Natural Resources & Wildlife
Birds of Des Moines Parks & Green Spaces

Enjoy the many birds at Gray's Lake and our other parklands as well as the diverse natural landscapes that include lakes, rivers, woods and prairies. Des Moines Park and Recreation staff are working to protect and enhance our natural resources for the your enjoyment and the enjoyment of future generations.
Can you spy a Northern Flicker? A Golden Crowned Kinglet? A Barred Owl? Bird watching and feeding is a treat year-round in Des Moines’ parks. Two places you’ll want to be sure to visit during the cold winter months are Gray’s Lake Park to try to spy the bald eagles feeding, and Glendale Cemetery to catch an appearance of the rare Merlins that pick this as their only place to stop over in Iowa. Of course when the first blooms of spring pop up, there are several species of beautiful birds that you’ll want to be on the lookout for.

Links of Interest


  • Map of where greatest diversity of birds can be found
  • Brochure listing of birds commonly founds in Des Moines major green spaces
  • Bird listing of all birds found in 5 major green spaces