An Amazing Diversity
A trip to the marshes and wetlands is where the likes of American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Ring-necked Duck, Alder Flycatcher, Tree Swallow, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s Snipe, Wood Duck, and Swamp Sparrow can be found.
Or venture into deciduous woodlands for Eastern Wood-Pewee, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Philadelphia Vireo, Hermit Thrush, Veery, Black-billed Cuckoo, Winter Wren, Ovenbird, American Redstart, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Black-throated Blue Warbler.
Many of the best coniferous habitats also offer you a chance to find the sought-after boreal species like Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Palm Warbler, Boreal Chickadee, and even Spruce Grouse, a species for which the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is undertaking a reintroduction program.
A few of these birds – such as Boreal Chickadee and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – can be found in the montane coniferous forests on the tops of the mountains in the region (including the highest of the Saranac Lake 6ers). The bird communities in such high elevation habitats also include Swainson’s Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Winter Wren, Dark-eyed Junco, and of course, Bicknell’s Thrush. Like most of our breeding birds, the thrushes are here to nest before heading back south and so you only have a window of a few months to find them.
Fantastic Late Summer Birding
In the Adirondacks the start of migration is more subtle, starting with a drop-off in song during July and building into mixed species flocks which you can scour for a wide assortment of species including many warblers. These not only include any and all of our local breeders, but also species like Tennessee, Wilson’s, Bay-breasted, and Cape May Warblers which push north of the region to nest. Such mixed-species flocks can show up anywhere and it means that late summer and early fall present one of the most exciting times of year to look for birds all across the Adirondacks and North Country.