With a wide range of terrain and climate conditions, Maine is one of the best places in the United States for bird watching. Seabirds, forest birds, and migratory species can all be found in Maine throughout the year, especially in and around Ogunquit. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or you’re just getting your first pair of binoculars, these resources make it easy to find Maine bird watching opportunities that will entertain and educate.
One of the best resources for Maine birders is the Maine Audubon, a branch of the national conservation society. The Maine Audubon website gives birders great guides and tips for bird watching in Maine, broken down by region and type of birds encountered. This is a great first stop for any birder in Maine, whether new or seasoned veteran.
Seabirds are among the most common and popular birds to look for in Maine. You’ll find a huge range of species up and down the coast, including puffins, terns, all manner of waterfowl, and even rare skuas. Ogunquit is a great place to start your Maine bird watching trip, as the Marginal Way and nearby nature reserves are great places to look for wintering birds, where you might see rarer sea ducks, loons and more. Further north, the peninsulas and rocky coastal islands provide a perfect shelter for shorebirds, osprey, and even eagles to the far north.
Adventurous birders also won’t want to miss out on the opportunities afforded by inland Maine. Maine’s forests and mountains are known to shelter dozens of species of warblers and songbirds during the warmer months, as well as hawks, ravens, woodpeckers, and many species of marsh birds in the wetlands that punctuate the region. The western mountains are a good place to start, with peaks like Royce Mountain, Baldpate Mountain, and Saddleback Mountain hosting many species.
Another great way to start bird watching in Maine — without the leg work of tracking down the best spots on your own — is to explore the Maine Birding Trail. It isn’t so much a trail as a collection of 82 excellent birding sites around the state, and gives birders an excellent chance to see the many species that make the state popular for bird identification. There are also many tours available (from single-day excursions to week-long adventure tours) to guide bird watchers to different hotspots.
Maine birders may also enjoy attending one of the state’s many bird watching festivals throughout the year. One of the most famous is Feathers Over Freeport, an annual festival combining bird walks, bird identification workshops, and even games and fun activities for children. At only an hour away from The Dunes, the Freeport birding festival makes a wonderful day trip in April.
Don’t pack those binoculars away once you’re back at The Dunes on the Waterfront, either — the Tidal River and Ogunquit Beach are good places to watch for sandpipers, piping plovers, herons and more. You might spot these sprightly birds from our lawn, your favorite Adirondack chair or even your cottage!