Eagle Slough Natural Area
Eagle Slough is a mature bottomland hardwood forest and is home to some of the largest bald cypress trees in the state. The preserve offers a walking trail with interpretive signs along an old rail bed and some observation decks overlooking wetlands and open water. Over 160 species of birds have been observed and offers good birding opportunities throughout the seasons. Access by following Hwy 41 south and turning left onto Waterworks Road. The parking lot will be on your left after .15 miles. If the gate is locked, park in the grass across the street.
Inland Marina Area
Along Waterworks Road just east of the levee. Park and bird both sides of Waterworks Road; turn south and drive along the east side of the marina; park at the water's edge and meander around. Look for ducks in winter on the water; look for a wide variety of birds in the brush and trees; look for water birds along the marshy areas.
At Broadway and Tekoppel Avenues. A system of boardwalks and trails meander along wetlands and a historic oxbow lake. Good habitat for Wood Ducks, herons, geese, woodpeckers, and other resident birds. Some warblers in spring and fall. Take the Lloyd Expressway west to the Tekoppel Avenue exit (west of St. Joe Ave.); take Tekoppel Avenue south to Howell Wetlands. The parking lot is located on the east side of the road, just north of Broadway Avenue.
Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve
Off Boeke between Morgan and the Lloyd Expressway. The home of Evansville Audubon Society’s monthly meetings, the preserve, unique for its virgin stand of timber within the city limits, boasts an amazing array of birds and wonderful wildflowers. Follow any and all trails for great adventure!
Angel Mounds State Historic Site
On Pollack Avenue near I-69. Go through the museum and across the bridge; follow trails to the old mounds. Search open fields and brush and trees along the river for sparrows, wrens, warblers, and orioles; watch the swampy areas for wide array of birds. Also check the outside perimeter, especially the brushy areas to the right as you're facing the park.
Angel Mounds Service Road
East of museum proper. Closed to auto traffic, this service road provides an easy walk to its end where a mowed loop circles through bushy areas along the slough across from the Ohio River's Three-Mile Island. Wide variety of birds, including hawks, warblers, water birds.
Muskegon Hiking Trail (maintained by the Boy Scouts)
Runs from the Angel Mounds Boat Ramp to the Angel Mounds Historic Site Museum. Trail through woods runs east from boat ramp parking lot. Bicycle trails are being added and will eventually connect to the Green Belt. Side trails off the Muskegon Hiking Trail all lead to the boat ramp, museum, or levee; so, in spite of the apparent maze, you can't get too lost. Some trails do get too soggy to walk in wet weather, but all offer good-to-great birding.
Evansville State Hospital Grounds
3400 Lincoln Avenue. Ponds, trees, and shrubs offer good habitat year around. Walk the grounds. Check trees and brushy areas along the sports fields. Especially good for sparrows.
Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage
A paved walkway along Pigeon Creek that winds through the heart of Evansville. The green way will eventually encircle the city, connecting with other parks and nature areas. A total of 6.75 miles of the green way have been completed. Good for sparrows, some ducks, resident birds.
University of Southern Indiana
University of Southern Indiana Woods
On the east side of the campus. Drive past the PAC arena and athletic fields, then to the left, to the area around the log cabins. Also check the woods east of the parking areas. Construction has reduced the quality of birding here, but good sightings continue to come in, including Oven Birds and good warblers during migration. Be sure to park legally; campus security will check.
University of Southern Indiana Lake and Trails
On the west side of the campus. Trails through the woods around the lake turn up good sightings, especially in spring. Be sure to park legally; campus security will check.
Mesker Park Zoo & Nearby Areas
Alexander Memorial Cemetery
At Mesker Park Drive and Wimberg Avenue. Check out the west end near the creek. Good tree cover, brushy areas. Variety of woodland birds.
East between St. Joe Avenue and Maryland as well as west between St. Joe Avenue and Mesker Park Drive (but usually best on west). Check open fields, trees. It's a busy road, so park well off the road and walk.
Between Maryland Street and New Harmony Way, starting at Helfrich Park Middle School and winding north along the south border of Helfrich Golf Course. Bird both sides of the road - lakes on the north side; woods on the south.
Mesker Park Zoo
Between Mesker Park Drive and St. Joe Avenue. Check out the picnic areas, around the shelter houses, and around the lakes. Wide variety of possible species, and easy access to all areas. Good place to introduce children to birding.
Boehne Camp Road
From Hogue Road to Upper Mt. Vernon Road. Park and walk, but respect private property. Good sightings here, especially during migration. Old Boehne Camp Hospital grounds especially good.
St. Paul’s UCC Church Nature Preserve
In German Township on Hwy. 65. Two inter-connecting loop trails wind through rolling woodland. Great for woodpeckers, nuthatches, wrens, woodland birds. Great warblers in spring. Red-shouldered hawk has nested here for two years. Also bird the edges of the cemetery. Take Diamond Avenue west (Hwy. 66) to Hwy. 65; turn north. Travel 3 miles. Just past the flashing caution light at the cutoff to the community of St. Joseph, you’ll see the church on the right. Park on the north side of the church (in front of the cemetery). You’ll see the sign marking the trail immediately to the left of the cemetery. While the public is welcome to the nature preserve, please stay on the trail; to venture off and across the playground is to trespass on private property.
