Approximately, 200 species of birds use the Buffalo National River for at least some part of the year. Nearly half of those species live here year round, and can be seen frequently during canoe trips down the river. Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers, and Wood Ducks are a common sight on almost any section of the river, and Bald Eagles are observed more frequently during the winter as they rest in trees on the ridgetops and riverbanks. Nearly 100 of the recorded species migrate to the forest and fields that surround the river to build nests, lay eggs, and raise their young during the summer.
Other migrating birds will stop by to feed and rest during their spring and fall migrations between breeding grounds of northern U.S. and Canada and wintering grounds in Central and South America. The majority of the migrating song birds are attracted by the unbroken forests of the Ozarks, and these birds can be very vocal during the early morning hours. Many of the birds found within the canopy of the forest are more likely to be heard than seen. The challenge of identifying these cryptic birds by only their song or call can be a rewarding experience and one easily found within the dense woods of Buffalo National River.