Bird Observer

New England Birding Journal

Bird Observer is a New England-based bimonthly journal for birders of all skill levels. We are a nonprofit organization supported by subscribers, and staffed by volunteers. We publish original articles on birding locations, on avian populations and natural history, on regional rarities, book reviews and field notes, bird sightings, photographs, and artwork.

Bird Observer supports the right of all people to enjoy birding and nature in a safe and welcoming environment free from discrimination and harrassment, be it sexual, racial, or barriers for people with disabilities.

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Barnstable, MA

Birding Sandy Neck and the Barnstable Great Marsh, Cape Cod

One of the most beautiful spots on the long, straight shoreline of Mid Cape Cod, Sandy Neck Beach Park is an area of superlatives. Along with its associated salt marsh, the park protects 4700 acres of open space, the largest such parcel in the busy Mid Cape. Sandy Neck hosts the highest dunes outside of Provincetown, one of the largest salt marshes in the state, and a dazzling diversity of upland habitats, including wild cranberry bogs that shelter rare orchids or carnivorous plants. The views north into Cape Cod Bay extend all the way to Provincetown; you can see the Pilgrim Monument on a clear day. Sandy Neck is also one of the best overall birding habitats on Cape Cod, with 275 species recorded in eBird—currently in fifth place in the county overall—and the highest-ranked spot on the Upper or Mid Cape. If you include the Great Marsh as well, the total jumps even higher. On a good fall migration day, there are few better birding spots anywhere on Cape Cod.

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Eleventh Report of the Maine Bird Records Committee

The Eleventh report of the Maine Bird Records Committee (hereafter ME-BRC or the committee) summarizes 85 reports involving 43 species that were evaluated and decided during 2021. The committee accepted 72 records for an acceptance rate of 85%. Although many reports were recent, the years of occurrences ranged from 1915 to 2021. The committee continued its quest to review a backlog of historic reports. Nearly half of reviewed reports (41) were birds recorded previous to 2018.

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Notes on the Birds of Hull, 1896

“This list, for it is but little more than a list,” wrote Everett W. Ricker in the introduction of his 36-page Notes on the Birds of Hull, Massachusetts in 1896, “I have made up of birds that have either been seen by myself or by my friend Mr. B. and his son, both of whom are well aquainted [sic] with our birds, while a very few have been reported to me by gunners. I have however, only given those in this list that I feel quite sure occur, as I know that it is very easy to make mistakes and the temptations are strong to make as large a list as possible.”

Bird Observer 50th Anniversary Contest

Bird Observer's Fiftieth Anniversary Photo, Video, and Writing Contest

There will be one grand prize winner in each of three categories: photo, video, and writing. Each grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift card to Bird Watcher’s General Store, Orleans, MA; a $100 gift card to Bird Watcher’s Supply and Gift, Newburyport, MA; a $100 gift card to Birds and Beans Coffee; and a two-year extension of his or her subscription to Bird Observer, in addition to being featured in the December 2022 issue of Bird Observer in print and on our website, www.birdobserver.org.

Not a subscriber yet? You can still browse the site and view enough content to see what a great resource you have in Bird Observer. We hope you'll agree with us and subscribe today.

Warbling Vireo

Warbling Vireo
Hop Brook WMA, Lee, MA

Lawrence's Warbler

Lawrence's Warbler
Ordway Reservation, West Newbury, MA

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler
Crane Hill, Ipswich, MA

Bufflehead

Bufflehead
Ipswich River WS, Topsfield, MA

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl
Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA

Canada Warbler

Canada Warbler
Langford Pond, Rockport, MA

Egrets

Egrets
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear
Wachusett Reservoir, Sterling, MA

Ovenbird

Ovenbird
Cedar Pond WS, Hamilton, MA

Piping Plover

Piping Plover
Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA

Purple Sandpiper

Purple Sandpiper
Halibut Point Reservation, Rockport, MA

Red-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo
Atherton Connector, West Newbury, MA

