature here, only certain birds choose it over many other possible locations. The ecosystem is made by oak cheniers that make sprouts on the sandy ridges that go along the coastline.
Also, here you will find some low-growing trees named hackberries. The warblers that come from the Gulf of Mexico during spring will stop here and replenish their energy, and that’s a genuine show that you, as a bird watcher, will surely enjoy.
There is even a special Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration that has as a primary role to bring awareness in regards to the conservation of this habitat. You will see more than just warblers if you visit this location. There are more than 100 species of birds that can be seen here, as well as skimmers, kites, and terns.
Port Aransas, Texas
Between the Gulf of Mexico and Corpus Christi Bay, you will find Port Aransas, a small town where a large number of birds can be seen. Here, you will find an impressive amount of birding sites, such as the Wetlands Park, the Paradise Pond, and the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center.
With 100 species of birds to observe all year round and more than 140 during the migration season, Port Aransas is a unique destination. Seeing how many birds live here, at least part of the year, there is no wonder that the local community organizes some very specific events.
For instance, they have the Whooping Crane Festival in February, when you can observe this species of birds going to their winter home. The species is endangered and deserves such an awareness-raising event. Among other birds you can see here, a few must be mentioned, such as the cinnamon teal, the Wilson’s phalarope, and the roseate spoonbill.
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
Sandhill cranes make this park so famous among bird watchers are for all the right reasons. If you visit here in November, you will be able to attend the unique festival dedicated to their migration. However, you should be well aware that you can observe more than just these birds while here.
There are no fewer than 377 species of birds that come here during their migration season. You can genuinely feast your eyes with waterbirds, as well as terrestrial species, like the Gambel’s quail, pheasants, and many others. Birds of prey, like northern harriers, various eagles, hawks, and falcons, are a natural appearance here, as well. Not to mention, the views here are truly breathtaking.
Everglades National Park, Florida
Go to southern Florida if you want to experience one of the wealthiest places in species of birds that you can observe through your binoculars. This park was named among the most diverse place in species of birds, with 344 being counted so far.
There are many places where you can find accommodations to be close to the park, such as Everglades City and Miami. The highest chances for seeing the birds in all their glory are between November and March when the climate becomes dry. While you can venture here in the wet season, make sure you are well equipped to deal with the many insects that abound during that time.
Birds such as the snail kite, the white-crowned pigeon, and the roseate spoonbill, call this place their home and they can be watched by passionate birding enthusiasts, especially during the months mentioned earlier.
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Illinois
There are so many great places for bird watching in the US that it would be hard to cover all. However, if you want to make sure that you visit most of the essential places, don’t forget to visit this one. If you intend to observe some grassland species, the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is the place to be.
Located close to Wilmington, which is not far from Chicago, this prairie is famous for its unique ecosystem. Upland sandpipers, as well as other rare species, can only be seen here. If you visit in summer, these birds will make the most of what you’ll be able to see.
In case you prefer to come here in winter, you can observe a large variety of birds of prey. Here are some species you can see: the Henslow’s sparrow, the bobolink, and the rough-legged hawk.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland
This refuge was made to serve as a sanctuary for waterbirds during their migration. So, it should come as no surprise that the place swarms with ducks and geese in both spring and fall. The unique ecosystem that includes forest, marsh, as well as shallow water, serves well for waterfowl that seek refuge here.
Here, you will find black ducks, wigeons, pintails, and many other birds. Birds of prey make their presence known, too, so don’t be surprised to spot the nesting bald eagle here, as well. Owls, wild turkeys, ospreys, and woodpeckers are also part of the diverse ornithological landscape. You can see some smaller birds like warblers and flycatchers, too.