There is a multitude of prospects for Arkansas bird watching. There are over 400 documented species of birds in the areas that surround the Ozark Mountains. In addition to the birds, there is also a large variety of butterfly species that inhabit the state, creating additional opportunities for premium wildlife viewing.
The first, and probably the most practical reason is that it is affordable. Since Arkansas is centrally located within the United States, it is, with a few exceptions, just about a day’s drive from anywhere in the country. This kind of access, coupled with the low cost of living in the area, makes a trip affordable. If you are coming from out of state or from the East or West coast, you will be delighted at the hospitable nature of the people who call the state of Arkansas home.
Another reason to consider Arkansas as your next bird watching destination is the availability of local resources. A bird watching club is easily found and there are Audubon societies in the area, and most are ready and willing to provide information that will allow visitors to capitalize on all of the bird watching opportunities that an area has to offer. If you are serious about heading to Arkansas to do some bird watching, make sure you check out www.birdingArkansas.com. Here you will find a number of resources and links that will help you plan your trip.
Arkansas bird watching got a lot of publicity when the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, which was thought to be extinct, was discovered living in an Arkansas swamp a few years ago. The lift in tourism that these sightings has prompted is helping to provide additional funding for conserving the habitat where this rare bird lives.
Bull Shoals State Park, DeGray Lake Resort State Park, and Devil’s Den State Park each host bird watching festivals or events at different times of the year. These organized festivals and events allow bird watching enthusiasts from around the country to come together and share information and to enjoy the company of folks who share similar passions. Local bird watching club involvement is very active in supporting these events.
In addition to the festivals, some lodges and outfitters sponsor Arkansas bird watching tours. These tours can be a good way to go if you are unfamiliar with the area and want to be assured of the best opportunities to see rare species. The guides who lead the tours will have the latest and most up to date information about where the birds have been seen and will know the best ways to get there. Guided tours give you the chance to focus on bird watching and allow you to leave the driving to someone else.