Spring is for bird watching

Spring is one of the best times for bird watching in Arkansas (close second would be in Fall when they’re migrating south). Our mild winters and long, warm summers makes the climate in Arkansas perfect for birdwatching year round. Spring time is always an exciting time for bird watching in Arkansas as hundreds of birds begin their annual migration north along the Mississippi Flyway to their northern breeding grounds. The first returning residents and migrants begin arriving around mid-March and peak the first week in May. If you’re trying to watch the greatest assortment of birds, it’s important to visit a variety of bird habitats. The birds you will find in marshes and open water aren’t the same ones that you might find in pine woods, hardwood forests or prairies.

photo of the bird watching kit sitting outside, includes a book titled "Birds of Arkansas", a set of binoculars and case.

Finding birds this time of year isn’t hard, but with a little bit of searching comes great reward. Just stepping into your backyard can bring a variety of feathered friends. But if you want to step up your game a bit, head to one of the many state parks in our state. Just make sure before you go that you grab one of the many Bird Watching Kits available at CALS.  Each kit contains: a carrying bag, Celestron binoculars, binocular guide, polishing cloth, lens caps (three), and one book (Birds of Arkansas). They can be checked out here. Unlike books, kits are branch specific, in that they must be checked out and returned to the specific branch that owns that kit. If there aren’t any available at your home branch, chances are, you can find one at a nearby branch.

Additional resources include this list of birding books, and you can check out this insightful article about birding in Arkansas from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.