The Great River Road showcases the mighty Mississippi River and highlights the historic importance of the river in the development of the United States. While appreciating the Mississippi River, be sure to not miss out on the impressive array of North American bird life along the expansive river.
Take a self-guided birding tour on the northernmost reaches of one of America’s longest birding trails. The The Audubon Society’s Great River Birding Trail parallels both sides of the Mississippi River from the headwaters, down 1,366 miles to the confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois.
The Rose Pond Conservation Area, located in Alexandria, Illinois on the byway, is a popular destination for bird watchers. In late summer, admire Great Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night-Herons and egrets wading in the marsh. If you’re patient, you may see Least Bitterns or Common Moorhens feeding in the bulrushes during the summer, and American Bitterns and rails during migration.
While traveling on the byway in La Grange, Illinois, stop at the Great River National Wildlife Refuge, which is part of the Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Scattered along more than 350 river