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

15 favorites over 15 years

BirdWatching (formerly Birder’s World) has been writing about hotspots since the magazine first appeared. Here’s a selection of our favorite articles about your favorite hotspots.

Southeastern Arizona

“The Chiricahua Mountains” (Birding Hotspot), by Mary Ann Chapman, September/October 1987, pages 38-42

“Calling All Owls: Three Arizona birders set out to break the one-day owling record,” by Kenn Kaufman and Kate Stenberg, March/April 1988, pages 14-18

“Madera Canyon, Arizona” (Birding Hotspot), by Kenn Kaufman, June 1991, pages 42-46

“Snow Birder: Winter birding Sunbelt style,” by Sam Fried, April 1992, pages 22-26

“Rain Bird: Arizona’s desert grasslands give life to the Rufous-winged Sparrow,” by Kenn Kaufman and Rick Bowers, October 1992, pages 24-27

“Arizona Elegance: In search of Elegant Trogons in the canyons of southern Arizona,” by Vera M. Walters, August 1997, pages 42-45

“Prickly Haven: For birdwatching with a southwestern flavor, Arizona’s Sonoran Desert offers unusual birds in unique housing,” by Paul Zimmerman, June 2000, pages 52–55

“Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum” (Birding Hotspot), by Sam Fried, April 2001, pages 52-55.

Cape May

“The Fourth Annual World Series of Birding: A play-by-play account of one team’s effort,” by Pete Dunne, September/October 1987, pages 17-21

“Nuts to New Jersey: An interview with one of them,” by Judith A. Toups, September/October 1988, pages 10-15

“The View from Over the Hump: A backseat view of Birder’s World at the World Series,” by Judith A. Toups, April 1990, pages 16-19

“Crab eggsposé: New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore offers a feast for shorebirds,” by Arthur Morris, June 1994, pages 33-37

“Hawks Head South: This fall, experience the thrill of raptor migration by visiting a hawkwatching hotspot,” by Clay Sutton and Pat Sutton, October 1998, pages 38-42

J.N. “Ding” Darling NWR

“Sanibel Island, Florida” (Birding Hotspot), by Connie Toops, October 1990, pages 44-48

“Catching the Yucatan Express: Spring migrants are surprisingly well adapted to long nonstop flights across the Gulf of Mexico,” by Paul Kerlinger, April 1999, pages 30-38

Everglades National Park

“The Everglades” (Birding Hotspot), by Connie Toops, March/April 1988, pages 34-38

“Lurking in the Lagoon: A birding group scours the Everglades for the elusive Limpkin,” by Myra Yellin Goldfarb, December 1989, pages 10-13

“Big Cypress Swamp” (Birding Hotspot), by Jeff Ripple, February 1996, pages 52-56

“Loxahatchee NWR, Florida” (Birding Hotspot), by Cliff Beittel, December 1996, pages 58-62

“Everglades Forever: A photographic tribute to southern Florida’s national treasure,” by Connie Toops, December 1997, pages 32-37

“Top 5 Birding Parks: Big Bend, Everglades, Olympic, Grand Teton, and Acadia National Parks,” by Roland H. Wauer, April 2000, pages 46–53

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

“Corkscrew Swamp, Florida” (Birding Hotspot), by Sheryl De Vore, August 1991, pages 42-46

Point Pelee National Park

“Point Pelee, Ontario” (Birding Hotspot), by Eldon Greij, May/June 1987, pages 34-38

“Swallowtown: Pembroke, Ontario — The San Juan Capistrano of the North,” by Suzanne Kingsmill, January/February 1988, pages 10-13

“Long Point, Ontario” (Birding Hotspot), by Jon Curson, April 1990, pages 42-46

“Hawk Cliff, Ontario” (Birding Hotspot), by William J. Rayner, October 1993, pages 48-52

“Holiday Beach, Ontario” (Birding Hotspot), by Julie Craves, October 1996, pages 54-58

Point Reyes National Seashore

“Windbirds: One Californian’s Passion for Shorebirds,” by Kenn Sherwood Roe, February 1991, pages 10-13

“Point Reyes, California” (Birding Hotspot), by Kenn Sherwood Roe, December 1991, pages 54-58

Bosque del Apache NWR

“Bosque del Apache” (Birding Hotspot), by Lee Kaiser, February 1990, pages 42-46

“The Beauty of Bosque” (Bird Photography), by Arthur Morris, October 1997, pages 68-71

“Winter Oasis: Migrants put on an annual show at New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache,” by Cliff Beittel, December 2001, pages 48-53

Monterey Bay

“Monterey Bay, California” (Birding Hotspot), by Laird Henkel, December 1997, pages 56-60

Santa Ana NWR

“The Rio Grande of South Texas” (Birding Hotspot), by George Oxford Miller, July/August 1987, pages 34-38

“Dear Eldon” (On the Road: Rockport, Texas), by Judith A. Toups, January/February 1989, pages 60-61

“Birding Bonanza: The King Ranch of Texas welcomes birders,” by Judith A. Toups, August 1990, pages 10-13

“Blazing Binoculars: A 10-day blitz through southern Texas,” by Sam Fried, December 1990, pages 22-26

“Lone Star Attractions: A photo essay of south Texas specialties,” by Steve Bentsen, August 1994, pages 32-37

“The Great Texas Birding Classic: Bird conservation causes are the big winners when birders compete in this grueling week-long event,” by Kathy Adams Clark, February 1998, pages 36-38

“Texas Classic: An Insider’s Strategy,” by Roland H. Wauer, February 1998, page 39

“Mid-Winter: Where to Bird: California Coast, Northern Great Lakes, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Colorado Rockies, Washington Coast, and backyards,” by Paul Lehman, February 1999, pages 22-23

“Catching the Yucatan Express,” by Paul Kerlinger, April 1999, pages 30-38

“Where the Birds Funnel South” (Birding Hotspot: Corpus Christi, Texas), by Downs Matthews, October 1999, pages 44–49

“Treasures of the Texas Tropics” (Hotspot: Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas), by Oscar Carmona, December 2000, pages 58–63

Big Bend National Park

“Big Bend National Park” (Birding Hotspot), by George O. Miller, April 1989, pages 42-46

“Big Bend National Park” (Birding Hotspot), by Sam Fried, October 1998, pages 70-74

“Top 5 Birding Parks,” by Roland H. Wauer, April 2000, pages 46–53

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

“Hawkwatching: This special kind of birding is soaring in popularity,” by Diann MacRae, September/October 1987, pages 9-13


Acadia National Park

“Maine’s Tourist Towns” (Birding Hotspots: Wells, Kennebunk/Kennebunkport, Freeport, Boothbay Harbor, Camden, and Bar Harbor/Mt. Desert Island), by Allison Child Wells and Jeff Wells, April 1996, pages 52-56

“Top 5 Birding Parks,” by Roland H. Wauer, April 2000, pages 46–53


Jamaica Bay NWR

“Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge” (Birding Hotspot), by Arthur A. Morris, August 1989, pages 42-46

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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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