A bird flies through the air.
Purple Martin A purple martin soars through the air. © Shutterstock

Stories in Kentucky

Kentucky Birds

See what's visiting our nature preserves each season.

No matter what the season, there are always interesting birds to see at The Nature Conservancy's Kentucky nature preserves. In fact, birds move through Kentucky all year long. Some change habitats within state borders; others stop by during spring and fall as part of long journeys between breeding grounds and warmer climates.

Here are a few favorites you might see at one of our Kentucky nature preserves or state Wildlife Management Areas—places where we are working with partners to protect and manage habitats for avian visitors. See you outside!


In summer,  birds are feeding young hatchlings. Soon the youngsters learn to fly and eventually leave the nest. As days grow shorter and summer begins to wane, birds are no longer as vocal as they had been in spring and early summer. Neotropical migrants prepare to make the long journey south for winter. In spite of shorter days, there is still a lot to see and hear before cooler weather arrives.


Fall is a time when falling leaves allow birdwatchers to catch a glimpse of some species that would otherwise be hidden in the trees. First come songbirds like warblers and vireos, followed by thrushes, grosbeaks and sparrows. As winter approaches, the woodpeckers, geese, ducks, loons and hawks arrive. 


In winter, birdwatchers have a chance to catch a glimpse of woodpeckers, geese, ducks, loons, hawks and other species that become more visible after trees lose their leaves.


In springtime, Kentucky’s forests, grasslands, streams and prairies harbor an array of birds, especially spectacular populations of warblers. 

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