Birding the Dunes
Few places in the Midwest rival Indiana Dunes Country for great birding. More than 350 bird species live or migrate through here – drawn to the open water of Lake Michigan and to a landscape of beaches, dunes, woodlands, wetlands, and prairie.
We’re perhaps best known for our spectacular migrations, when you can witness 10,000 Sandhill Cranes in a single autumn afternoon, or tally a hundred hawks soaring over the dunes in the springtime, or catch a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of a Whooping Crane. But here in Indiana Dunes Country, birding offers year-round discoveries.
Birding Hot Spots
While you can watch birds at dozens of natural areas within the Indiana Dunes region a few of these sites offer truly outstanding viewing. In this guide we’ve detailed the birding opportunities at the region’s top twelve birding hotspots. In fact, nine of the twelve sites are Audubon- designated Important Bird Areas (identified as providing essential habitat for one or more species of birds), and four of these are considered globally significant.
Each site below is a site on the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail. After the site name below, we list the page number on which you’ll find the general description for the site (including driving directions, hours of operations, phone number, etc). Below, we offer information specific to the birding opportunities at each site, including habitat, species highlights, and access tips.