When President Obama established the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in 2016 he added permanent protection for some of the most important bird breeding habitat in the state. Contained in its more than 87,000 acres are boreal and deciduous forests, mountain peaks, spruce bogs, rivers and ponds, all hosting their own suite of birds. With the Monument still just a few years old many of its secrets have yet to be revealed.
To help visitors know where in the Monument are the best spots to look for birds, Maine Audubon and Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters have created a map of eight great birding spots.MaineAudubonKWWNMbirdingmap2022
(Click the arrow to download or use this link. Map by Wendy Clark Design.)
Much of the action is centered around the Loop Road, most easily accessible from the town of Sherman. The gravel road is easily traversable by two-wheel-drive vehicles (though only open in summer; see the NPS.gov site for details), and brings birders through the diverse habitats in the Monument as well as providing gorgeous views of Mt. Katahdin and the surrounding landscape. Hotspots on the east side of the Penobscot River include the little-known but easily-accessible Seboeis Unit and the area around the historic Lunksoos Campsites. Finally, visitors can find birds around the north end of the Monument in all season—on skis or snowshoes in winter, and by foot in the summer.
To celebrate the release of the map and to help spread awareness of both the birds and the birding in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Maine Audubon’s Nick Lund hosted a bird walk for members of Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters at the end of June. About a dozen birders explored hotspots along the Monument’s Loop Road. The first stop along the Esker and Deasey Trails, close to Sandbank Stream Campsites, was filled with amazing sightings, including a Spruce Grouse, a pair of Olive-sided Flycatchers, and close looks at stunning Canada Warblers. The group continued birding throughout the day, even taking the short hike up Barnard Mountain, eventually tallying more than 40 species. Click here to see the eBird Trip Report.
Maine Audubon looks forward to future birding adventures in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, which provides an accessible way to reach some of Maine’s wildest areas and best bird habitat.