The United States is one of the best countries to view birds of all types. From the shores of Maine down to Florida, across the Gulf of Mexico to Texas, then through the deserts until you reach California and up to the Pacific Northwest and all points in-between, the US offers plenty of great birdwatching locations. And don’t forget Hawai’i and even Alaska.
What follows are six of the best birdwatching locations you can find around the country. Each location is known for its diversity of bird species and spectacular scenery.
What is the best Bird-watching Locations in the USA?
1. Everglades National Park, Florida
This is a big park, so it shouldn’t be surprising that you can find plenty of bird species, nearly 350 of them which live or migrate through the area. As you might imagine, the area is a combination of swamps, trees, and large, open spaces.
Locations: If you are in the park, you are in a great location to see the birds. However, you should follow one of the seven trails through the park which will take you to the best locations to see the birds in their natural habitat.
Best Time of Year: You’ll want to visit the park during the dry season, which runs from November to March. This is not because there are more birds, it’s because there are far fewer insects to bite you.
Bird Species: There are plenty of species located in the park that range from the bald eagle to the wood warbler. Some of the most prominent species include;
- Roseate Spoonbill
- Snail Kite
- White-Crowned Pigeon
For those who love the South Florida area, the park is within easy reach of Miami or the smaller town of Homestead.
2. Green Bay, Wisconsin
While visions of a NFL team may fill your head when imagining Green Bay, it is also a great place for birdwatchers given its location.
Locations: One of the best is the Barkhousen Waterfowl Preserve which is just to the north of Green Bay. 900 acres are available to see a wide array of birds.
Best Time to Visit: Not the winter, although that may be obvious. Instead, the best month might be May as the annual Big Bay Birdathon takes place. You can watch birds and earn prizes, too. However, October is also a good month for the migration of waterfowl.
Bird Species: As the name implies, waterfowl is arguably the most common birds that you will see in the region, but there are other species as well which includes the following;
- Northern Waterthrush
- Snowy Egret
For more information, the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society is located in Green Bay and offers trips and events related to birdwatching during the season.
3. Hoquiam, Washington
While you might think of fish when contemplating the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of bird species that like to fish as well. Located inside the North Bay, Hoquiam is the place to see shorebirds, over a million of them.
Locations: Anywhere along the shore will work as the entire park is a remarkable location. Take one of the many trails or simply plant yourself near the shoreline and watch the birds mingle about.
Best Time to Visit: While this area offers a year-round spectacle of bird watching opportunities, none match the spring when shorebirds come to the Grays Harbor coastline. It is truly a sight to behold, but it only lasts for a few weeks.
If you go in the spring, be sure to take in the Grays Harbor Shorebird and Nature Festival. A great time to mix with fellow birdwatchers.
4. Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Illinois
The grasslands of the Midwest are the perfect location for the many birds that call the middle of North America home. The park is located about 60 miles to the southwest of Chicago.
Locations: The entire park is a great place, but you’ll want to get away from the parking areas and into the grasslands. Take one of the trails and talk to the staff to see where is the best location to find a cluster of birds to watch.
Best Time to Visit: It depends on what you want to see. During the summer months, the prairie birds are in abundance, but the winter features the larger birds of prey that dominate the area.
Bird Species: There are many species to see, starting with the upland sandpipers. Other prominent species include;
- Henslow’s Sparrow
- Rough-Legged Hawk
The countryside is quite lovely, but you can take it all in while staying in nearby Chicago which is just over an hour’s drive away.
5. Point Reyes National Seashore, California
With nearly 490 species of birds, this remarkable location near San Francisco is a bird-lovers dream. This park has more species of birds than any other national park in the US.
Locations: Within the park are three remarkable locations that will give you a great opportunity to see the many birds in the area;
- Abbotts Lagoon
- Olema Marsh
- Point Reyes Lighthouse
Best Time of the Year: You’ll find plenty of birds the year-round, so anytime is a good time to visit. However, if there is a best time of the year, it is in the fall during migration season.
Bird Species: You have nearly 490 species to choose from, so there is plenty in the park to view. Three of the more interesting include;
- Northern Spotted Owl
- Snowy Plover
6. Port Aransas, Texas
Located between the Gulf of Mexico and Corpus Christi Bay, this remarkable location offers birdwatchers a great place to visit, especially during the colder months when this part of the country is usually considerably warmer.
Locations: You have plenty to choose from, such as the following;
- Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center
- Paradise Pond
- Wetlands Park
Best Time of the Year: Although there are many native birds in the area, it is spring when migration is in full season that is the best time. If you go in February, check out the Whooping Crane Festival to see these remarkable birds
Bird Species: In addition to the whooping crane, there are many different species of birds in the region, including the following;
- Cinnamon Teal
- Least Bittern
- Roseate Spoonbill
- Stilt Sandpiper
- Wilson’s Pharlarope
7. Tucson, Arizona
While some may wonder just how many birds live in the deserts of Arizona, Tucson is one of the best locations to spot a wide variety of bird species, especially during migration. The desert countryside is punctuated with large, rocky hills, a smattering of trees, and plenty of wide-open skies.
Locations: If you are in the Tucson area, you should visit Sentinel Peak Park, and in particular view the large hill that features red, white, and blue letter “A”. Areas south of Tucson and east of I-19 are also good locations.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is during the migration season of late fall and early winter where birds come from many different areas in the US and Canada and eventually head into Mexico.
Unique Bird Species: One of the more interesting birds you will see is the curious pine warbler as it stops during the late fall during its migration. However, the bird that is most associated with the region is the greater roadrunner, a large bird that is fast enough to outrun a coyote if the cartoons are to be believed. Other interesting birds in the area include;
- Elegant Trogon
- Gray Hawk
- Painted Redstart
Tucson is a great place to visit the year-round. Plus, the city offers plenty of activities when you are not out birdwatching.
We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!