Adirondack Birding
Spring brings great birding to Saranac Lake.

Songs of the Seasons

As the beat of dripping water is picked up and altered by the whirring wings of ducks and the honks of Canada Geese, it sets the tempo for arriving songbird species like Song Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Eastern Phoebes, which appear to sing spring into the warming air if the songs of White-breasted Nuthatches and Brown Creepers haven’t already done the trick. They are soon followed by more sparrows – like White-throated, Fox, Chipping, Savannah, Vesper, and Dark-eyed Junco, all of which add to the cadence of the season with their songs. It is a rhythm that picks up speed on the fast wings and loud calls of Merlin, the high pitch whistles of Osprey, and raucous cries of other raptors as they migrate through the region. 

Soon other birds are echoing the pattern of a world coming alive, as Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers drum their staccato rhythm and Blue-head Vireos ask questions from the trees, as American Bittern pump the base from the nearby marsh, and Ruffed Grouse thump their wings to the springtime pulse. Early warblers also sing from the bog mats and forests of the region – Palm, Pine, and Yellow-rumped — all harbingers of the feathered pattern that is to come. 

The haunting winnowing of Wilson’s Snipe fills evening outings as the comical buzz of American Woodcocks matches their awkward appearance and twittering night time flights in search of mates. Owls too are vocal as Barred Owls quack and hoot and Northern Saw-whet Owls toot the cadence of spring along the measure. And then the excitement builds as the beat grows to May.

It is then that the movement crescendos in a wave of color and song, led first by a chorus of White-crowned Sparrows on their way north. Soon it is the zipping sound of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and then it grows into a choir of vireos, tanagers, grosbeaks, sparrows, flycatchers, thrushes, cuckoos, and warblers. Twenty species of warblers breed in the Olympic Region alone and more than that can be found during migration. They include:

  • American Redstart
  • Bay-breasted Warbler
  • Black and White Warbler
  • Blackburnian Warbler
  • Blackpoll Warbler
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler
  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Canada Warbler
  • Cape May Warbler
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • Mourning Warbler
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Northern Parula
  • Northern Waterthrush
  • Ovenbird
  • Palm Warbler
  • Pine Warbler
  • Tennessee Warbler
  • Wilson’s Warbler
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler

Avian Diversity

Their diversity is a wonder, and their rhythm includes the high-pitched notes of Blackpoll Warbler sung from mountain spruce-fir forests, the loud "teacher, teacher, teacher" of Ovenbirds in deciduous woodlands, and the choppy tempo of Canada Warblers emanating from hidden, wet thickets. It also includes the songs of Nashville, Palm, and Magnolia Warblers, sung from coniferous and bog habitats where birders can find the resident boreal species like Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal, Chickadee, and Gray Jay. All of these birds can be found during the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration held in Paul Smiths in early June.  

The rhythm of spring leads seamlessly into summer and the amazing time of the birding calendar it creates. It is a phenomenon which receives a standing ovation every time. And to think it all started with the dripping sound of melting snow. 

Vacation Migration

Find your nest in Saranac Lake.  Saranac Lake has great places to dine, along with miles of trails and waterways for hiking and fishing — two great ways to get your birding on. So what are you waiting for? Come join us  — you'll be glad you did. 

Upcoming Events

Sunday, October 1st, 2017
To event remaining 8 days

Adirondack Shakespeare in residence at Pendragon.  Something is rotten in the State of Denmark. Shakespeare's epic masterpiece crackles with raw energy as the Adirondack Shakespeare...

Friday, October 6th, 2017
To event remaining 13 days

Unique hand-crafted copper, silver, and precious stone jewelry by Toos Roozen-Evans. Opening reception is Oct 6, from 5 - 7, and the exhibit will continue until Oct 29.

Saturday, October 7th, 2017
To event remaining 14 days

On Saturday October 7th at 7pm, photographer and world traveler, Gerry Lemmo, will present a digital slide show about his travels and share his photographs from his time spent traveling through...

Saturday, October 14th, 2017
To event remaining 21 days

 

This Adirondack village will host its third “6er” event ever; the Saranac Lake 6er Relay, a team relay race,
on Saturday, October 14, 2017 beginning and ending at Berkeley...

Recent Blog Posts...

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017
We have hit our summer stride! August is a golden month here in Saranac Lake. The days are warm, the air is fresh, and the evenings have enough hours to pack them full of outdoor fun. Hit the...
Tuesday, August 1st, 2017
Camping is far more than an inexpensive way to stay somewhere. Camping is about living — for a while — in nature. Whether we love the outdoors, want to learn to love the outdoors, or just...
Monday, July 24th, 2017
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Tyler Merriam Bouldering is a style of rock climbing that is performed relatively close to the ground with no ropes, harness, or hardware. Bouldering usually takes...
Friday, July 21st, 2017
My mother used to order me ad nauseam to go outside and play.  “It's good for you,” she’d say.  Turns out, she was right, in more ways than she knew. While her hope was for me to ...
Fly to Saranac Lake via Cape Air The Adirondack Regional Airport, your "Gateway to the Adirondacks," provides quick and convenient access to and from Logan International in Boston, MA. Daily flights are provided...
Adirondack Traditions: Alive! From our friendly family-run businesses, to our love of nature, find out why we're the Adirondacks' coolest place.