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Willow Slough FWA

Morocco, IN

Spotting Scope RecommendedRestroomsPicnickingCamping
HuntingFishingBoat RampCanoe Access

When to Visit:
January - Less ProductiveFebruary - Less ProductiveMarch - Most ProductiveApril - Most ProductiveMay - Most ProductiveJune - Most ProductiveJuly - Less ProductiveAugust - Most ProductiveSeptember - Most ProductiveOctober - Most ProductiveNovember - Most Productive
December - Less Productive

Willow Slough is a fantastic place to find waterfowl and migrating passerines.

Specialty Species:

Waterfowl:  Look for grebes, dabbling ducks, diving ducks, swans and geese on JC Murphy Lake.

Raptors:  Look for raptors throughout the woodlands and around JC Murphy Lake.  Both Golden and Bald Eagles occur on the property.

Rails:  Look and listen for rails along Pogue and Patrol Roads.  Sora and Virginia Rails are common in the spring and summer.

Common Moorhen:  Look for Common Moorhens in the spring and summer on the dike from 4-A going east.

Wrens:  Watch and listen for Marsh and Sedge Wrens throughout the grasslands and marshes throughout the property.

Swallows:  All Indiana swallows are easily found around JC Murphy Lake during the spring and summer.

Where to Bird:

Headquarters/Campground:  Scan the lake from this location to find swallows and waterfowl.

Birdhouse Point:  While this is over a mile hike, this area is typically well worth the trip.  This area gives you a view of part of the lake that is not available from any other point.  Scan the lake for waterfowl, swallows and shorebirds.

Parking Area 4A:  From this parking area, walk east past the gate.  From this dike, check the marshes for Moorhen, wrens and rails.

Pogue Road:  When driving down Pogue Road from the east, park near the gate by the intersection of Pogue and Patrol Roads.  This gives you another view of Pogue marsh.  This is a great spot for Great Horned Owl, rails, and wrens.

Patrol Road:  When Patrol Road is not blocked off, it gives you another angle to scan the lake from.  This can be a productive place to check for waterfowl.

Road with 7A and 8:  Drive slowly down this road and listen for migrant passerines.  This is a good place to find warblers and vireos.  At night, check this road for all three common owl species - Great Horned, Barred, and Eastern Screech.

The strategy for birding this site is to drive from place to place with brief stops at each location.  We recommend stopping at the headquarters first.  Check the trees for passerines and scan the lake for swallows and waterfowl.  Sandhill Cranes can also sometimes be heard calling in this area.

Continue north on State Line Road.  Turn right onto Patrol Road.  Park in 4A and hike up onto the dike.  Scan and listen for Moorhens, rails, waterfowl and wrens.  If you choose to check Birdhouse Point, head back down Patrol Road and park in 4.  Hike down to the point and scan for shorebirds, swallows, and waterfowl.

Return to State Line Road and turn right.  Turn right onto CR 100N. Turn right onto Patrol Road.  When you get to the intersection of Patrol and Pogue Roads park near the gate to the west.  Hike up on the dike.  Look and listen for wrens and Bell’s Vireo.  At night, this is a great site to listen for Great Horned Owls.

If the gate to go farther on Patrol Road is open, continue down the road.  If not, drive east on Pogue Road.  Turn right onto CR400W.  Turn right onto CR275N the turn left onto CR500W.  Turn right at the sign for Willow Slough.  Drive along this road slowly listening for passerines.  At night, this is a great spot to listen for the three common owl species.  When you get to State Line Road, turn left and leave the way you entered.


Always Open




The trails are not accessible, but most of the area can be birded from your vehicle.


Some trails located throughout the property.

Non-birding Equipment Needed:

Lenght of Visit:

Half visit is recommended




From the North:  Take I-65 south to SR114 (Exit 214).  Turn right (west) onto SR114.  Go 16.1 miles and turn right (north) onto North CR 700W/State Line Road.  After 2.1 miles, turn right (east) into the Willow Slough headquarters and campground.

From the South:  Take I-65 north to SR114 (Exit 214).  Turn left (west) onto SR114.  Go 16.1 miles and turn right (north) onto North CR 700W/State Line Road.  After 2.1 miles, turn right (west) into the Willow Slough headquarters and campground.


2042 S 500 W
Morocco, IN 47963
(219) 285-2704

Nearby Birding:

Kankakee Sands