Bird Watching at Pokagon State Park
Pokagon has a Sunday-morning tradition where an interpretive naturalist leads a bird hike. All ages are encouraged to participate, regardless of birding experience. The park provides binoculars if you do not have your own. The naturalists carry field guides or use cellphone applications to help identify birds and other natural wonders that capture your interest such as plants and wildlife.
If you are unable to attend the scheduled Sunday morning hike, come out and hike on your own. From the park’s Potawatomi Inn, take Trail 3 to Lake Lonidaw where you might glimpse a Great Blue Heron stalking some fishy prey or hear a Red-winged Blackbird call from its cattail perch.
Trail 2 offers a break at the Spring Shelter. Enjoy a refreshing drink of water from the natural spring found there. Continue through the woods scanning the trees for some of our colorful summer residents like the Baltimore Oriole. If you are fortunate, you might hear the hammering of the Pileated Woodpecker.
The Lake James shoreline provides viewing of the migrating waterfowl and resident Bald Eagles. Pokagon’s pine groves are habitat to Pokagon’s nocturnal owl populations. Trine State Recreation Area is home to turkeys and at certain times of the year you can see ospreys, cormorants, and the gangly yet graceful Sandhill Cranes.
Pokagon State Park Nature Center offers birding opportunities. You can relax seated on a bench and gaze out the panoramic Woodland Window and observe the many bird species and some wildlife feeding. The Red-Headed Woodpeckers are frequent visitors. A concealed microphone lets you listen to the outdoor chatter.