Because Even the Birds Love It Here

One of 75 reasons we love St. Louis in 2016

Migratory birds consider St. Louis a must-visit. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TOWER GROVE PARK
  • Migratory birds consider St. Louis a must-visit.

Visit Tower Grove Park (4256 Magnolia Avenue, 314-771-2679) enough, and you'll start to spot the birdwatchers. They can be identified by their binoculars, backpacks full of guidebooks and squinting eyes pointed skyward. Spotting a migratory warbler, cedar waxwing or summer tanager among the usual suspects (robins, woodpeckers and starlings) gives these avian enthusiasts the kind of rush that a Pikachu, Michael Jackson or leprechaun sighting would give a normal human.

The birders camp out here for a reason: Tower Grove Park is a favorite haunt of migratory birds every spring and fall. They flock to its varied habitats, with stately trees, prairies and the revamped Robert and Martha Gaddy Wild Bird Garden, which boasts a bubbling waterfall, native fruiting plants and plenty of places to dwell. And the birds here are capable of bringing joy even to those who can't tell the difference between a blue jay and an indigo bunting. Hearing the park's great-horned owls spookily call to each other at dusk, or watching a red-tailed hawk scoop up a bunny only to rip it to shreds, is enough to make even jaded city dwellers look up to these modern dinosaurs with the admiration — and fear — they deserve.

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