February 2019

Vol. 47, No. 1

Birding Sharon, Massachusetts

Liam Waters

About halfway between Boston and Providence and easily accessible by either Interstate 95 (I-95) or the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Commuter Rail Providence/Stoughton line, lies the town of Sharon. From the 1800s until the 1940s, Sharon was a summer resort town where people came to stay at inns and hotels around Lake Massapoag. The town's current community center, located on a hill overlooking the south end of the lake, is a restored hotel that was acquired by the town in 1967.

There is a rich Native American history to the area, and there are a few sites in Sharon that have solar and lunar significance. The Wampanoags hunted and fished in the area for hundreds of years before British settlers came in 1637. Sharon was established as the 2nd Precinct of Stoughton in 1740. It was incorporated as the Town of Stoughtonham in 1765 and named Sharon in 1783. During the American Revolution, the townspeople—mostly farmers and craftsmen—made cannonballs for the Continental Army, and you can still find iron smelts in parts of the town today.

This article provides a season-by-season guide to birding the town of Sharon. Depending on how adventurous you feel and the time of year, you can spend either a solid half or full day birding. Moose Hill is one of the town's prime birding locations, but it can be confusing to people not familiar with the area, so an explanation is in order.

Fig. 1. Map of Sharon, Massachusetts.

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