Guest post: 5 Best Birding Spots in the U.S.

Author's note: Enjoy this guest post from Andi Singer, who writes about the best travel destinations in the United States for She loves hiking in rural areas, biking, and water sports as well as exploring big cities by foot.
Willow Slough Fish & Wildlife Area, Indiana covers almost 10,000 acres with 1,200 acres of open water and marshland. This area attracts birds of all types including the bald eagle, pied-billed grebe, green-winged teal, bufflehead, osprey, as well as many types of owls, songbirds, and waterfowl. The area is also open for hunting, fishing, and the gathering of berries and fall mushrooms.
  • Where to stay: Willow Slough Fish & Wildlife Area has a campground with 50 RV sites. You can stay for only $10 a night, but there is no electrical, water, or sewage hook-up.

Snake River Valley, Idaho is home to a uniquely concentrated population of nesting birds of prey. Here you may cross the path of golden eagles, prairie falcons, northern harriers, and American Kestrels, as well as sage thrashers and sage sparrows. The Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise provides birding tours of the area, or you can venture out on your own.
  • Where to stay: There are several options for RVers wanting to explore the Snake River area. The Snake River RV Resort provides campsites for vehicles up to 70 feet long, as well as full hook ups and laundry facilities. Idaho is also known for being fairly RV-friendly, and it is often possible to spend the night in Walmart or truck stop parking lots.

Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, South Dakota is a great place to stop if you’re look for quality and quantity birding. During the early fall migration you will witness the sights and sounds of millions of birds including American white pelicans, tundra swans, arctic-nesting snow geese, Ferruginous hawks, and horned larks.
  • Where to stay: There are no camping opportunities at the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, however there are an abundance of RV parks in the nearby town of Aberdeen, SD.

Cape May, New Jersey is another great spot if you are hoping to see birds of prey, with up to 14 species. It spans through coastal woods and marshes, and has a wide variety of songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, and seabirds. There are several reserves and parks in the area including Cape May National Wildlife Refuge, Higbee Beach, Belleplain State Forest, and Forsythe National Wildlife refuge, so you may want to plan an extended stay to ensure that you have time to see all of the sights.
  • Where to stay: Cape May has a variety of RV parks and campgrounds with and without hookups. Seashore Campsites offers full hookups and offers weekly rates during the summer months. You’ll also find some of the state and national parks have on-site camping with varying amenities.

Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas has a much different group of birds than you will see anywhere in the Northern United States. It is close to the border of Mexico, so you will see some birds that are not native to the U.S. Plain chachalatas, olive sparrows, hook-billed kites, and Audubon’s orioles are among the many different species around the area. This area is also great for escaping the cold of the Northern States during the winter, as it is a year-round birding spot.
  • Where to stay: There is no RV camping allowed in most of the reserves and parks in the area. Primitive camping is available on a limited basis, or you can venture farther into the Rio Grande Valley to find a variety of RV parks closer to nearby cities.