Few places in the Midwest rival the Indiana Dunes area for birding. Located at the southern tip of Michigan, the Indiana Dunes sits at the crossroads of major migratory paths that funnel birds into this prime birding location. More than 350 species live or migrate through here, drawn by the open waters of Lake Michigan into the landscapes of beaches, dunes, wetlands, and prairies. We’re best known for our spectacular migrations, where you can witness thousands of Sandhill Cranes in a single autumn day or count a hundred hawks over the dunes in spring.
Days Worth of Adventures
Birders can hike, bike, or paddle the area's many ecosystems of oak savannas, old-growth forests, prairies, wetlands, inland lakes, creeks, rivers, shorelines, dunes, and beaches. There are more than 50 trails, viewing towers and platforms, boardwalks, picnic areas, campgrounds, and wheelchair-accessible areas.
Grab a copy of this self-led birding tour, and visit six of the Indiana Dunes area birding recommended by local birders. Spectacular birds are waiting for you. Can you spot 'em all?
“I’ve birded on six continents, and in my birding experience, birding in the Indiana Dunes is definitely the crème de la crème.” – Lynea Hinchman, Birding Enthusiast
Indiana Audubon offers custom and private bird guiding services through the society’s expert members. Guiding services can be for individuals or groups.
Backpacks for Naturalists
A program that allows both beginners and experienced birders access to the equipment and information needed to enjoy birding in and around the Indiana Dunes. The best part? It’s free!
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center
For personal birding advice and local expertise, stop by our Visitor Center for some friendly face-to-face assistance.
“My four days in the area have forever changed my perception of this section of Indiana. Now, I know it to be a birding hotspot. The Indiana Dunes is truly a hidden gem…” – Jan Lewis
Life in the Indiana Dunes is like a day at the beach. That’s because we have 15 beautiful miles of…
Calling all leisure riders, mountain bikers, road warriors, and BMX enthusiasts. No matter your wheels, you’ll…
Fishing season? Try seasons . With this many inland lakes, creeks, shorelines, and deep waters, we’re…
Lose yourself in the beauty of the Indiana Dunes. Of course, you won’t really be lost—we’ve got…
Our recipe for the perfect day? Just add coastlines, dunes, trails, and plenty of water. Luckily, there’s no…
Why hurry? Take the time to wander and let your senses take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Indiana Dunes.
Be the change by getting more involved with the Indiana Dunes! There are many no-hassle, volunteer drop-in opportunities available for everyone. Just show up, and the organization provides the…
Bed & Breakfasts
Feel like family with intimate accommodations that range from nature-inspired retreats in the woods…
Hotels & Inns
A convenient stay located near downtown? What about a country retreat heaped in Old World charm? Or…
Getting Warmed Up with the Rough-legged Hawk
- 6 minute read
My ninety-year-old neighbor used to tell me that he was going out fishing… not catching, but fishing. It’s about the experience, he’d tell me. And that is how it is with…
A Visit from a Good Luck Sparrow
- 5 minute read
December and January are ‘a visiting time’ – a time to escape the chill of winter and explore new spaces in far-away places, or to travel to see friends and family in old…
Four and Twenty Blackbirds Gracing the Sky
- 3 minute read
October is loud and raucous on the Kankakee Sands prairie. It can also be dark and ominous. In the early morning, you can hear them long before you see them. Off in the distance is a lone tree…