More than half of the sites on the new Indiana Birding Trail, which the Indiana Audubon Society (IAS) announced earlier this year, are operated by the DNR.
DNR worked with IAS and several regional partners to develop the trail, which provides a great resource for Hoosier birders and others who might visit the state for business, vacation or pleasure.
“Birds make great ambassadors, and our partnership in developing this trail with the Indiana Audubon Society, city and county parks, and regional tourism organizations is a great example of how we can all work together to introduce Hoosiers and out-of-state guests to Indiana’s natural resources,” said Ginger Murphy, deputy director of Indiana State Parks.
DNR sites range from the Lake Michigan shoreline of Indiana Dunes State Park, to the prairie at Prophetstown State Park, to the wetlands of Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area, and to the wooded hills of Brown County State Park and Yellowwood State Forest.
The trail focuses on species to watch for in each location, site amenities that make travel easier, and birding ethics such as remaining on roads, paths and trails in order to limit bird and habitat disturbance. The website also features an interactive map for quick views of each location and a downloadable guidebook.
“Indiana birders know that the Hoosier state provides a wide range of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and discover the diversity in size, shapes, colors, patterns, habits and habitats of birds,” Murphy said. “The Indiana Birding Trail showcases the best sites in the state to find a range of species.”
Located within the Mississippi Flyway, Indiana’s wetlands and forests provide resources for birds to fuel up during migration as they fly through the state. The lakefront of Lake Michigan gets massive spring migratory congregations as birds rest and prepare to fly over the lake.
Birding highlights along the trail also include the wide variety of bird species that are year-round residents, and those species that return to Indiana each spring to find mates and raise their young before returning to their wintering grounds farther south.
Properties on the Indiana Birding Trail will be identified with a sign that includes the birding trail logo.
Printed copies of the Indiana Birding Trail guide are available at properties located on the trail. The downloadable guide and online resources are at Indianabirdingtrail.com. For other locations for wildlife viewing, see dnr.IN.gov/3233.htm.