Birding in Lake Placid

Birds, Birds, Everywhere Birds!

This is why summer always begins with so much song. Birds are singing everywhere to both find a mate and to declare that they own their little patch of forest. And that’s great for birders who can walk along trails through deciduous forest to find species like Red-eyed and Philadelphia Vireos, Eastern Wood-Pewees, Least Flycatchers, Hermit Thrushes and Veeries, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Scarlet Tanagers, and Black-billed Cuckoos. They can also check out coniferous forests in the region for Blue-headed Vireos, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-bellied and Olive-sided Flycatchers, and the resident boreal species like Gray Jay, Black-backed Woodpecker, and Boreal Chickadee.

Many of these habitats border marshes or small wetlands – pockets of habitat which attract another suite of species such as American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Pied-billed Grebe, Ring-necked Duck, and Great Blue Heron. And all of these habitats are blessed with their own contingent of warblers. After all, 20 species of warblers can be found in the Olympic Region, meaning every habitat here has an assortment of these colorful breeders for birders to find. These species include:

  • Magnolia Warbler
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Northern Parula
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler
  • Palm Warbler
  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Blackburnian Warbler
  • Blackpoll Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Mourning Warbler
  • Pine Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Canada Warbler
  • Black and White Warbler
  • American Redstart
  • Ovenbird
  • Northern Waterthrush

Late Summer Excitement

By mid-July bird song begins to slow down, becoming less reliable as many of the species finish up breeding for the year. And so the latter half of summer is marked by young fledglings which look funny as their first batch of feathers grows in at odd angles, and the chip notes of mixed-species flocks as they pass through the branches, gleaning insects, and as they molt in preparation for their upcoming migration.

In fact, migration for many species begins during the summer, perhaps first noted in shorebirds which fly south from their nesting grounds in the arctic along Lake Champlain – and interested birders should check out that website to learn more. Birds begin to move in the Adirondacks too as the mixed flocks swell in size as birds from our north begin to join them. It is one of the most exciting times of year to bird in the Adirondacks as a flock can hold seemingly anything and each cluster of birds is a chance to find something unusual or a long list of warbler species. After all, an individual flock can harbor 12, 13, 14 or more warbler species thanks in part to species like Wilson’s, Bay-breasted, and Tennessee Warblers - all arrived from our north. But the diversity of late summer doesn’t last forever – taking us into September on an excited but short-lived high. For as September advances, the flocks become fewer and harder to find as fall begins, leaving us both happy and wanting more at the same time.

Plan your summer birding trip today by visiting our lodging and dining pages!

birding on the Jackrabbit Trail
Location: Parkside Dr, Lake Placid, New York
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Keene Pond Walk
Location: Route 73, Keene Valley, New York
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Wilmington Notch
Location: Route 86, Wilmington, New York
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Whiteface Mountain No-Hike Birding
Location: Route 86, Wilmington, New York
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South Meadow
Location: Meadow Lane, Lake Placid, New York
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Intervale Lowlands Nature Preserve
Location: Intervale Way, Lake Placid, New York
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