Watchable Wildlife - Birds of Arkansas
See Bald Eagle Migration & More!
Arkansas has some of the finest bird watching you will find. Many of our parks have bird watching checklists, and most park interpreters are avid birders who will delight in helping guide you to view some of the many the birds of Arkansas. There are so many excellent locations for a bird watching vacation that it's hard, perhaps unfair, to try to name a few, but of particular note are:
Lake Chicot State Park - Near the Mississippi River in southeast Arkansas, this park has camping and cabins on Arkansas's largest natural lake. This oxbow of the Mississippi River offers outstanding birding from the shore, by boat (the park offers boat tours) and by car along the Levee Tour (noted as one of America's outstanding drives by the National Geographic Society). September is the best time for your bird watching vacation, when the area is full of eagles and waterfowl following the famed Mississippi Flyway.
Millwood State Park - Millwood is in southwest Arkansas just a few miles north of Texas. This large shallow lake attracts a variety of birds. The park's bird checklist contains more birds than any other location in Arkansas and the area is noted for rare and unusual migrants. Migration seasons are an excellent time to watch birds, and winter features bald eagles and waterfowl. Park campsites are available year-round.
Village Creek State Park - Each spring and fall, the unusual plant community of the Crowley's Ridge Natural Division in eastern Arkansas fills with the sounds of migrating warblers. In winter the waterfowl are abundant, and the bald eagle migration is underway! Park cabins and campsites make perfect locations for your bird watching vacation, and you’ll surely add some birds of Arkansas to your life list.
Bull Shoals-White River State Park - On one of the largest lakes in the Ozarks, and on the famed trout waters of the White River, Bull Shoals State Park is a fine place to search for and observe the bird life of the Ozarks. The park's bird checklist includes habitat zones and can direct you to some beautiful and productive birding areas. In winter you'll see plenty of bald eagles, and be sure to watch for diving ducks just below Bull Shoals Dam. Beautiful campsites along the White River are available year-round.
Cane Creek State Park - on the edge of the Delta in southeast Arkansas is a true hotspot. The combination of Delta and Gulf Coastal Plain habitat zones, trails, kayak tours through the 2,000-acre lake, and an enthusiastic staff make this an incredible place to watch birds and other wildlife.
Mount Magazine State Park - Here you will be camping in a wildlife haven that includes rufous-crowned sparrows and black bear. Most famous are the Mount Magazine butterflies including the Diana, but this highest point in the Ozarks is also a Mecca for migrating raptors and a variety of warblers and other songbirds.
You don't have to hike or camp to be in a position to see wildlife and birds of Arkansas. . Perhaps the most comfortable wildlife viewing comes from a boat. Several parks offer interpreter-led lake tours and most of those are designed for watching wildlife. In winter, an assortment of wintering waterfowl provide the fun, but the bald eagle migration is the main attraction. In summer evening and night cruises look for raccoon and listen for the beaver to slap the water.
Lake Chicot State Park offers a unique look at Arkansas's largest natural lake and the cypress swamp-like habitat of egrets, herons, bald eagles, ibis and the endangered wood stork. Lake Chicot, in southeast Arkansas, is one of the state's birding hotspots and the nationally acclaimed Levee Tour (auto) and the swamp tours are excellent ways to add excitement to your bird watching vacation and birds (and alligator, mink, deer and armadillo) to your life list.
Lake Ouachita State Park, in the heart of the Ouachita Mountains, has become famous for cruises on Arkansas's largest lake. The cruise is a relaxing way to see the exposed results of the severe folding and faulting which created these beautiful mountains.
Lake cruises are available on:
Lake kayak or canoe tours are available at:
Come watch birds in Arkansas and add a few new species to your life list. There’s so much variety here that you’ll want to return year after year.