Southwest Indiana Birding Opportunities - Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area

Established in 2005, Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area in Greene County consists of some 9000+acres of wetland, grassland and woodland habitat, divided into numerous units.

Goose pond FWA along Indiana Birding Trail

The property has become an important breeding and migratory stopover site for a variety of birds, including herons, cranes, rails, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors and songbirds. Each spring and fall, significant numbers of Sandhill Cranes and American White Pelicans stage at Goose Pond on their way to and from their breeding grounds in the north. Additionally, the Goose Pond area has become a stopover site for Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population.


Due to the size of the property, the best way to bird it is by driving the county roads slowly while looking and listening, then stopping at individual units to scan or walk the levees. A useful property map can be found at in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3094.htm

Significant stops may include:

  • Thousand Island Woods
  • GP9
  • GP10N
  • GP11S
  • GP5 Pond
  • Main Pool East from CR1200W foot bridge
  • Main Pool West from “double ditches” off Hwy 59 (where the large Goose Pond sign is located)
  • Visitor Center (provides a commanding view of numerous units)
  • Main Pool West from south end of CR1200W
  • Beehunter Marsh units (located just northeast of Goose Pond, along CR100S and 200S)

eBird Hotspot Links:
Goose Pond General: ebird.org/hotspot/L319816
Beehunter Marsh: ebird.org/hotspot/L269568
Main Pool East: ebird.org/hotspot/L1009192
Main Pool Westebird.org/hotspot/L880154

Total Birding Time:
2-6 hours for a “driving tour” with occasional stops at individual units.




Best Times to Bird: 
Goose Pond can be productive year-round, depending upon what birds are being sought, but optimum times to visit are during spring and fall migration periods. Goose Pond does have a number of summer breeding specialties, including: Bell's Vireo, Black-necked Stilt, Blue Grosbeak, Dickcissel, Henslow's Sparrow, Least Tern, and Northern Bobwhite. Winter into early spring can be good for raptors such as Golden Eagle, Merlin, Rough-legged Hawk and Short-eared Owl.

LINTON WEATHER

Address:
13540 W CR 400 S
Linton, IN 47441 
Visitor Center west of SR 59 on W CR 400 S

Hours: Property open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Visitor Center: Office hours Feb 15-April 30:M-F: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. ET
Ownership: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish & Wildlife.
Admission: Admission and parking are free, but guests are required to complete a day pass card and return it at the end of their visit.
Restrictions: Fishing and hunting are permitted on the property; during hunting seasons, birders should take care to avoid units where hunters may be present.
Parking: Gravel parking areas are located at most units throughout the property.
Nearby Amenities: Visitor Center has modern restrooms with flush toilets which are accessible even when the building is closed. Camping is available in the adjacent Greene-Sullivan State Forest; nearest hotel accommodations can be found in the nearby towns of Linton and Sullivan.
Accessibility: Parking areas and Visitor Center are handicap-accessible; trails and levees in individual units are not.
Website: wildlife.in.gov
Phone Number: (812) 512-9185

Written By: Mark Welter
Photo by: 
Dana Schroeder