Old Green River Road Auto Tour
Travel south on Green River Road, under I-69. A large unnamed pond is on the right just past I-69. A number of ditches drain into this pond, so it attracts all-seasons wildlife. Use binoculars and scope to check this one for ducks and shorebirds.
Continue to where Green River Road dead ends. Old Green River Road goes left along the river and becomes Lynn Road. Bird brushy areas, trees, grassy areas, water. Wide variety of species.
At the Angel Mounds Boat Ramp Area, pull into the parking lot, check brush and trees. Good for orioles. From here, continue to follow Lynn Road east to where it dead ends. At Lynn and Pollack where Pollack goes under I-164, a small rocked parking area gives access to the levee. The levee east is good birding. Park along the easement and walk.
From where the levee meets Pollack Avenue, a trail through the woods leads toward Angel Mounds State Historic Site. Watch along the fences rows, in the brambles, in the woods, in the sloughs. Wide variety of birds! From Lynn Road at the levee, turn right onto Pollack. Just past Fuquay Road, Pollack crosses the levee. Continue east to Angel Mounds State Historic Site.
Hoosier Street Borrow Pit is a continuation of the Old Green River Road Auto Loop described above. Come down Covert toward town; turn right on Hoosier Street (very inconspicuous street, before Green River Road). A borrow pit there is good for ducks and geese. Also check out the nearby martin houses.
Union Township Auto Tour
Begin at Burdette Park. Take Nurrenbern Road west to the top of Burdette Park Hill. Opposite the BMX and campers' entrance, Graff Road turns left (south).
To bird Graff Road, drive slowly. The road is not terribly busy, so you can probably bird from your car. Check the farm ponds and surrounding grasslands as well as roadside brush. Check the trees. At the bottom of the hill where the road crosses a creek, pull off and park. Check both sides of the road in the fields and meadows and along both sides of the creek. Wide variety of birds along this road.
Bayou Creek runs from along Graff Road to the Ohio River, but only parts of it are accessible without trespassing. So, take Graff Road to the next crossroad and turn right (west) onto Bayou Creek Road. Within about ½ mile, the road makes a sharp left, and you'll see wetlands to your right. Good birding along the woods. Look for woodpeckers, Wood Ducks, resident birds. The road follows the creek, so park and walk the road. Stay off private property.
Where Bayou Creek Road makes a sharp right, Seminary Road continues south where you'll see a small pond on the right overhung with willows and brush. Always good for something, so check it out. Then follow Seminary Road about 1 3/4 miles to Roth Road; turn right.
Roth Road follows the river to a small community of summer camps. Bird the old marina just east of the summer camps for resident birds and warblers in spring, bird the fields, especially in fall and winter for Killdeer and Canada Geese; bird the brush and trees along the river for a wide variety of species. Depending on the season, Horned Larks, Meadow Larks, Killdeer, sparrows, gulls, geese, herons, and nesting birds. Park and walk the road through the community of summer camps; respect private property. After Roth Road makes a sharp right, a short road turns left to a few more summer camps. Good trees here; walk and bird this road as well.
Continue north on Roth Road until it tees into Cypress Dale Road. Turn right (east) and follow it to Pleasant Road. Turn left (north) onto Pleasant.
Titzer's Martin Colony is on the left about 3/4 mile north on Pleasant Road. The road is lightly traveled, so you can drive slowly or stop alongside the road to watch. Floyd Titzer, now deceased, built his Purple Martin nesting colony from PVC pipe and has had remarkable success. The colony is now cared for by his son Wayne. Please do not trespass on private property.
Pleasant Road becomes Graff Road at its intersection with Bayou Creek Road. From here you can either retrace your steps to Burdette Park and back home, or you can turn right on Bayou Creek Road, following it until it tees into Old Henderson Road. Turn left to return to Evansville; turn right and follow as far as you care to venture.
Old Henderson Road Auto Tour
Whether you pick up Old Henderson Road from the Dixie Flyway, from the Tekoppel Overpass, or from Bayou Creek Road (see immediately above), you'll find good birding. It is a fairly busy road and some folks drive too fast; so use caution. It's always best to pull off before you stop to look. Check the open fields and woods. Great in spring for shore birds, ducks, larks, and warblers during migration; great in winter for large mixed flocks.
Dogtown Boat Ramp Area, just past the Dogtown Tavern, is one spot you'll want to pull in and meander along the drive and parking lots. Check the water for gulls and ducks; check trees and brush along the water for sparrows; check the adjoining fields for Killdeer and Meadow Larks.
Continue south on Old Henderson Road to Hickory Ridge Road; turn right (west) and follow Hickory Ridge to South Happe Road; turn right (north) to Cypress-Dale Road; turn right (east) back to Old Henderson Road. Except for Old Henderson Road, these roads are gravel; all are subject to flooding in winter and spring. Bird woods patches, fields, utility wires, ditches.
