Northeast Indiana Birding Opportunities - Pigeon River Fish & Wildlife Area

Pigeon River Fish and Wildlife Area was established in 1956.

Barred Owl seen birding on Pigeon River FWA along indiana birding trail


The site holds 11,794 acres of land, 529 acres of lakes and impoundments, and 17 miles of free-flowing river. Pigeon River is in both LaGrange and Steuben Counties. The habitats within Pigeon River are very diverse. The land has many mature woodlands, open fields, lakes, fens, marshes, and agricultural crop plots.

Migratory waterfowl is best viewed near Deep Lake (parking lot L-2), Mongo Reservoir (parking lot G-1), Nasby Dam (parking lot E-3),Pigeon River 390 Bridge (parking lot C-5), and the Ontario Millpond (parking lot B-1)
Along with numerous migrants, Pigeon River FWA has had a minimum of 36 woodland warbler species over the years during the migration months. Birding is done best from the roads within the area. Several hotspots have consistently been productive year-round.

200 North, between 900 East and 1100 East; 300 North, between 400 East and the town of Mongo, Indiana; 450 North, between 225 East and 350 East; and Parking Lot B-6 are the best areas for both migrant species and local breeders.
Massassuaga Marsh (South of parking lot D12 to parking lot D11) is a special area. During the summer months, nesting Common Gallinule, Least Bittern, Marsh Wren, Virginia Rail, and Sora can be heard, but seldom seen. Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, and Eastern Screech-Owl may be heard at this site year-round.

During the winter months, Pigeon River FWA is a quality location for winter finches, sparrows, and waterfowl.

Pigeon River FWA is a location open to hunting, trapping, and fishing during the appropriate hunting seasons. The seasons do include hunting both in the fall and spring months of the year. Please check the Indiana Hunting Schedule for more information.

eBird Hotspot Link:

Total Birding Time:
2-4 Hours

Best Times to Bird: 
Pigeon River FWA can have productive birding at all times of the year. The greatest diversity of birds will be during the spring and fall migrations.


8310 East 300 North
Mongo, IN 46771
State Road 120 runs east and west just north of the property and allows for easy access into the fish and wildlife area.
Hours: The area’s parking lots are open 24 hours a day. The FWA’s headquarters do not have a regular visiting schedule.
Ownership: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife
Admission: There is no fee associated with birding Pigeon River FWA.
Restrictions: Be aware of hunting seasons, this is an active hunting location. Please obey all rules and regulations. Maps and rules are always available at the headquarters.
Parking: Please us designated parking lots. Many lots are available throughout the property.
Nearby Amenities: Restrooms are available at the park headquarters and at the Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station (Both pit toilets) One gas pump and a variety of snacks are available at the convenience station in Mongo, Indiana.
Accessibility: There are no paved trails in Pigeon River FWA. Many birders walk along the quiet roads, however, there are no bike lanes and very little berm.
Phone Number: (260) 367-2164

Written by: Sam Plew
Photo by: Ryan Sanderson