Word is starting to get out on The Bend’s birds.
Five birding spots are considered popular enough to be included on the Indiana Birding Trail. Another one isn’t far behind. These are the best local spots for birding.
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Bendix Woods County Park
Our list is in alphabetical order, but Bendix Woods County Park outside New Carlisle is a really popular spot during spring. That’s when the trillium is in bloom and warblers abound. Thrushes, vireos, warblers and Scarlet Tanagers are around during spring too. Great Horned and Barred owls are favorites too.
Beverly D. Crone Restoration Area
Who knew an excellent birding area could spring from an old landfill? Grassland rarities like Henslow’s sparrow, sedge wren, grasshopper sparrow, dickcissel and bobolink call Beverly Crone home. These are best viewed during summer. If you’re lucky, you can spot Sandhill Cranes and Wild Turkeys in the fields to the east.
Potato Creek State Park
Probably The Bend’s most well-known birding area and its only state park. Potato Creek includes heavily wooded areas, wetlands, prairie and Worster Lake. The lake draws waterfowl, as do the marshy areas around the park. Bald eagles and osprey are the big draw. Trail 4 might be the best for birding.
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Rum Village Park
Although not formally recognized on the Indiana Birding Trail, Rum Village is notable. Its 160 acres are in the South Bend city limits and there’s a large bird-viewing window in the nature center. You could see 10-15 species right there. It’s a great way to introduce kids to birding before heading out on the trails.
Spicer Lake Nature Preserve
Another park outside New Carlisle, two “kettle-hole” lakes are the centerpiece of a 320-acre property that’s mostly swampland. There are over six miles of hiking trails and a boardwalk that leads to Spicer Lake. You can find warblers during migration and woodpeckers year-round.
St. Patrick’s County Park
Bald eagles are the main event here. If you can’t spot them yourself, you can often do so via the livestream at Morrison Family Pavilion. Elsewhere in St. Patrick’s County Park you’ll find ospreys, rose-breasted grosbeaks, Baltimore orioles and more.