(Copyright Bill O'Donnell)
The wide diversity of habitat types in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and its location along the Mississippi Flyway mean that a large variety of bird species can be found in the park. Nearly two hundred species have been identified as nesting or migrating through the area. Doubtless there are others waiting to be added to the list. Over fifty species are known to nest in the park, with at least another dozen species likely.
Canebrakes along the rivers are home to the state listed (endangered) Swainson's Warbler. This shy songster is at the edge of its range and has had its populations reduced by the elimination of canebrakes for agriculture and by the damming of rivers for impoundments. Birders visiting the Ozark Riverways will do well to come in the spring or fall migration months. Bald eagles are fairly common in the winter months.
Did You Know?
Cane brakes are thick stands of rivercane, which is much like bamboo. The endangered Swainson's Warbler nests in these thickets. Many stands have been lost to reservoir impoundments throughout the South, but many stands are protected at Ozark National Scenic Riverways. More at www.nps.gov/ozar More...