Birding in the Cache River Watershed
The Cache River originates near Anna, Illinois and meanders nearly the entire southern tip of Illinois. Its river basin has been identified as a Wetland of International Importance because of its rich collection of natural communities and the critical habitat it provides waterfowl and shorebirds that use the Mississippi flyway. The Cache bottomlands support the greatest diversity of tree species of any bottomland stream system in Illinois. The rich diversity harbors nearly 250 species of migratory waterfowl, wading birds and song-birds during migration.
In addition, Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Cache River State Natural Area and Grassy Slough Preserve are designated Important Bird Areas by National Audubon. These areas provide important breeding, migrating and wintering habitat for yellow-crowned night herons, Mississippi kites, bald eagles, red-shouldered hawks, Henslow’s sparrow, cerulean warblers, black vultures, hooded mergansers and many other species that are characteristic of rich floodplain forest.
See Recreation Places for specific places to go bird watching.