Best places for Birding in the US according to World Girl Birders

November 17, 2020 Birds, Ecotourism, My Solo Trip, The most beautiful places in North America

I recently posted a question in World Girl Birders to get some ideas as to where I should head in my solo trip to find amazing places and to go birding in the US. 

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) ©Victoria Restrepo

I got an overwhelming response, so I organized the comments into a list we could use. If you want to add places, you can leave a comment here or go to the original post to leave it there. The link is at the bottom of the list.

Big Bend National Park

St Helena Canyon

Taos, NM, Stay at Ghost Ranch

Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park are amazing. And the Great Salt Lake and adjacent wetlands have fantastic birding.

Capitol Reef National Park is in Utah’s south-central desert.

The Texas gulf coast and Rio Grande Valley. The Whooping Cranes spend the winter at Aransas Pass, and in spring, the warblers come to the High Island area.

Southern Arizona. Lots of birding hotspots not far from Tucson.

Havasu Falls, located in the Grand Canyon, Arizona


Glacier National Park

Texas Coast: Rockport – whooping cranes 

Rio Grande Valley at Harlingen, Weslaco, McAllen

Sunny Flats Campground in Portal, Az

Loess Hills Wildlife Refuge in Kansas

Lost Dutchman not far from Phoenix, Arizona. 

Bosque del Apache in New Mexico. 

Colusa NWR and Gray Lodge in California are fantastic for overwintering ducks and geese plus Sandhill cranes at Gray Lodge.

Cypress/tupelo swamps in Louisiana and eat some Cajun food!

Indiana Dunes National Park (the newest) and State Park. Lake Michigan has a lot of birds and scenery. Spectacular sandhill crane migration in fall and winter and whooping cranes can be found, especially at Goose Pond farther south. Indiana now has a guide to places to bird online. Ohio is known for Lake Erie sites like Magee Marsh for spring migrants.

Cape May, NJ. Not far is Bombay Hook NWR in Delaware

Cherry Hill

The Rio Grande Valley in Texas is superb for birdwatching in November. At the coast, the South Padre Birding Center and World Birding Center at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

The National Butterfly Center, TX

Point Pelee National Park, Ontario, Canada

Moose Alley, Pittsburg NH

Monterey and the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge, both in California

Lodi, California, for the Sandhill cranes.

All along the Columbia River in the OR /WA border, for eagles in the winter & osprey in the summer. Lots of little side roads for little birds.

Bosque del Apache, NM, Portal, AZ – amazing birding. But don’t skip that southeast corner of AZ – Bisbee – great history and photography opportunities. Birding in Madeira Canyon and Patagonia are amazing.

Magee Marsh area in Ohio.

Drive the Burr Trail from Boulder, Utah, to Natural Bridges Natl. Monument Utah vis the ferry that crosses Lake Powell. Stop a lot! Before arriving at the Bullfrog Marina to catch the ferry, take a detour by entering Capitol Reef Natl Monument via the South entrance.

The Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, Utah 

Mojave Desert, Anzio-Borrego State Park. It is fantastic in the late winter. While in the area, you may want to check out the nearby Salton Sea (which is dying) and a strange place called Salvation Mountain/Slab City. 

Connecticut and Rhode Island shorelines.

As you come west/north (do not attempt I-80 in Wyoming in the winter), northeast Utah around Logan, southeast and east Idaho, Logan Canyon to bear lake (rt89), emigration passes (rt36) in se Idaho, winding towards Grand Teton and then Yellowstone. Bear River NWR in Corinne, Utah, and grays lake (Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge) in Idaho. City of Rocks and Hells Canyon.

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is roughly 30 miles south of Burns in Oregon’s Harney Basin.

High Island, Chambers County, down the coastal area to the Rio Grande Valley, for migration in February.

Big Bend National Park is in southwest Texas and includes the entire Chisos mountain range and a large swath of the Chihuahuan Desert.

The Dry Tortugas off FL

Joshua Tree National Park, CA

San Luis County, CA, is good habitat–the seashore & estuary, the coastal plain with riparian corridors behind a dune complex, a few small lakes, a condor country nearby, and central valley wintering birds in rice fields couple hours away.

Port Isabel Birding Center on South Padre Island, TX

Fort DeSoto Park, St. Petersburg, FL


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