Rangeley’s unique topography attracts rare and endangered species – and the birders who love them.
Bird watching in Rangeley
Rangeley’s unique mix of habitats attracts a wide range of rare and sought-after birds. We’re on the southern fringe of the northern boreal forest, so we’re one of the closest places for people in Southern New England to see boreal species. The top of Saddleback Mountain is alpine tundra, which adds another unique habitat. Plus, we’re a spotting point for many migrating species. All this makes birding in Rangeley a great experience where you can see several “life list” birds within just a few miles.
Rangeley hosts boreal chickadees, breeding and migrating warblers, yellow-bellied flycatchers, spruce grouse, Bicknell’s Thrush and many other species. We also have healthy populations of more common birds such as loons, bald eagles, ospreys, kingfishers, herons, and pileated woodpeckers.
Where should I go?
It’s hard to go anywhere in Rangeley without seeing birds. Popular spots include Hunter Cove Wildlife Sanctuary, the Mingo Springs Birdwalk, and the trails of the Maine Forestry Museum. A hike up Saddleback Mountain will bring you to the alpine tundra home of boreal chickadees and Bicknell’s Thrust. A boat ride or paddle on any lake or pond will turn up waterfowl, shore birds, and Maine’s legendary loons.
The annual Rangeley Birding Festival, organized by Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, showcases this amazing destination to passionate birders from around the world. Held in early June, this weekend event offers a unique opportunity for birders to learn about and see Rangeley’s rich array of migrating and breeding birds.
Every year, on the third Saturday of July, hundreds of volunteers across Maine participate in Maine Audobon’s Annual Loon Count. Rangeley Region Lakes Cruises is the official counter for Rangeley Lakes, and they welcome guests to participate in the event. See their website for more information.
More birding information
Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is staffed by passionate birders who love introducing new birders to this area. They manage 14,000 acres of prime habitat with 35 miles of trails to help you access ideal birding locations. Stop by their office on Main Street in Rangeley for tips on where to go to find the birds of most interest to you.