Kankakee Sands in Newton County
by Matt Williams
Kankakee Sands is The Nature Conservancy’s largest, and arguably best, preserve for bird watching in Indiana. The roughly 7,000-acre property consists of restored prairie, large wetlands, and open canopied oak woods known as oak savanna. This diversity of habitats results in a great diversity of bird species that can be found on the property. Early summer is my favorite time to bird Kankakee Sands, when it seems like every tall prairie plant has a singing Henslow’s sparrow, dickcissel, bobolink, or sedge wren attached!
Douglas Woods in Steuben/Dekalb Counties
by Matt Williams
Douglas Woods is a great place to birdwatch. Fall brings spectacular colors, along with mixed flocks of kinglets, fox sparrows, warblers, and woodpeckers flitting through the trees. Wood ducks also form large flocks on the preserve’s many wetlands as they begin their journey south, and sandhill cranes can be heard overhead at such heights that it is often easier to hear them than to see them!
Goose Pond in Greene County
by Cassie Hall
Whether you’re hoping to add a new bird to your lengthy life list, or just want to enjoy the spectacle of 10,000 sandhill cranes coming in to roost, Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife area provides a wonderful experience for birders at any level. This mix of grassland, marsh, and open water attracts an impressive array of birds, and most areas are easily viewed from the parking lots, or with a short walk along the levees. Although any time of year is good for visiting, my favorites are late fall and early spring migrations, when shorebirds fill the mudflats and sandhill cranes perform their evening ballet.
Hitz-Rhodehamel Woods in Brown County
by Dan Shaver
This incredibly scenic preserve is an important part of the Brown County Hills forest block and an excellent place to birdwatch. Our conservation efforts focus on forest interior birds such as the yellow-billed cuckoo, whip-poor-will, wood thrush, Louisiana waterthrush, and several species of warblers, including Kentucky warbler and cerulean warbler. Each of these species depends on large, intact forest areas to thrive. Early spring migrants flourish in the tall oak canopy ripe with insect food. Throughout the winter resident birds and a variety of woodpeckers can be found.