Birds, Birds, Birds

Many species of birds pass through Northwest Indiana during the spring and fall migration and many stop to rest and feed in natural areas, like Gibson Woods, that contain insects, caterpillars and other sources of food that help sustain migrating birds on their journey. That means we get a chance to see many colorful birds along the trails and at our feeders.

A wonderful way to spend some time, especially in late April and May, is to walk slowly along the trails or sit quietly in the wildlife observation room at the Gibson Woods Environmental Center. You'll likely see Baltimore Orioles, Hummingbirds, bright yellow Goldfinches, Indigo Buntings, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and many other gorgeous birds.

Coopers Hawk Chicks

While you're at the park, don't forget to check out the displays, including an impressive collection of taxidermy mounts of birds and other animals inside the center. The animal mounts, labeled with names and information, allow visitors to get a good look at many birds and animals that they wouldn't be able to get close to in the wild. None of the animals were killed for display purposes. All came by way of donations to the park department for educational purposes. Photo taken by James Strange.

Fall Migration Hikes

  • Gibson Woods Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.
  • August 30, September 6, September 13, September 20, and September 27
  • Free, ages 12 plus
  • Reservations Required: call 219-844-3188

In the fall, many migrating songbirds have a completely new look as their plumages change for the winter. It can be challenging to figure out who is who. Join a Lake County Parks naturalist for a walk through the trails at Gibson Woods to learn a few tips on identifying these long distance travelers as they make their way south for the winter.

Birding Northwest Indiana

  • Various Locations Across Lake County.
  • 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 9 a.m.
  • Free, Reservations Required: call 219-844-3188

Join a Lake County Parks naturalist for field trips to different birding spots in Northwest Indiana. Field trips will begin at Gibson Woods and participants can carpool to various locations where migrants and wintering birds have been seen. Locations will be decided the week prior to each trip.

Cardinal at Feeder

Winter Bird I.D.

  • Gibson Woods Friday, February 2, 2018 at 10 a.m.
  • Free Adult Program Reservations Required: call 219-844-3188

Many species of birds winter here in Northwest Indiana, from small songbirds and waterfowl to various raptors. Join a park naturalist at Gibson Woods to find out what birds you may find and where to look for them. You may be surprised by some of the unexpected birds that stay around when conditions are right. If weather permits, we will take a short hike, then return to the Environmental Awareness Center to warm up in the “bird room” while watching birds at the feeder.