Birds can be found throughout the park’s 138 acres, and three spots in particular stand out.
The Locust Street Ravine winds through a wooded area near the north end of the park. It is an especially important stopover habitat for warblers, buntings, and other spring migrants.
Around the middle of the park, south of the main parking lot and just north of the North Point Lighthouse, stands the statue of Civil War physician Brigadier General Erastus Wolcott. Bird feeders near the statue attract a steady stream of sparrows, cardinals, and others, including a few surprises over the years.
Across Lincoln Memorial Dr. is a rugby field, and at the north end of the field is a line of trees that local birders refer to as Milwaukee’s “Magic Hedge” for its propensity for luring spring migrants and rarities, including Prairie Warbler and Grasshopper Sparrow.
At a Glance
Click on the coordinates below to view location:
Woodlands, riparian area, open grass, lakeshore.
Mostly flat with wheelchair-accessible paved trails. Some areas with stairs leading to dirt paths.
Greater and Lesser Scaup, Surf, White-winged, and Black Scoters, Bufflehead, mergansers, Wild Turkey, Horned Grebe, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, sandpipers, gulls, Caspian and Common Terns, Red-headed, Red-bellied, Downy, and Hairy Woodpeckers, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, flycatchers, vireos, Horned Lark, swallows, kinglets, nuthatches, wrens, Eastern Bluebird, thrushes, Fox, White-throated, Le Conte’s, Savannah, and Song Sparrows, Baltimore Oriole, 35 warbler species, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting.
When to go
Year-round. Best birding in spring and fall.
Seasonal bird walks for warblers, ducks, and swifts (currently paused due to the pandemic). Restrooms at Lake Park Friends office near tennis courts and on lower level of Lake Park Bistro restaurant (east side of building).
County park. No fees. Parking lots off Lake Dr. and Lincoln Memorial Dr., plus street parking in adjacent neighborhood. Reachable via city bus routes 44U, 21, 22, and GoldLine.
The most reliable spot for Red-headed Woodpecker, which is at Lake Park from late April through October, is along Locust Street Ravine and in the woods near picnic area four. Bring a spotting scope for watching birds on Lake Michigan.
For more info
Lake Park Friends
Birds of Lake Park in Milwaukee
Lake Park map from Milwaukee County Parks
Due south and east of Lake Park. Parking lots just south and west of beach. Great for ducks, shorebirds, gulls, herons, and more.
Lakeshore State Park
Three miles south of Lake Park, adjacent to Discovery World science center. Waterfowl, shorebirds, migratory songbirds, and more