Birdwatchers’ 15 favorite birding destinations in the U.S. and Canada

14. Acadia National Park, Maine

Maine’s Acadia National Park embraces Mount Desert Island, Schoodic Peninsula, Isle au Haut, and several small islands, and it’s a stunningly beautiful place.

The park’s wonders — jagged shorelines, tidal pools, streams, lakes, woodlands, and the only fjord in eastern North America — attract some 325 bird species throughout the year.

“Acadia was one of my first birding trips, and I took my daughter along,” writes Robert Fuhrman of Charlottesville, Virginia. “She was fascinated with the teacher teacher call of our first Ovenbird. I enjoy biking the carriage trails in the early morning looking for warblers. Exploring the rocky coast brought me wonderful opportunities to observe eiders. One day my wife and I spotted a Peregrine Falcon nesting on a cliff. A few minutes down the road we saw an Osprey flying away from a pair of Bald Eagles soaring near the coast. That afternoon, while on a whale-watching trip out of Bar Harbor, we saw our first Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, Sooty Shearwaters, and Black Guillemots.”

John Sichel, a composer from Mountainside, New Jersey, says it’s the birdsong that makes Acadia memorable: “The song of the Hermit Thrush, as experienced in the mist among the firs and spruces of Ship Harbor Nature Trail, beggars any music ever composed by me or any of my betters. That of the White-throated Sparrow, in the same environs, is the most haunting.”

Location: Acadia surrounds the village of Bar Harbor on the coast of Maine • Best time to visit: Spring and summer for songbirds, winter for waterfowl and seabirds • Birds: 21 nesting warbler species, plus Common Eider, Common Loon, Black Guillemot, Bald Eagle, Atlantic Puffin • Contact: Acadia National Park: (207) 288-3338; Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce: (207) 288-5103

“Nearly every habitat found in Maine is represented in Acadia National Park, and they’re all great for birdwatching.” — “Maine’s Tourist Towns” by Allison Childs Wells and Jeff Wells, Birder’s World, April 1996, pp. 52-56

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Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall is the editor of BirdWatching magazine and BirdWatchingDaily.com. He joined the staff of BirdWatching (formerly Birder’s World) in 2000 and has worn many hats over the years: reporter, story wrangler, photo editor, managing editor, and now editor. Originally from Omaha, he lives with his wife and two daughters in Milwaukee and holds a Bachelor’s in journalism from Marquette University. You can reach Matt at (617) 706-9098 and [email protected].

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