Where are the special spots in our country for seeing an abundance of bird species in beautiful locales that are wonderful to visit? Although I’m sure that there are those of you who might take exception, the top 10 as seen by the Mother Nature Network are the following destinations (not in any order).
- Nome, Alaska. There are only three roads leading out of Nome, each offering a different variety of birding opportunity. Whichever road you select for the day, you will be rewarded with beautiful bird sightings and scenery.
A mated pair of red-necked grebes in breeding plumage in Nome, Alaska. (Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch)
2. Mount Desert Island, Maine. In the Acadia National Park, this location has year-round birding and hosts the Acadia Bird Festival where you can find ideal opportunity to mingle with birders and explore.
3. Grand Isle, Louisiana. A major magnet for migrating birds, this location hosts the Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration which highlights the importance of preserving bird habitats.
A pair of sandhill cranes feed just before sunset. The morning and evening “fly-ins” of these tall birds are a spectacle to watch. (Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch)
4. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico. This spot is best known for the enormous numbers of migrating sand hill cranes for which there is a four-day festival in November celebrating their migration. It hosts several hundred species of migrating birds and the scenery is second to none.
5. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland. The refuge was created as a sanctuary for migrating waterfowl and the forest, marsh and shallow water provide habitat for ducks, teal, and pintails. Also Ospreys are common and the greatest density of nesting bald eagles in eastern U.S.
6. Cave Creek Canyon, Arizona. While there are 375 species known in this spot, the location is famous for hummingbirds with nearly every species in Arizona are viewed in the canyon each summer.
A flock of young pelicans rests on a rock in Monterey, California. (Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch)
7. Monterey Bay, California. A perfect place to view wintering shorebirds by the thousands during migration season. The abundance and diversity of birds is as rich as the underwater marine life that makes the bay area famous.
8. Everglades National Park, Florida. One of the largest national parks, it hosts 300 species of bird in a unique and scenic habitat. Just by standing at the edge of a pond, a birder can view many different species at one time.
9. Tule Lake, California. This is a key stopover on the Pacific Flyway for migrating birds and thus is a prime area to view the largest number of bird species to be seen from one location…almost 500 species in all.
10. Denali National Park, Alaska. The various habitats of forests, corridors, shrub land, tundra, ponds and lakes provide a variety of locales for bird species sightings, and breathtaking landscapes.
A short-eared owl flies low over a field while hunting in Alaska. (Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch)
So, birders, get your binoculars out, and get on the road to checking off your list those birds that you are hankering to view. You don’t have to go to any of the above spots to appreciate and enjoy good bird watching, but if you ever have a chance, you might want to consider visiting some of the above best locations in the U.S. for birding.
(Source: Mother Nature Network)