McCutchanville Area Auto Tour
While the Whirlpool area is good for nighthawks and the airport area good for killdeer, the best birding in the McCutchanville area is north of the Boonville-New Harmony Road, a unique area of mature woodlands and wild, unplowed fields filled with sparrows, Chats, Meadowlarks, woodpeckers, woodland birds, and warblers. Unfortunately, development is dramatically affecting the area. Go now, while the good stuff remains! Here's the loop route:
Start at the Hornet's Nest Restaurant at the junction of Old Petersburg Road and Boonville -New Harmony Road, just off I-164. Go north on Old Petersburg Road; turn left on Cemetery Road. Cemetery Road has little traffic, so park, walk, and look.
From Cemetery, turn left on Baseline Road and left again on McCutchan Road, a tiny road through mature, partly wooded fields, good for a variety of birds including Field Sparrows.
From there, turn right on Schlensker Road. Just before Browning Road, turn right onto Honeysuckle Drive into the Valley View subdivision. In spring, check the tall trees where you'll likely find any of the migrants that stay in tree tops: Ceruleans, Redstarts, Blackburnians, Yellow-throated (abundant), Parulas, etc. Park and walk neighborhood, but respect private property. Then follow the loop that Honeysuckle Drive makes; turn left on Woodland Hills; 1/4 mile later turn right on Browning.
Follow Browning Road to Old State Road; turn right (north). Then turn right onto Schroeder Road. Schroeder is a picturesque road through deep woods on the northern edge of the county. Turn right on Barton Road to Volkman. Drive up and down Volkman Road between Hwy. 41 and I-164. About ½ mile from Hwy. 41 is a field on the south side where Bobolinks and Grasshopper Sparrows often congregate.
Return to Barton-Volkman intersection. Turn south (right) where Barton turns into Volkman (a confusing intersection because roads both west and south are Volkman). Follow Volkman to Baseline; turn left on Baseline; right on Old Petersburg, and back to Hornet's Nest.
Drive up and down every little road in the area. It's great habitat: rolling hills and mature woodland. Then follow Boonville-New Harmony Road east across I-69 to the Bluegrass Fish and Wildlife Area and make a day of it! (See Warrick County entries for the Bluegrass FWA and other areas.)
On the west side of St. Joe Avenue about a block south of Mill Road. Wooded areas include trails to look for warblers during migration. Lake has trail around it for viewing waterfowl, especially in winter; however parts of the trail may be impassible in very wet weather.
5301 Nurrenbern Road. Areas around and inside the park offer wetlands (especially in spring), lakes and ponds, woodland, and open fields. Good for ducks, woodland birds, and warblers in season. Take Broadway west to Red Bank Road. Turn left (south) onto Red Bank and follow it to its end at Nurrenbern Road. Turn right (west) onto Nurrenbern. Burdette Park is on the right at 5301 Nurrenbern Road.
On Heidelbach south of Diamond. Great for ducks and geese, especially in winter. Easily accessible by car. Good place to introduce children to waterfowl.
Scott Township Park
On Schlensker Road in McCutchenville just North of the Hornet's Nest. It is a jewel hidden off the road with mature hardwoods and a quaint pond. Their mission statement reads" To preserve a safe, protected area for the enjoyment of the community. The park experience is intended to enhance quality of life as individuals and families, providing relaxing, educational and play opportunities regardless of age, race or ability promoting a healthier, more active lifestyle." They are closed between November and March.
Purple Martin Colonies
Schapker Purple Martin Colony
At 7102 Big Cynthiana Road (Hwy. 65), directly across the highway from Cynthia Heights School. Merl Schapker usually has about 100 nesting pairs and invites you to park on school property and watch. He will also welcome you into his yard if you want a closer view of the gourds he raises himself and turns into Purple Martin homesteads.
Lutterman Purple Martin Colony
At 5724 New Harmony Road between Red Bank Road and Koring Road. New Harmony Road is quite busy, but you can pull off of either Red Bank or Koring to watch. Best viewing is late afternoon and early evening in early July.
Gerichs Purple Martin Colony
At 14650 Darmstadt Road. Theodore "Ted" Gerichs, Jr., loves to talk about his all-consuming hobby of caring for and protecting Purple Martins. He will accept phone calls (867-3412) from those interested in establishing a colony. Best viewing of his 84 apartments is late afternoon or early evening in late June or early July.
Briggs Purple Martin Colony
At 3939 East Boonville-New Harmony Road between Hwy. 57 and Petersburg Road. Larry Briggs has about 400 birds at peak season and welcomes folks who want to talk about establishing their own colonies. Colony is easily visible from the road. Just stop by, he says. Late afternoon or early evening in early July is the best viewing.
Titzer's Purple Martin Colony
Titzer's Martin Colony is located in Union Township on Pleasant Road. The road is lightly traveled, so you can drive slowly or stop alongside the road to watch. Floyd Titzer, now deceased, built his Purple Martin nesting colony from PVC pipe and has had remarkable success. The colony is now cared for by his son Wayne. Please do not trespass on private property.