It’s the event that bird watchers around the state have been waiting for: spring migration, the time of year when birds leave their winter grounds and head north. Typically, spring migration in Massachusetts lasts from early March to early June, with the peak usually falling sometime around Mother’s Day for many species.
So where do in-the-know birders go to best enjoy this annual occurrence? In addition to our many and varied sanctuaries statewide, listed below are a few of Mass Audubon’s favorite birding spots.
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge and Watertown
Why Mt. Auburn, on the border of Cambridge and Watertown, is a “migrant trap” – a sizable area of greenery within a highly-developed urbanized area. The many trees, water features, and ornamental shrubs in the cemetery offers a safe place for birds to rest, find food, and prepare for the next leg of their migratory journey.
What Songbirds, especially vireos, warblers, thrushes, and sparrows.
How This is such a popular spot that many Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries offer walksthrough Mt. Auburn during spring migration.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Newbury and Newburyport
Why The extensive and varied habitats of this strategically located barrier island offer ideal stopover conditions for migrants along the coast, a pathway that many migrating birds follow in both spring and fall. The combination of salt, brackish, and freshwater wetlands as well as extensive coastal thickets attracts a wide variety of species. Birders like the area because many species are relatively easy to observe on the refuge.
What Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is attractive to a wide variety of species, but especially waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, and warblers in late spring and early fall.
How Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport runs Wednesday and Saturday morningbirding programs through Parker River National Wildlife Refuge as well as other great area locations.
is an educator, bird watcher, and writer fascinated by the intersections of place, people, nature, and culture. He works for Mass Audubon and lives in the heart of Massachusetts. For questions or comments please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org