Henderson County, KY
John James Audubon State Park
The all-time premier spot for birders is probably Audubon State Park. Every trail takes birders to a different habitat and a different set of birds. So well respected for warblers in spring and fall, one trail — the paved trail running due east of the office building — is nicknamed "Warbler Alley." Beyond this well-known spot, however, a few other local hot spots bear mentioning.
Sauerheber Slough Wildlife Management Area
An area located 10 miles west of Henderson on KY 268, famous for its ducks and geese. To get there from Henderson, take U.S. Hwy. 60 west to KY 136; turn west. Go 2.8 miles to the junction with KY 268. Drive 4 miles northwest on KY 268. Drive the various roads; check the man-made towers to overlook the fields and wetlands. Winter is best. Inaccessible during flooding.
Great Blue Heron Rookery
Along the Ohio River. After you cross the Twin Bridges (Hwy. 41) into Kentucky, take the first road to the left (along the northern boundary of Audubon State Park). Park in the only pull-off on the left. Scope out the tree tops for heron nests any season. Look for heron nesting activity from early spring through early July. Be alert, however, for heavy automobile traffic as you pull back onto the road.
After you cross the Twin Bridges (Hwy. 41) into Kentucky, take the first road to the left (along the northern boundary of Audubon State Park). Go beyond the area of the Great Blue Heron Rookery and look for the parking lot on the left side of the road. This new wetland area is now part of JJ Audubon State Park and has trails and boardwalks available and also some great birding opportunities. This area recently generated a lot of interest when a Purple Gallinule made a visit.
Ohio River Flood Plains Drive
The Ohio River Flood Plains Drive runs along the Kentucky side of the river. Cross the Twin Bridges (Hwy. 41); take the first road to the left (along the northern boundary of Audubon State Park). Pass the Henderson landfill. Watch for passerines, raptors. Be warned, however, that this road carries surprisingly heavy traffic, some of it heavy trucks, and much of it too fast. Be sure to park clear of the road before you bird.
Past the landfill, turn left at the first intersection onto a road which follows the banks of the Ohio. Watch for gulls, waterfowl, shorebirds. Also great woodpecker area, so stop along the road and look. The area is owned by a hunting club, so do not trespass; however, you can walk the road. Drive on to ultimately reach the Green River. It’s a good gravel road, but flooding does occur. Be cautious.
Henderson County across from Evansville’s River Front
A drive that takes you from the outskirts of Henderson to an across-the-river view of Dress Plaza. Cross the Twin Bridges (Hwy. 41) into Kentucky and take the first road to the right. Watch for unusual sparrows along this road; but it is a busy road, so you’ll need to pull off to watch. Where the road runs into the old harness race track, turn right and follow for several miles through woods, fields, and sloughs. Wide variety of birds including sparrows, raptors, and passerines. Flocks of Dickcissels here. Shorebirds in wet areas. Don’t try this drive if it’s muddy.