Located at the southern tip of Lake Michigan, the national lakeshore is an important feeding and resting area for migrating birds. Lake Michigan influences the migration patterns of bird species. During the fall migration, southbound birds follow the north-south shoreline and are funneled into Indiana's dunes. Also, the expanse of open water and miles of shoreline can attract large numbers of wintering birds. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore provides an excellent opportunity for birders to see a variety of bird species. Birders can watch birds along the shoreline with a spotting scope, stand on the foredunes observing the hawks during migration, or look for wetland birds in remnant sections of the Great Marsh. Whether you have beginner or advanced identification skills, the national lakeshore is a great place for birders. To help identify and find the birds of Indiana's dunes we have a "Seasonal Bird Checklist".The national lakeshore conducts annual monitoring of birds at several different park locations.The monitoring is focused on tracking population trends of breeding birds. Monitoring programs provide valuable data on the status of birds in the park and also contribute to national efforts to track bird populations. The North American Breeding Bird Survey for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one example of such a monitoring program.
Did You Know?
Without fire, there could be no prairie at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Non-prairie plant species would crowd out native prairie grasses. These rare grasslands are maintained through periodic controlled burns.