Birding in MKE

Grab your binoculars and hit the trails to discover the many bird species living in Milwaukee!

Bird City


Milwaukee has been recognized as a Bird City since 2012. The city’s renewal will be announced in 2024. The 'Bird City Wisconsin' designation provides highly visible public recognition for communities that go above and beyond in their dedication to local conservation and education. The following municipalities also come with the 'Bird City Wisconsin' status: 

Why Milwaukee?


Bird is the word in Milwaukee. Perched on the west coast of Lake Michigan, our city sits in the Mississippi Flyway. The many wooded lakefront parks provide the prime habitat for migrating birds. There are over 250 hotspots around Milwaukee with over 350 species to be seen. With over six miles of bird-able Lake Michigan shore, numerous trails and parks that border the three rivers that flow through Milwaukee as well as wooded parks with trails and ponds, it’s no wonder birds flock here year-round. 

When and Where?


They say the early bird gets the worm, but birding is always a hoot in Milwaukee. Anytime is a good time to spot your favorite winged friends around town. During spring and fall migration, the wooded parks on the bluffs above Lake Michigan are fabulous for spotting Thrushes, Flycatchers, and Warblers. Check out Lake Park, Sheridan Park, Grant Park, and Warnimont Park along the lake. 

Parks along a river like Lincoln Park, Estabrook Park, Riverside Park, Honey Creek Park, and Menomonee Valley provide great birding from spring through fall. Migrating Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstones, and Terns can also be spotted in lakefront parks.

Winter means ice across many inland ponds, however, the nearby water in Lake Michigan stays open for fowl from around the region. It is not unusual to see thousands of Red-Breasted Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, and Scaups along with the occasional vagrant, such as a Tufted Duck. Look for Snowy Owls along the breakwaters.   


Birding Groups & Resources


Live Birding Cameras in Milwaukee


Birding Blogs

World Migratory Bird Day 2023 Oct 10
Active & Outdoors

World Migratory Bird Day 2023

  • 2 min. read

Caw-Cawling all bird-lovers! This weekend we celebrate World Migratory Bird Day. And, as we prepare to say a fond winter’s farewell to some of our fine feathered friends migrating south for the season, at locations throughout the area, you can take advantage of prime…