Winter Birding is Fun!
A great way to experience the winter landscape is to don your binoculars and go look for birds. Although the deep woods are quiet in winter, our coastlines, marshes, meadows, and blueberry barrens offer great birding options.
In winter, ducks and seabirds often forage in our harbors and along protected coastlines. In Rockport, Rockland, and South Thomaston harbors, birders have had good views of American Wigeon, Pintail, Long-tailed Ducks, in addition to more common waterfowl such as Mallards, Black Ducks, and Common Eiders.
Winter is a good time to see raptors (birds of prey) cruising open fields and perching on dead trees or rock outcrops. This year, a couple of Rough-legged Hawks were seen in Owls Head and at the Weskeag Marsh, Northern Harriers were seen along Rockland’s Meadow Brook, and a Snowy Owl was seen up on Clarry Hill in Union.
Winter is also the time to watch for the more northern birds that come south to Maine for the winter such as Crossbills, Redpolls, and Grosbeaks. Watch for them in crab apple trees or the tops of cone-filled conifers. They often move about in flocks to wherever they find the best food.
If you’re looking for ideas on where to go, there is a great Maine-based birding guide, the Maine Birding Trail, or look up birding hotspots on Cornell University’s eBird. When you visit one of our preserves or hike the Georges Highland Path, let us know on Facebook what you see!