April 2021

Vol. 49, No. 2

Birding Pembroke, Massachusetts

Brian Vigorito

The town of Pembroke, on the South Shore of southeastern Massachusetts, lies between Boston and Plymouth. It includes several large ponds and a number of small brooks that feed into the North River. Historically, this area was an important herring fishery for Native Americans and early European settlers, as well as the site of a major shipbuilding industry along the North River. In the more recent past, Pembroke was home to many cranberry bogs and a summer resort area called Mayflower Grove. Today, the town is primarily residential.

This article is divided in two sections. The first section—spring birding—covers two lesser-known places, Willow Brook Farm Preserve and Tubbs Meadow. The birding in these areas is typically at its best in the spring, so this section will focus on birding in May or June unless otherwise specified. Both areas have mostly flat, well-maintained trails and can be covered thoroughly in one to two hours each.

The second section—fall birding—covers Pembroke’s ponds, which are the town’s most popular destination for birders. Waterfowl arrive in the fall and linger through the winter, so this section focuses on birding in November or December unless otherwise specified. The shape and size of some of the ponds make it difficult to get a complete view from any one spot, so I have included multiple viewing locations for the larger ponds.

Figure 1. Spring birding map.

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