April 2024

Vol. 52, No. 2

Birding Boston’s Premier Spring Migrant Trap: McLaughlin Woods

Justine B. Hanson

Boston locatorMcLaughlin Woods, in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood, is a small oasis of green atop a hill surrounded by a densely developed urban landscape. This tiny pocket-sized park attracts and concentrates migrating songbirds into a small area, making it an easily accessible and rewarding place to bird in the city. It is part of the city’s McLaughlin Playground. I started birding McLaughlin Woods in the spring of 2018, and it is my favorite place to spend a few hours on a spring morning.

The beauty of McLaughlin Woods is that it is easy to cover in limited time, birds are concentrated in a small area, and it attracts regular birders who are generous with sharing information about notable sightings. Word-of-mouth spreads easily in a small park, making it possible for visitors to easily learn about the morning’s specialties and highlights. If you go, please continue this tradition and share your sightings with those who cross your path.

As a nearby resident, I consider it the perfect hotspot for pre-work weekday birding because I can cover the whole park adequately, generate a rewarding list, and leave feeling satisfied that I covered the park in my limited time, making it a little bit easier to sit in front of a computer for the rest of the day.

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