Hotspots Near You

31. Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, Missouri

Tower Grove Park is a fantastic spot for warblers, hawks, and vireos in the heart of St. Louis.
By Mike Thelen | Published: 10/18/2007

A haunt for area birders from beginner to expert, Tower Grove Park is expansive enough for me to enjoy a half-day’s birding during the peak of migration yet conveniently located for shorter visits anytime of the year.

The park is famous for its bounty of migrants. Visitors last spring included Connecticut and Mourning Warblers and Spotted Towhee. The variety can be wonderful, and there are sometimes surprises, like the fly-by flock of Double-crested Cormorants I once saw.

You might not find the region’s specialty, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, in the park, but there are neighborhoods nearby where the species can be seen reliably.

One of my favorite spots is the Robert and Martha Gaddy Wild Bird Garden, a cooperative effort of Tower Grove Park, the Webster Groves Nature Study Society, and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Its water feature, the “bubbler,” is a bird magnet. While resting quietly on the nearby bench, I once watched four species of warbler bathing. — Mike Thelen

Mike Thelen is an I.T. analyst in aerospace and a board member of the St. Louis Audubon Society and the Audubon Society of Missouri. He leads field trips for the St. Louis Audubon Society.

 

31. Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, Missouri

Directions

Tower Grove Park is a 289-acre Victorian-style park situated less than five miles from St. Louis's famous arch. From downtown, take I-64/U.S. 40 west to Kingshighway Blvd. and go south. Travel 1.5 miles to Magnolia Ave. Turn left (east) to drive along the park's northern boundary.

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At a Glance

Click on the coordinates below to view location:
38°36’23.75N 90°15’30.18W

Tower Grove Park
4256 Magnolia Ave.
St. Louis, Missouri 63110
(314) 771-2679

Habitat

Deciduous trees and conifers, plus shrubs, thickets, mowed lawns, manmade and wet-weather water features, gardens.

Terrain

Flat and open, with paved roads and sidewalks and unpaved paths.

Birds

Half the species on the Missouri state checklist: 15 hawks, woodpeckers, flycatchers, vireos, wrens, thrushes, 37 warblers, tanagers, 16 sparrows, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and orioles. Breeding owls and hawks are sometimes seen easily. Accidentals: Prairie Falcon, Virginia Rail, Upland Sandpiper, Long-eared Owl, Varied Thrush, Black-headed Grosbeak.

When to go

Spring and fall migrations are best. Summer and winter also good but not as birdy.

Amenities

Restrooms. The Piper Palm House, near the center of the park, is the oldest standing greenhouse west of the Mississippi. Its Café Madeleine serves Sunday brunch. The Missouri Botanical Garden is across Magnolia Ave. to the north.

Access

City park. Admission free. Street parking free. Three MetroBus lines serve the park.

Tips

Park at the northwest corner along eastbound Magnolia Ave. Then wander eastward from the Wild Bird Garden as far as you’d like. No need for a spotting scope.

For more info

St. Louis Audubon Society
Webster Groves Nature Study Society
Audubon Society of Missouri

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