“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.” – Harun Yahya
While birdwatching is a unique hobby, it is far from extinct! Did you know there are more than 10,000 species of birds? Our feathered friends are generally easier to see than other animals, as many are marked with bright colors. Wherever your travels may lead you, consider taking some time with nature to enjoy our favorite birdwatching locations in the United States.
Sanibel Island, Florida
Nestled away among America’s most pristine beaches, Floridians and tourists alike will enjoy exploring the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. The refuge hosts more than 800,000 bird lovers who visit the park annually! With more than 6,300 acres to explore, it’s no wonder why they keep coming back! Guests to the park can expect to see roseate spoonbills, reddish egrets, wood storks, white ibises and more.
Anacapa Island, California
The Channel Islands support a rich variety of birds, distinct in many ways from the birds of the adjacent mainland. Named one of the best places in the country for birdwatching, the coastal habitats of Southern California are chalk full of wetlands, lakes, reservoirs and rivers. Anacapa Island, part of Channel Islands National Park, is home to a rich variety of birds — distinct in many ways from the birds of the adjacent mainland. Visitors can spot cormorants, auklets, murrelets and California brown pelicans. The islands are particularly important for seabirds, offering critical nesting habitat.
Oak Harbor, Ohio
Located 22 miles east of Toledo, the scenic shores of Lake Erie offer a vast freshwater marsh and spacious sandy beach for enjoyment at Crane Creek State Park. This coastal environment is home to more than 300 species of birds! Visitors can follow the Lake Erie coastline to see migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. A one-half-mile boardwalk trail provides access to the many different habitats in the park and birdwatching delight in the numerous avian species sighted along the trail. The shoreline also provides one of the last strongholds of the bald eagle in Ohio.
Cape May, New Jersey
So. Many. Birds. Recognized as one of the world’s most magnificent migration hotspots, visitors to Cape May can expect to see a wide variety of feathered beauties. But Cape May is more than migration, it is also home to a nationally acclaimed bird observatory. From Thursday, October 20, 2016 until Monday, October 24, 2016, join the Cape May Bird Observatory as they celebrate their 40th anniversary! This this three-day festival will showcase our migration monitoring work and will feature special guests, presentations and a buffet dinner.
San Antonio, NM
The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico is another top spot for birdwatching. In fact, 377 species of birds have been observed on the refuge since 1940. You’ll see birds here year round, but pay attention to the Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese in the winter. The wetlands attract the huge flocks of wintering cranes and geese that are the refuge’s most interesting feature. Be sure to mark your calendar for the Festival of the Cranes, scheduled to take place from November 15-20, 2016.
Have you ever participated in a birdwatching experience? Would you like to add any locations to our list? Comment below and tell us about your favorite way to see the birds!