Lake Colby is a favorite place in Saranac Lake for paddling and swimming and it is equally good for birds. A paddle on the quiet lake will often find Osprey, Bald Eagle, and nesting Common Loons. The best birding however is found by walking the railroad tracks on the backside of the lake which are reached by parking at the end of John Munn Road in Saranac Lake.
The tracks take birders a short distance to the sheltered bays of the lake where a variety of migrating ducks stopover on their way south in the fall. At least 18 species of waterfowl have been found there with all three Scoter species, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, both Scaup species and many others passing through.
The brushy and marshy edges and the bog mat of the lake harbor sparrows during the summer and migration including Swamp, Song, Lincoln’s, and White-crowned Sparrows. The bog mat is also home to Eastern Bluebirds and has attracted migrating predatory birds like Northern Harrier and Northern Shrike.
The surrounding woods provide breeding habitat to many species of warblers including Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, as well as Yellow and Chestnut-sided Warblers along the brushy edges.