Published on May 4, 2020

Arcadia is the Valley's Birding Hotspot

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

On eBird, the online database of bird observations, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary and Quabbin Park are tied for most bird species seen over the years in all of central and western Massachusetts—241 species.

One of the reasons birds come to Arcadia is because of active habitat restoration and management, such as the Arcadia meadows.

→ You can help make this important work possible by making a gift to Arcadia’s Bird-a-thon team.

Of the 100 eBird hotspots in Hampshire County, Arcadia is one of only six locations that have more than 200 species observed.

Notable rare species from the list 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 from this list:

  • 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)

Arcadia is home to nesting Bald Eagles and, at this point, it's almost more uncommon to not see them than to see them on a visit.

There have been 4,377 eBird checklists submitted from Arcadia over the years! And that doesn't count all the birders and visitors who don't use eBird.

Impressive!