Best Place to Bird-Watch - 2000
John F. Kennedy Forest, Forest Park
The ovenbird flies from Mexico in early spring, following the Mississippi River all the way to Canada. She flies by night and rests during the day. As this large warbler reaches the halfway point along her migratory flyway, she soars above the steel-and-concrete caverns of St. Louis, looking for a place to rest. Then she sees a small patch of green, about 50 acres in the southwest corner of Forest Park (a little south and west of the St. Louis Art Museum), where she lands. It is an oasis of dense woodland in the middle of the city, where up to 30 other species of migratory warblers also congregate in late April and early May. Although the area is properly called the John F. Kennedy Forest, Jim Holson, former president of the St. Louis Audubon Society, says, "Some people call it a 'warbler trap.'" Thousands of the brightly colored songbirds provide more entertainment for bird-watchers than a season pass to the Muny.