Sunday, February 9, 2014

Birding in Northeast Indiana

By Alexandra Forsythe

Alexandra F. photo by Kristena Lynn Photography
It’s no secret that Goose Pond and the Indiana Dunes are some of Indiana’s birding treasures. What people may not realize is that the northeastern corner of Indiana is also a treasure. We have forests, lakes and prairies that are ideal for attracting a wide variety of birds. Just a few of the birding hotspots are Pokagon State Park, Trine State Recreation Area, Salamonie (State Park, State Forest and Reservoir), J. Edward Roush Fish and Wildlife Area, Hurshtown Reservoir, Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve, Fox Island County Park, Franke Park, and Arrowhead Marsh and Prairie. Acres Land Trust owns and manages over 4,000 acres of preserves in northeast Indiana that include just about every imaginable habitat: old growth forests, prairies, bogs, wetlands, lakes, natural springs, rivers and waterfalls. As further demonstration of northeast Indiana’s abundance of birds and our commitment to helping them, two of the first three Bird Towns are in northeast Indiana: Geneva and Rome City.

At many of these locations, it’s not unusual to see 80 different species in the span of just four hours. Some of the highlights of 2013 include nesting Merlins, nesting Sandhill Cranes, nesting Bald Eagles, Rufous Hummingbird, Rock Wren, Henslow’s Sparrows, Sedge Wrens, White-Winged Crossbills and Surf Scoter.

Stockbridge Audubon hosts regular weekly field trips to these and other fantastic birding locations. IYBC will also host an event in northeast Indiana this year that will allow young birders to bird at two of these locations: Eagle Marsh and Fox Island. I hope you join us!