There's More To Explore
We’ve got the best ideas for things to do on your next Adirondack adventure, and we will deliver them right to your inbox! Thanks For Subscribing! Your next adventure awaits you in your inbox! Tell us more about what interests you, and we can help you plan your next trip.
Birding in Saranac Lake
So many species in so many habitats


Saranac Lake is home to a wide variety of year-round and migratory bird species, creating an exciting birding atmosphere that is great in any season! Whether you’re looking for boreal species, winter finches, or migrating waterfowl, you’ll be sure to find your target species here!

Diverse birds, diverse habitat

Have you ever seen a Black-backed Woodpecker? Or heard the bizarre call of an American Bittern? Or watched a Bald Eagle soar over a remote waterbody? Saranac Lake has all that, and more! The Paul Smith’s College VIC is one place birders can visit where a wide variety of bird species can be found. Here, boreal forests, northern hardwoods, peatland bogs, swamps, marshes, and ponds all form a diverse tapestry of habitats. You’ll be able to find bird species from Hermit Thrushes to Northern Saw-whet Owls to Osprey. And the warblers are everywhere in the spring! Palm Warblers really light up the peatland bogs with their bright yellow feathers and equally colorful songs.

Another favorite birding location is the Bloomingdale Bog. This is a known haunt for the friendly Canada Jay. Other boreal species, like Boreal Chickadees, can be found along Oregon Plains and Bigelow roads. If you’re in such locations in winter, you can also hunt for Red and White-winged Crossbills if it is a good year for finding them, and they will no doubt find some of the other hardy wintering species – like Common Raven, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Black-capped Chickadee, perhaps stumbling across a Ruffed Grouse as well. 

It’s not all boreal habitat in Saranac Lake. Places like the pond at the Saranac Lake High School and the shoreline around Lake Colby usually offer up such species as Osprey, Great Blue Herons, migrating shorebirds, and many species of waterfowl. Even a trip around town, stopping to look at ornamental trees, can be productive: in winter, you might see Pine Grosbeaks snacking on fruits! Don't forget about the Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, too, hammering away in the forests.

Roll with the changes 

In winter, it’s not uncommon to find Common Redpolls or Evening Grosbeaks at feeders. As we progress into spring, species diversity greatly increases and birdwatching becomes especially exciting as migrants pass through the area and nesting birds return to breed. Buffleheads can be found on many lakes, Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers return to take up residence in the bogs and marshes as we move toward summer, and warblers like Yellow-rumped Warblers and Northern Parulas sing all day long in many forests. Spring evenings are often marked by the hoots of Barred Owls and the toots of Northern Saw-whet Owls. 

Summer is a time of plenty. Plenty of sunlight. Plenty of songs. Plenty of birds. Plenty of places open to explore. While the breeding species will stay for a few months, their exuberance of song is already quieting by the second week of July. Birders coming later in the summer will still find plenty of birds – but they may not be advertising themselves as conspicuously as a result. 

The transition into fall marks the beginning of a quieter time, but, still, there are birds to be found. The Song and White-crowned Sparrows of summer are replaced by Pine Siskins and Snow Buntings and, as the seasonal winds change directions, Commons Loons can gather in large groups on our lakes, preparing for their wintering grounds south of here.

Birding is an ever-changing adventure; you never know who or what you’re going to see! So get your binoculars and spotting scopes and head to Saranac Lake today!

Leave No Trace and Love Your ADK Pledge

The magic of the Adirondacks is the result of previous generations taking a long view and protecting the mountains, lakes, and rivers within the Blue Line. That tradition continues today as we support and encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace ethics, which help protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks:

You can pledge to Love Your ADK here or find more information at


Newsletter Signup

Upcoming Events

Thursday, January 28th, 2021
This winter, we invite you on a unique getaway into the amazing beauty of our Adirondack winter wonderland. Let us guide you on outdoor experiences that foster your sense of tranquility, build your...
Thursday, January 28th, 2021
The upcoming date less then 1 day.
Mt. Van Hoevenberg is now open for the 2020/2021 season. We are happy to announce that the Lake Placid Nordic Center at Mt. Van Hoevenberg opened on Friday, November 27th, 2020. We are eager to...

Recent Blog Posts...

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020
As we prepare for the holiday season, perhaps there is no better place to go in the Saranac Lake area than Moody Tree Farm! Set not too far outside of town, Moody Tree Farm is a quintessential...
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
Aside from a short and non-recommendable stint in Salt Lake City, I’ve spent my entire life living in small towns. I love the look. The feel. The vibe. Having a short commute. Being on a first-...
Earn Your Patch There’s an adventurous spirit in all of us. In Saranac Lake, you can answer that call by becoming a Saranac Lake 6er.
Unplug Outdoors The mountains, rivers, and lakes bordering Saranac Lake aren’t just for show, and those boots on everyone’s feet aren’t a bold new fashion statement.
Enter to Win Sample Saranac Lake with this getaway package. Enter now!