Conservatory Park is a 55-acre wooded park that lies just north of University Parkway. To reach the park, you must wind your way through neighborhoods south of the Palm-Aire Country Club. One entrance to the park is off Palm Aire Boulevard and then Conservatory Drive. The other entrance is off Whitfield Avenue, Timber Lake Drive and then DeSoto Woods Drive. The park features a paved nature trail that curves past exercise stations and an observation deck overlooking a 10-acre lake, playground equipment, restrooms, and two covered picnic pavilions. The park is open dawn to dusk. There is no admission fee. Dogs on leash are allowed.
Featured Birds: Over 150 bird species have been reported by eBirders. Bald Eagles, Barred Owls, and Great Horned Owls have nested here in the past. The wooded areas are perfect for migrating vireos, tanagers, grosbeak, and warblers. Rarities have included Western Tanager, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and over 25 species of warblers.
Insider’s Tip: Upon entering the park from Conservatory Drive, you should first head to the observation deck where you can scan the shoreline for night herons and Wood Ducks. The trees overhead may yield Tufted Titmouse, vireos, warblers, Northern Cardinal, and woodpeckers. Take the paved trail past the entrance, which winds through the gates and past the housing development to another secluded lake. Here you may find Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Wood Ducks and perhaps other species of wintering ducks. As you return towards the lake, look for Carolina Wren in the underbrush and migrating warblers in the tree canopy. This is also where you might see or hear Barred Owls, Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Thrasher, or a Coopers Hawk.
The path loops past the restroom pavilion and over a humped bridge, which is a good area for tanagers and warblers; but also listen for owls. Across from the second picnic pavilion is a path on the right that leads to a secluded cul-de-sac, which is a good resting spot as you listen for warblers. Continue along the main trail past the DeSoto Woods Drive parking lot. As you approach the second hump bridge and just past the model bird’s nest is another great location for warblers, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Wren, and Brown Thrasher.
Accessibility: The park offers paved trails that are shaded.