New Hampshire’s expansive forests make New Hampshire birding some of the best bird watching in the US. Our experts walk you through the best bird watching in NH.
One of the most wonderful ways to admire the beauty of Mother Nature is while doing some serious New Hampshire Birding.
New England is home to some of the most stunning natural sights, every season of the year. There are blankets of a dense green forests, snow-capped mountain peaks, hills and valleys teeming with magnificent flora and fauna, and some of the Atlantic Ocean’s most striking coastlines. The region is also home to hundreds of different species of bird, making it a great draw for bird watchers from around the country.
Whether you’re more interested in the forest dwellers, mountain fliers, or sea coast cruisers, there’s plenty for everyone in the gorgeous New Hampshire wilds.
Bird Watching in NH: Top Five Hotspots
The state of New Hampshire isn’t particularly large, so the difficulties in choosing scouting locations in a place as big as Texas, for example, aren’t really a factor here. That being said, there are a great many birding spots in New Hampshire, so you’ll still want to do your homework before taking your next New England birding vacation.
To give you a helping hand in choosing the best places to sight your favorite East Coast birds, let’s take a look at five of the most popular hotspots in the state. There are more than 350 different species of bird in New Hampshire, and you can see most of them here:
- Mount Washington – Perhaps most famous for the century-old observatory built here to research weather patterns, Mount Washington is also a great hotspot for birding. Both the toll road and Jefferson Notch are famous for the birds collected there. Looking for a Ruffed Grouse or a Bicknell’s Thrush? Look no further than Mount Washington.
- White Mountain National Forest – Centrally located in the state of New Hampshire, White Mountain is an incredibly large national forest that provides the home for hundreds of species of birds. Take the weekend to explore the forest, from Tuckerman Ravine to the Kancamagus Scenic Byway.
- Odiorne Point State Park – Along New Hampshire’s coastline, birders can catch rare glimpses of sea raptors and other fierce flyers from Odiorne State Park. Tide pools, marshes, beaches, and forests provide the backdrop to some of the most beautiful bird watching in the state. Bring a picnic and enjoy collecting Purple Sandpipers and summertime shorebirds.
- Seabrook Harbor – Another great waterfront birding location, Seabrook Harbor is a fantastic place to catch migrating raptors and other shorebirds. Make a real trip of it and take the trek from Seabrook Harbor up to Odiorne Point State Park for the best New England seaside birding.
- Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge – On the Great Bay’s eastern shore, this New Hampshire wildlife refuge is home to migratory ducks, geese, peepers, orioles, goldfinches, and myriad of sweet songbirds.
New Hampshire Birding: Focus on White Mountain National Forest
The American Bird Conservancy has listed New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest as one of the 500 most important birding areas in the whole of the United States. And it’s no wonder why.
The forest is more than 800,000 acres in size and home to more than two hundred different species of bird, including better than a hundred breeding varieties and almost a dozen unconfirmed species.
In other words, this hotspot is a birder’s paradise.
This astonishing New Hampshire birding locale is situated in the northern half of the state and even reaches into Maine. If you wanted to see all of its many gorgeous sights, you’d certainly need more than a day to do it.
But if you don’t have the time to see every square acre of this forest—and it wouldn’t be surprising if you didn’t—don’t miss out on these top spots:
- Mount Washington
- Tuckerman Ridge
- Kancamagus Scenic Byway
- Surrounding Alpine Areas
White Mountain National Forest is also home to the Peregrine Falcon Reintroduction Program. See if you can get a ranger or park employee to give you an insider’s view on this extraordinary project. It’ll make a great story to tell your birding cohorts at home!
Head back from New Hampshire Birding to the Bird Watching Guide
Or head on home to find more of the best binoculars