Best Place to Bird Watch St. Louis 2007 - Robert and Martha Gaddy Wild Bird Garden Tower Grove Park
4256 Magnolia Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
Spring and fall bring large numbers of migrating birds and bird watchers to Tower Grove Park. The park, which has a long history as a migratory-bird "trap," offers several prime locations for viewing, but local birders say the Robert and Martha Gaddy Wild Bird Garden in the northwest corner tops the list. A mulch-covered path runs from the park's ring road past a thicket of bushes and trees. Follow the path to a clearing shaded by a grove of tall trees. At the center of the cool darkness is a single bench. Across the path, a quietly bubbling fountain sends a gentle stream of water into a shallow puddle bordered by water plants. The din of traffic on nearby Kingshighway makes it hard to believe that this place would harbor many birds, but the garden offers everything our avian friends need: the cover of bushes, the fruit of the mulberry and the sound of running water. During migration, birders look for flycatchers, vireos and warblers. Year-round, you might see great horned owls, Baltimore orioles and rose-breasted grosbeaks, says Andy Forbes, a Missouri Audubon ornithologist. For more information on birding, visit the St. Louis Audubon Society at www.stlouisaudubon.org or call 314-822-6595.