At Lake Ouachita, near Mountain Pine and Hot Springs, Arkansas, your group will find the exciting and bustling region known as Bird Island! This Important Bird Area, as designated by the Audubon Society, is home to Lake Ouachita’s famous "tornado of birds." Located in the middle of the lake, the island is a narrow sliver of land that measures up to 1,260 feet long and 100 feet wide. The island is submerged in water most of the time, and is surrounded by beautiful bald cypress for comfortable nesting.
Here your group will see 30-50 thousand purple martins in late July and early August which convene here after nesting before their long and tiring migration to Brazil. Your group will be able to see the large swarms of blackbirds, purple martins, egrets, herons, ibis, crows, and other wading birds. The main attraction, the purple martins, are colony nesters who are known for their graceful flight and insect consumption. They are so skilled that they take to catching their food and water mid-flight! A tour of this island will take about 1.5 hours and show your group the low flying birds by bird island, cascading into the groves of cypress trees around sunset everyday. You can also head over to the visitor center for more detailed information and bird related books and gifts. Don’t forget your camera for this stop, you’ll want to capture the magic of Bird Island yourself!