Birding at Valley Water Mill Park
189 species of birds have been sighted at Valley Water Mill Park and reported to Ebird
The Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill Park is a birding hot-spot because of the diverse habitat, access to water, and proximity to the City of Springfield–it’s important for the birds, and for teaching people about conservation. Ebird data shows 189 bird species have been reported at Valley Water Mill Park which illustrates the importance of this location to migrating and nesting birds, and to the dedicated people who watch and study them at the Park.
Of the 189 bird species recorded here, three species, the Northern Harrier, Snowy Egret, and Peregrine Falcon are designated Endangered in the State (Missouri Species and Communities of Conservation Concern Checklist, Missouri Department of Conservation, 2016). Valley Water Mill Park was added to the Great Missouri Birding Trail in 2017. The Greater Ozarks Audubon Society (GOAS) has a long-term commitment and involvement to the site, with projects including feeder stations, a waterfowl observation blind, a watering bubbler, and chimney swift towers. GOAS frequently leads field trips to the site.
The wetland and 15 acre lake are spring-fed and stay ice free most winters, making it an important resting place for migratory waterfowl during extended cold periods. The Watershed Committee has been working to improve the habitat on the 100 acre property which will provide benefits for birds and native pollinators such as monarchs, and increase ecosystem diversity.
The Watershed Committee works closely with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Master Naturalists, Greater Ozarks Audubon Society, Springfield-Greene County Park Board, the City of Springfield, and Greene County which provides excellent partnerships for education and data gathering.