Do you find joy in birdwatching?
Finding joy in these uncertain times can be as easy as going outside and looking up.
Birds are migrating this time of year, and they’re painting the skies as the majority of the country is cooped up at home and/or generally avoiding travel.
But if you're wondering where the best places to be for birdwatching are — for now or in the future — I have the perfect list of six great places in the U.S. for birdwatching.
Good Birdwatching in the U.S.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Located along the coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is an absolute haven for birdwatchers. No matter the time of year, travelers will find plenty of species to keep them occupied. How many? A record of 338 different species have been spotted within the park, everything from owls and ducks to raptors and songbirds.
The park also hosts the Acadia Birding Festival, a celebration of these beautiful winged creatures. It includes a boat trip off the coast to get a close look at Atlantic puffins and arctic terns. The event is currently set for May 28-31 (check the festival's website after May 1 to see if the event is still on).
Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Saguaro National Park (located just near Tuscon, Arizona) is an excellent landscape for birdwatchers hoping to see desert species at a close distance. Roadrunners, woodpeckers, and quail are common, but more than 200 species of birds call the park home or migrate through it.
To truly get a sense of the land and its feathered occupants, consider hiking. The park offers about 75 miles of trails that wind through the desert scrub habitats, offering plenty of chances for quiet reflection and bird spotting. A climb up the Rincon Mountain District (for more adventurous hikers) of the park will take visitors into different habitats with opportunities to hear (and maybe even see) a canyon wren or a peregrine falcon.
Everglades National Park, Florida
Billed as one of the top birding locations in the world, Everglades National Park is obviously a definite must for bird lovers. Located close to Miami, Everglades is the most ornithologically diverse site in the whole state. It is home to 344 different species and that includes many wading birds.
There are multiple birdwatching sites located within the park including Nine Mile Pond (an excellent place to spot white-crowned pigeons), the Anhinga Trail (for a chance to see the purple gallinule), and Eco Pond (home to American coots and red-shouldered hawks).
Cape May Point, New Jersey
Located along the New Jersey shoreline, Cape May Point is a favorite among birdwatching places in America. For over 200 years, bird enthusiasts including John Audubon himself have been drawn to the location.
The Cape May Bird Observatory, founded in 1975, offers an even more informative way for birdwatchers to get close to their favorite species. At different times throughout the year, guests are likely to spot warblers, kingbirds, black terns, and ospreys. Autumn is the best time for birdwatchers visiting Cape May Point, but visitors in the summer will get a chance to see fledgling wading birds.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
Situated along the Mexican border in western Texas, Big Bend National Park offers American birdwatchers the unique opportunity to spot tropical species. In the spring, several of these southern feathered friends make the flight northward to breed. The Colima warbler is a particular draw and requires a hike through the Chisos Mountains. The mountains also offer the chance to see peregrine falcons, painted redstarts, and even the rare white-eared hummingbird.
Be sure to plan ahead before heading to Big Bend because the busiest times are mid-January through mid-April and the park is particularly crowded in March when spring-breakers tend to camp.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park, which is located in northwestern Wyoming, offers an amazing collection of diverse species in a beautiful setting. The 40-mile Teton Range is a defining characteristic of the landscape and it includes Grand Teton, which reaches an elevation of more than 13,000 feet. This high-altitude landscape is home to a wide range of birds such as the black-billed magpie, the golden-crowned kinglet, and even the golden eagle.
Many of the birds in the area are migratory, so there might be a limited window each year to spot them. Birdwatchers will find the most success in the summer when there are far more species living in the park.
Got the itch to travel but need to plan?
Consider exploring all our Adventure Guides! These are fully designed and edited guides that you can download and start reading immediately on your phone, tablet, computer, or e-reader.
Each of these ebooks is a seven day guided exploration of a scenic area of the US that we’ve explored and think would make an excellent RV trip.
In each location, we provide a suggested route and itinerary (7 stops in each guide, one for each day of a week trip!) as well as links to multiple campgrounds and boondocking spots, local tips, and interesting things to do at each location.
You can hit everything in seven days, do a whirlwind weekend tour, or you can take your time and explore the area over a 2+ week period. Planning an RV trip can be very time-consuming so that’s why we’ve done the research for you! Just take our guides and use them, we’re sure you’ll have an RV trip for the ages!
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