Southwest Indiana Birding Opportunities - Scales Lake Park

Scales Lake County Park is a small, but productive county park located in Warrick County in far southwestern Indiana.

Mississippi Kite on Indiana Birding Trail

The park has a sixty-acre lake, small pits, and mature woods with some pine stands. A paved two-mile road goes through the park, and most birding can be done from the road, the campground, and the pavilion area. There are also trails that can be walked. Most of the park acreage is dominated by mature hardwoods with some pine stands. The lake is large enough to attract migrating waterfowl.

One feature bird here are Mississippi Kites, which have nested at the campground or pavilion area for several years. They arrive about the first of May and depart by the first of September. It is a good site for songbird migration. All the expected woodpeckers are present, and the Pileated Woodpecker is often seen. Several warbler species nest here, as well as tanagers, orioles, and vireos. The lake hots several species of waterfowl at times and occasionally a Bald Eagle or Osprey. The Red-shouldered Hawk’s piercing call is frequently heard, and they are sometimes seen interacting in flight.

During migration and winter, birders may find Common Loon, Pied-billed and Horned Grebes along with several waterfowl species. Great Blue Herons can be seen anytime, while Green Herons are summer visitors. Summer birds include vireos, flycatchers, warblers, and thrushes. Irruption years can find Red-breasted Nuthatches in the pine stands.

eBird Hotspot Link:

Total Birding Time:
1-3 hours

Best Times to Bird: 
Scales Lake can be birded year-round, but spring and fall migration are the much better times to visit.


800 W Tennyson Rd
Boonville, IN 47601
Most visitors will access Scales Lake from the south entrance, off Parklane Dr, heading north out of the east side of Boonville.

Hours: The park is open 7am to dusk in the summer and 8am to dusk in the winter months.
Ownership: Warrick County Parks
Admission: General admission is $2.00 per vehicle, and $.50 for walk ins.
Restrictions: None.
Parking: Main parking lots are located within the county park.
Nearby Amenities: The park has restrooms, drinking water, and vending machines. The closest nearby facilities are located in Boonville, located just minutes from the park. More extensive offerings are found in Evansville, approximately 30 minutes to the southwest.
Accessibility: There are no paved trails in Tri-County FWA. Many birders walk along the quiet roads, and lake overlooks.
Phone Number: (812) 897-6200

Written by: Brad Bumgardner
Photo by:
Shari McCollough