With a variety of different land and water terrains, Lake Junaluska offers a haven for a diverse range of bird species. Take a stroll around the lake and see what birds you encounter, or drive and observe from popular vantage points, such as Inspiration Point, the Lake Junaluska Cross or the Susanna Wesley Garden. During the summer months, the Lake Junanluska Summer Activities Program also offers guided bird tours and nature walks.
To help you get started, come by the Bethea Welcome Center for a birding checklist, or download a pdf version here.
For the last decade, Lake Junaluska has been known for its swans, which are a beloved sight as they float peacefully on the water. Birders can typically expect to see cygnets, or baby swans, in the months of April, May and June. The Lake Junaluska swans were introduced to Lake Junaluska by community volunteers who raise money, feed and coordinate medical care for the swans year-round.
Beginning with the first sighting on the grounds in 2007, bald eagles have been a source of joy and excitement at Lake Junaluska. These birds have been particularly newsworthy in recent years, as a nesting pair made Lake Junaluska their home in 2018. During early 2019, the Lake Junaluska community was delighted to watch as this pair successfully hatched and raised several eaglets, and it is likely that the eagles will now return yearly. For more information about where to see the eagles and how to respect their nesting space, please click this link.
Lake Junaluska is a haven for birds the whole year, but especially during winter when flocks of migrating birds call Lake Junaluska home. As the temperatures begin to drop, you can see non-native species in a beautiful setting. Winter residents include brown creeper, pine siskin, winter wren and fox sparrow.