July 18th, 2013
I think it would be very interesting to go on a few of these bird watches. I thought you might be interested in these places.
8 GREAT SUMMER BIRDING TRAILS
AUDUBON’S GUIDE TO UNFORGETTABLE TRIPS THAT WEND THROUGH CHARMING TOWNS AND RURAL OUTPOSTS WHILE ALSO CONNECTING THE DOTS BETWEEN MANY IMPORTANT BIRD AREAS.
BY KENN KAUFMAN
Published: July-August 2013
North Carolina Birding Trail
From a birder’s standpoint, North Carolina is not one state but three. In the mountainous western corner, in the upper Appalachians, you’ll find birds typical of more northern regions in summer, such as ruffed grouse, Canada warblers, and black-throated blue warblers. Forests in the Piedmont’s flat plateau are alive with birdsongs from Acadian flycatchers, summer tanagers, yellow-throated vireos, and wood thrush. In the eastern section, great salt marshes along the bays support rails and herons, while Outer Banks beaches provide nesting sites for American oystercatchers and Wilson’s plovers. More information: ncbirdingtrail.org for three sectional guides that highlight more than 300 sites across the state, including many Important Bird Areas.
Pine to Prairie Birding Trail
In northwestern Minnesota, where the great eastern forest converges with the Great Plains, a dazzling variety of birds nest this time of year. On the open prairies, upland sandpipers and chestnut-collared longspurs flutter over the grass, singing their flight songs. In the deciduous forest, just east of the prairies, mornings ring with calls from pileated woodpeckers, scarlet tanagers, and rose-breasted grosbeaks. The evergreen forest harbors an avian melange that includes northern goshawks and boreal chickadees. Common loons wail from every lake at night. More than 20 warbler species nest in the region, among them such sought-after beauties as the golden-winged warbler and the Connecticut warbler. More information: mnbirdtrail.com
Far West Texas Wildlife Trail
West Texas’s wide vistas hold endless surprises for the summer visitor. Stretches of open desert might seem barren when you see them for the first time, but explore a little further and you’ll cross paths with greater roadrunners, pyrrhuloxias, and a host of other birds thriving in these arid lands. This wildlife trail will guide you to hidden oases rich with life–to canyons, streams, and mountains with their own blend of unique birds, including two national parks. In Guadalupe Mountains National Park, there are birds reminiscent of the Rockies, such as broadtailed hummingbirds and western bluebirds. Follow the trail to Big Bend’s upper elevations to find the rare Colima warbler. More information: tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wildlife/wildlife-trails/far-west-texas
Colorado Birding Trail
The hardest thing about birding in Colorado is the distracting scenery. This trail will help you manage that delightful problem. In the state’s rugged southwestern quadrant, it leads you to Mesa Verde National Park. There juniper titmice chatter in the woods and white-throated swifts zoom overhead. Among the Rockies’ peaks you can hear Townsend’s solitaires singing in the forests, or head to high elevations for specialties like the brown-capped rosy-finch or white-tailed ptarmigan. East of the mountains on the sweeping short-grass plains are the misnamed mountain plover and other prairie birds, including Colorado’s show-stealing state bird, the lark bunting. The trail connects nearly 220 sites, including designated Important Bird Areas. More information: coloradobirdingtrail.com