White-faced Storm-Petrel

White-faced Storm-Petrel
Georges Bank

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher
Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone
Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island, MA

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

American Golden Plover

American Golden Plover
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Black Tern

Black Tern
Sengekontacket Pond, Martha's Vineyard, MA

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper
Umbagog NWR, Errol, NH

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing
Washburn Family Forest, Clarksville, NH

Common Loon

Common Loon
Grafton Pond, Grafton, NH

Least Tern

Least Tern
Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island, MA

MacGillivray's Warbler

MacGillivray's Warbler
Lexington Community Farm, Lexington, MA

Red Knot

Red Knot
Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island, MA

Whimbrel

Whimbrel
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow
Smith Pond, Enfield, NH

Northern Waterthrush

Northern Waterthrush
Gull Pond, Wenham, MA

Common Merganser

Common Merganser
Deer Island, Newburyport, MA

Veery

Veery
Oxbow NWR, Harvard, MA

Wilson's Snipe

Wilson's Snipe
Indian Stream Road, Pittsburg, NH

American Bittern

American Bittern
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler
Hamlin Reservation, Ipswich, MA

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler
Chubb Creek, Beverly Farms, MA

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper
Grafton Pond, Grafton, NH

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail
Ipswich River WS, Topsfield, MA

American Pipit

American Pipit
Wachusett Reservoir, Sterling, MA

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole
Coy Pond, Wenham, MA

Osprey

Osprey
Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island, MA

Barred Owl

Barred Owl
Great Bay NWR, Portsmouth, NH

Long-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse
Nulhegan Basin, Silvio O. Conte NWR, Bloomfield, VT

Lark Sparrow

Lark Sparrow
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler
Homestead Trail 45, Essex, MA

Blue-winged Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler
Martin H. Burnes WMA, Newbury, MA

Brant

Brant
West Beach, Beverly Farms, MA

American Avocet

American Avocet
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull
Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island, MA

Great Crested Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatcher
Delmater Sanctuary, Rockport, MA

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush
Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA

Horned Lark

Horned Lark
Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island, MA

Eurasian Wigeon

Eurasian Wigeon
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Grasshopper Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow
Pease Grasslands, Portsmouth, NH

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Saltmarsh Sparrow
Nelson's Island, Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ipswich River WS, Topsfield, MA

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler
Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe
Ipswich River WS, Topsfield, MA

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting
Martin H. Burnes WMA, Newbury, MA

Red-breasted Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser
Deer Island, Newburyport, MA

House Finch

House Finch
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager
Willowdale State Forest, Ipswich, MA

Green Heron

Green Heron
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Wood Thrush

Wood Thrush
Ipswich River WS, Topsfield, MA

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow
Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA

Lapland Longspur

Lapland Longspur
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler
Ipswich River WS, Topsfield, MA

Barred Owl

Barred Owl
Julia Bird Reservation, Ipswich, MA

Black-and-white Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler
Jordan Ridge, Acadia NP, Mt Desert Island, ME

Bay-breasted Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee
Old Town Hill, Newbury, MA

Evening Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeak
Appleton Farms, Ipswich, MA

Northern Waterthrush

Northern Waterthrush
Coy Pond, Wenham, MA

Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked Pheasant
Pikes Bridge, West Newbury, MA

House Finch

House Finch
Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island, MA

Wilson's Storm-Petrel

Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Georges Bank

Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Duck
Halibut Point Reservation, Rockport, MA

Wilson's Warbler

Wilson's Warbler
Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA

Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper
Little River, Newbury, MA

Swamp Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow
Round Pond, Hamilton, MA

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin
Chubb Creek, Beverly Farms, MA

Common Grackle

Common Grackle
Ipswich River WS, Topsfield, MA

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper
Hop Brook WMA, Lee, MA

New England Birding Calendar

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Our mission: to support and promote the observation, understanding, and conservation of the wild birds of New England.

Bird Observer supports the right of all people to enjoy birding and nature in a safe and welcoming environment free from discrimination and harrassment, be it sexual, racial, or barriers for people with disabilities.
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