2021 Rangeley Birding Festival Birding Trips & Activities

Following is an enticing list of the opportunities, offered from early Friday afternoon through Sunday noon. 

Bicknell's Thrush - Saddleback Mountain

This strenuous trip focuses on birding the high-elevation spruce-fir forests of Saddleback Mountain or Mt. Abraham for boreal forest birds, especially Bicknell’s Thrush.

In addition to normal birding gear, participants must bring a day pack, 2 liters of water, bagged lunch, bug repellent, sunscreen, raincoat or windbreaker, and head net.

Difficulty: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Key Species: Bicknell's Thrush

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Boy Scout Road

Over 60% of all the species ever seen in Franklin County have been documented on this stretch of road. This dirt drive cuts through prime boreal habitat and allows you to walk up to nesting warblers, compare vireo species in close proximity, and even pick up waterbirds along the Kennebago.

Physical demands: Approx. 2 miles of walking on a dirt road with some inconsistent terrain.

Difficulty: ⭐️⭐️

Key Species: Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Boreal Chickadee, Philadelphia Vireo, warblers including Cape May, Tennessee, Bay-breasted, and more.

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Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge

Participants will meet at the refuge office located 4.5 miles north of Errol, NH. The pontoon tour will leave the refuge’s dock and travel down the Magalloway River exploring riparian forests, wetlands, and oxbows along the way. Arriving at Umbagog lake, we will explore the north end of the lake, including an eagle nest and Leonard marsh. The Androscoggin River along with Sweat Meadow and Harper’s Meadow, a National Natural Landmark, will also be explored.

Difficulty: ⭐️⭐️

Key Species: Common Loon, Osprey, Rusty Blackbird, Swainson's Thrush, waterfowl, warblers, Sandhill Crane

Perham Stream Birding Trail

Perham Stream is a little-known gem in East Madrid, Maine. Expect a leisurely fairly flat walk along the Perham Stream at the foot of the Saddleback Range with views of the mountains across the fields and forest. The habitat includes northern hardwoods and mixed-wood forests of young to medium age.  We’ll see and more often hear a variety of warblers including within the riverine, forest, and field habitats. 

If time and interest allow, a short drive away can give us access to a short access trail into a slightly higher elevation habitat. 

Difficulty: ⭐️⭐️

Key Species: Northern Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Magnolia Warbler, Belted Kingfisher, and Red-eyed Vireo.

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Mingo Springs Bird Walk

Mingo Springs Golf Course provides an open space with meadow and edge habitat that is otherwise scarce in the Rangeley area. This walk will target species that like these open spaces and provide some diversity to our festival totals.

Difficulty: ⭐️⭐️

Key Species: Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Kingbirds, Broad-winged Hawks

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Rangeley Lakes Trails Center

The RLTC, located on the Saddleback Mountain Road, offers miles of trails, with transitional forests.

Trails lead birders up to the Saddleback Mountain Lodge and also down to Saddleback Lake.

Difficulty: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Key Species: Waterfowl, Warblers, Canada Jay, White-winged Crossbill

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Rangeley River & Portage Tap House Walk

Walk the Rangeley River Conservation Area which connects to Boy Scout Road, on RLHT's Kennebago 3000 Easement. This dirt access road is gated, and cuts through prime boreal habitat along the Rangeley River and allows you to pick up nesting warblers and is another spot to compare vireo species in close proximity.

After the walk, wind down at the Portage Tap House with your guide and fellow birders.

Physical demands: Approx. 2 miles of walking on a dirt road with some inconsistent terrain. An outhouse is located at the bridge.

Difficulty: ⭐️⭐️

Key Species: Black-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Boreal Chickadee

Visit Rangeley River Trail

Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum Tour

This popular museum, operated by the Rangeley Lakes Historical Society, features interesting exhibits highlighting the human experience surrounding our region’s unique natural resources.

The archive contains beautiful wildlife and nature-based art as well as numerous artifacts, vintage film presentations and countless unique photographs that provide a rare glimpse into the region’s nationally significant outdoor history.

The OSHM is a cultural gem of our community.

Visit the OSHM

Introduction to Bird Photography

Led by Nick Leadley, owner of Touch the Wild Photography. This workshop will give you the tips and tricks you'll need to know to get the wildlife photographs you want!

Visit Touch the Wild

Butterflies and Insects

Learn how pollinators and birds intersect in the natural world along with the simple clues nature gives us on these animals' behaviors.

Bird Habitat Survey

Join Sally Stockwell of Maine Audubon as she gives you the skills to inventory your own yard for bird habitat. Learn the tools you'll need and practice in the field.

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