Birdwatching in the North Shore
Massachusetts has a long, rich history of bird watching and Essex County has several of the best-known birding locations in the country. In 1975, the discovery of a Ross’s Gull in Newburyport attracted hundreds of birders from around North America and proved that birding was indeed a highly respected activity.
Birdwatchers often observe by using their naked eye or visually enhance their experience using cameras, binoculars, telescopes, listening for bird sounds or by watching public webcams. Bring your gear and visit these amazing birding sites.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Refuge Road, Newbury
Most commonly associated with Plum Island, Parker River was established in 1941 to provide feeding, resting, and nesting habitat for migratory birds. The refuge also provides critical habitat for the federally threatened piping plover.
It’s a great place in early spring to see an amazing array of migrating birds returning. Warblers are a favorite to see in their colorful breeding plumage as well as shorebirds, eagles, harriers, falcons, hawks, owls, sparrows, kinglets woodpeckers and many more.
Click here to learn more about Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
87 Perkins Row, Topsfield
Ipswich River offers 12 miles of trails, forests, meadows, wetlands, drumlin, and esker. The sanctuary is part of the Eastern Essex County Interior Forest Important Bird Area and is a great place to see many kinds of sparrows, nut hatches, chickadees, blue birds, cedar waxwings and woodpeckers. There are many online programs available on their site.
Click here to learn more about Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.
Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary
135 Eastern Point Blvd, Gloucester
Located on a peninsula near the historic Eastern Point Lighthouse, the small sanctuary is a hotspot for butterflies and seabirds at times of the year.
Click here to learn more about Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary
310 Argilla Road, Ipswich
Crane Beach is among the world’s most important nesting sites for piping plovers, a threatened bird that was nearly hunted to extinction in the 19th century for its eggs and feathers. Crane Beach has been nationally recognized for its successful shorebird protection program.
Click here to learn more about Crane Beach.