Continued from part 4.
Japer Pulaski FWA: JP (link) comes alive in the spring and fall with a very large migration of Sandhill Cranes. The modern, wheel chair accessible, observation deck can be crowded on March and November weekends. Thousands of cranes come into the adjacent field for the night. There is another observation deck on a nearby pond that is less accessible but offers a view of several species of waterfowl. Various species of ducks stop on their migration to and from Canada, shovellers, buffleheads, grebes, wood ducks, coots are seen on the ponds and in the canals. Heron nest throughout the area along with geese. Travel time about 1 hour.
Goose Pond FWA: Although a 3 hour drive from Lafayette, Goose Pond (link) is an excellent birder site. This former wetland turned farmland restored wetland is similar to Jasper Pulaski FWA. It was a stopover on the Great Lakes flyway long before European settlement. It was drained for agricultural purposes. Ultimately though, locals saw the wisdom of returning the farmland to a wetland. More and more flocks are resuming the use of this area as a stopover. Several dozen species of waterfowl have been counted. Last year a crane typically seen in Asia was spotted.
There are, of course, smaller venues around town, that one can watch the birds. Urban parks, especially ones with retention ponds, can provide a tranquil bird viewing session. State parks and state nature preserves offer opportunities to catch a glimpse of a bird you might not see here.
Let's face it, any bench might offer a view of avian activity. The most important part is taking the time to watch.
End of series.