Published on April 1, 2021

Arcadia is the Valley's Birding Hotspot

Blackburnian Warbler in a conifer tree at Arcadia © Derek Allard
Blackburnian Warbler © Derek Allard

According to the total of 249 species observed and reported on eBird, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary tops the list as the #1 birding hotspot in all of central and western Massachusetts.

One of the reasons birds come to Arcadia is because of active habitat restoration and management, such as the Arcadia meadows. The sanctuary is also home to nesting Bald Eagles. In fact, it's now almost more uncommon to not see them during a visit!

→ You can help make this important work possible by making a gift to the West Sanctuaries Bird-a-thon team.

Of the 160+ eBird hotspots in Hampshire County, Arcadia is one of only seven locations with more than 200 species observed over all years.

On top of that, a total of 5,350 eBird checklists submitted from Arcadia over the years—and that doesn't count all the birders and visitors who don't use eBird. Pretty impressive!

Eastern Meadowlark at Arcadia © Beth Finney
Eastern Meadowlark © Beth Finney

Notable rare species spotted at Arcadia:

  • Prothonotary Warbler (May 5, 1984, by Scott Surner)
  • Ruddy Turnstone (Sep 16, 1986, by Seth Kellogg)
  • Trumpeter Swan (Apr 4, 2004, by Steven Schellenger)
  • Northern Goshawk (Sep 27, 2011, by Robert Bieda)
  • Caspian Tern (May 3, 2016, by Dave McLain)

Notable high counts at Arcadia:

  • 15,000 Common Grackles (Mar 15, 2004, by Larry Therrien)
  • 610 Bobolinks (Sep 4, 2017, by Larry Therrien)
  • 400 Common Mergansers (Mar 4, 2020, by Meghadeepa Maity)
  • 320 Cedar Waxwings (Oct 18, 2019, by Kristen Johnson)

So the nest time you visit the sanctuary, remember to report the birds you see (or hear) through Mass Audubon's eBird portal!

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