Central Indiana Birding Opportunities - Brookville Lake

Brookville Lake is located in eastern Indiana and is home to two State Recreation Areas: Mounds SRA (not to be confused with Mounds State Park in Anderson) and Quakertown SRA.

Warbler at Brookville Lake on Indiana Birding Trail


Whitewater Memorial State Park is also on the lake’s northeast side. The lake property has more than 25 miles of hiking trails, boating opportunities, and nationally known recreational and sport fishing. With few other nearby large waterways, the lake can be a draw for some unique bird species, in addition to the rolling woodlands that surround the lake.

The Brookville Lake and Whitewater State Park properties support one of the most significant assemblages of migrant and nesting avian species in eastern Indiana. Congregations of migrant waterfowl, a diversity of neotropical passerines, and formerly nesting endangered raptors are the fundamental characteristics of this site.

Some stands of secondary and near climax forest exist along the reservoir, especially along Adena Trace at the southwestern edge of Brookville Lake, and these habitats provide critical breeding habitats for many neotropical migrants. Declining forest interior species such as Wood Thrush, Cerulean Warbler, and Kentucky Warbler are found each summer within these locales. Louisiana Waterthrush breed within the small streams of these forest stands, and Prairie Warblers nest in the younger growth of the woodland periphery.

The large reservoir and surrounding trees also provide adequate breeding territories for two of Indiana’s formerly endangered raptor species, Bald Eagle and Osprey. A single eagle’s nest is occupied annually along the lake, and several Osprey nests have been active over the past few years. The status of the latter species at Brookville is quite significant considering the Osprey nesting population in Indiana likely totals less than thirty pairs.

eBird Hotspot Links:
Brookville Lake- ebird.org/hotspot/L326760
Whitewater Memorial SP- ebird.org/hotspot/L654762

Total Birding Time:
1-4 hours

Best Times to Bird: 
The park can be birded year-round but often the action is on the water. Waterfowl migration in spring runs February thru early April and in fall is October thru freeze-up.


Address: Mapping Address for Quakertown: 3056 Quakertown Ramp Rd., Liberty, IN 47353; Mapping Address for Mounds SRA: 14108 SR 101, Brookville, IN 47012.
Hours: Hours vary depending on property but generally are 7 a.m.-11 p.m. year-round.
Ownership: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks
Admission: Indiana State Park entrance fees apply. $7 in-state vehicles, $9 out of state vehicles. No gate fees on certain off-season days
Restrictions: Please obey all rules and regulations. A summary of property rules can be found at stateparks.IN.gov/6468.htm.
Parking: Parking is available in several lots in each park. Park only in designated areas.
Nearby Amenities: Restrooms are available throughout. Lodging, gas, and food are located in Liberty to the north, and Brookville to the south.
Accessibility: While no specific accessible trail exists, many roadsides and parking lots, including boat launches are easily accessible for birding.
Website: stateparks.in.gov
Phone Number: Brookville Lake- (765) 647-2657, Whitewater Memorial State Park- (765) 458-5565
Website: stateparks.in.gov

Written by: Brad Bumgardner
Photo by:
Ryan Sanderson