A woman with a braid in her hair looking through binoculars at a scrubby landscape

Birding opportunities at Two Rivers depend on the season visitors use the refuge. Take a look at the refuge bird list for a complete list of species that use the refuge and the season they might be spotted. Printed lists are available at the refuge visitor center or at information kiosks around the refuge, use them as a checklist to keep track of the birds you see during your visit!

Stay informed, please read through the information below before your next birding adventure at Two Rivers.

We offer birding opportunities that suit everyone – including ADA accessible viewing platforms, winding trails through a forest and prairie, and levees open to foot traffic. If you’d rather view from your car, the refuge offers several short auto-accessible roads and pull-offs. Speaking of road trips, the Gilbert Lake Division offers spectacular views of the Illinois River and floodplain habitat alongside the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway – Great River Road.

Waterfowl sanctuary areas – the refuge annually closes some wetland areas to all public activities in order to provide waterfowl areas to feed and rest during migration and the fall hunting season. It may be tempting to enter these areas, but please adhere to our no public entry rule to give waterfowl a chance to feed and rest free of disturbance. The refuge will occasionally offer a weekend birding program during our sanctuary closure period to give curious lookers a chance to see our winged travelers. Check the website or call the visitor center for upcoming birding tours, and consult the refuge hunt brochure to ensure the area you want to view is open during your visit.

Equipment – rent binoculars and consult bird identification books at the visitor center during your visit. We only offer day rentals, and remember the visitor center closes at 4. We also have spotting scopes in the visitor center and on our outdoor viewing deck featuring spectacular views of wetlands, a prairie surrounding the visitor center, and a portion of Swan Lake. The visitor center isn't open when you want to visit? No problem, several locations surrounding Two Rivers also offer a binocular lending program including St. Louis County Libraries and the Library Telescope Lending Program.