Birding in the Adirondacks

Each June, birdwatchers flock to the annual birding celebrations held throughout the Adirondack Region.
Red-Breasted Nuthatch
Brian Bledsoe
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Jessica Deitz | Instagram @jldeitz
Adirondack Loon

While visiting friends in the along the Raquette River, we came across a common loon in the distance. We cut the engine of his runabout and watched the loon dive. After 30 - 45 seconds, the loon reappeared close enough to allow for several shots before diving again. I've tried to get these birds before, but they always proved to be too elusive or the lighting was wrong or they were too distant or....whatever. This was one of those opportunities which just adds to the magical nature of the "dacks". My father was born and raised in these mountains and I've always felt an almost spiritual relationship to these mountains. Moments like today's only emphasize these feelings all the more.

David Baker

Many birding enthusiasts travel to the region to catch a glimpse of more than 100 species of Adirondack birds, including boreal birds, birds of prey, perching birds and waterfowl. June is the peak of nesting season, and bird watchers from around the world flock to the Adirondacks to view species up close. Browse the list of Adirondack bird species from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) Newcomb campus and discover your life list opportunities in the Adirondacks!

Several Audubon NY Important Bird Areas (IBA's) are located in the Adirondack Park including, the Lake Champlain Birding Trail, the St. Lawrence River Plain and the central Adirondacks. Spring birding events in the Adirondacks offer the chance to view rare species of boreal birds up-close, as well as listen to world-renowned birding specialists during scheduled lectures and symposiums.

Alpine areas such as Whiteface Mountain and Blue Mountain Lake provide the ideal summer nesting conditions for Bicknell's Thrush. In order to see these extraordinary birds in their natural environment, it is suggested that birders hike to their summit nesting grounds in the early hours of the morning. Whiteface Mountain offers a toll road allowing visitors easy access up the mountain for rewarding glimpses of this elusive thrush.

The county is also home to four IBAs as designated by Audubon New York including: Moose River Plains; The William C. Whitney Wilderness; Adirondack High Peaks; and the Adirondack Loon Complex.

Adirondack birding festivals, co-sponsored by Northern New York Audubon:

The Great Adirondack Birding Celebration

In the Saranac Lake Region the annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration takes place at the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center a few miles outside Saranac Lake, NY. Join local birding experts and naturalists as they take you on a journey that will offer variety of birding habitats guaranteed to help grow your birding life list. The area is rich with boreal birds such such as Boreal Chickadees, Grey Jays, Bicknells Thrush, and Black Backed Woodpeckers (just to name a few). Catch the early morning chorus in the beauty of the Adirondacks or explore after dark on an Owl Prowl for Barred and Saw-whet Owls you won't forget!  Each year the region hosts world renowned speakers, workshops, walks and hikes and the popular Teddy Roosevelt Birding Challenge.

The Adirondack Birding Festival

In the Adirondack Experience join Adirondack guides for canoe trips, hiking excursions and lectures throughout Hamilton County during the annual Adirondack Birding Festival.

Workshops and exhibits on photography, birds of prey, loons, the Mountain Birdwatch Program, and Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of New York state will provide participants with background about the region and the local Adirondack bird species. There will also be seminars about owl rehabilitation and rescue along with an opportunity to track moose in hopes of obtaining some great photos; and nighttime brings owl and coyote calling trips.

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