February 2018

Vol. 46, No. 1

Birding Minute Man National Historical Park

Kathy Dia


Minute Man National Historical Park (Minute Man NHP) spans almost 1000 acres in the towns of Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord. The park, managed by the National Park Service, was founded in 1959 to preserve and commemorate the site of the opening battles of the American Revolution, including that of Old North Bridge, where the first shots of the series of battles were fired in 1775.

When you think of Minute Man NHP, wide narrated paths with strolling tourists may come first to mind. However, you may be surprised to learn that these only comprise a small portion of the park, which supports a variety of habitats. Forests comprise about 500 acres of the park, meadow and field 250 acres (about half of which is leased for farming), and non-forest wetland 180 acres. See Figure 1: Overview Map of Minute Man National Historic Park.

When my husband and I moved to Concord in 2006 we began strolling in the park in the evenings and quickly discovered how many under-appreciated birding nooks it held. In 2012 I began volunteering as a monitor for Vermont Center for Ecostudies' Landbird Survey, which takes place each June in eleven northeastern National Parks, including Minute Man NHP. Through this project I gained an appreciation of the park as an important corridor for nesting species.

In this article I will describe my three favorite birding routes, in order from the west (Concord) end of the park toward the east (Lexington) side. The routes are easily connected for a longer outing. The park currently has two eBird hot spots if you are listing (see the eBird section at the end of article). Minute Man is quite a large park, and I am certain that you will find seasonal hotspots and species that I have not yet found.

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