Boreal Bird Weekend

Northern New Hampshire

  • 5-7 June 2020 (weekend tour)

Price: $850 (Includes Lodging & Food)

Single Supplement: $150

Spruce Grouse -  Keenan Yakola

Spruce Grouse - Keenan Yakola

Based in the north woods of New Hampshire, this tour takes a strong focus on finding boreal specialists. We kick off the tour with a mountaintop visit for viewing the elusive Bicknell’s Thrush. For the rest of the weekend, we’ll explore pristine boreal forest, bogs, and lakes, tracking down a high diversity of species in the North Country. Focal species include Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Canada Jay, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Yellow-bellied and Olive-sided Flycatchers, Philadelphia Vireo, Rusty Blackbird, Lincoln’s Sparrow, “Red” Fox Sparrow, and an array of breeding warblers – Mourning, Cape May, Bay-breasted, Tennessee, Blackpoll, Wilson’s, Canada, and Magnolia, plus many more. Transportation provided from Portland, Maine and back, or meet directly in northern New Hampshire.

This tour can be extended by one day with the Nelson’s Sparrow and Coastal Maine Extension.

This tour is led by top-notch bird guide Dr. David Hof, Ph.D.

For questions and further information, contact us by phone at 603-313-7016 or email at


Bicknell’s Thrush -  Tyler Pockette

Bicknell’s Thrush - Tyler Pockette

Day 1 (Friday, June 7): The tour meets and departs the Portland, Maine airport at 1:30pm. Participants could also meet the tour in Errol or Colebrook, New Hampshire. En route, we’ll stop at the scenic Grafton Notch State Park, an excellent place to find Philadelphia Vireo.

We’ll check into our lodging near Colebrook, New Hampshire. After dinner, we’ll take a drive to the summit of Dixville Peak to watch the mountaintop specialist, Bicknell’s Thrush, and to take in their dusk chorus and enjoy the spectacular views of the White Mountains. This site is also a breeding location for “Red” Fox Sparrows and Blackpoll Warblers.

Cape May Warbler -  Tyler Pockette

Cape May Warbler - Tyler Pockette

Day 2 (Saturday, June 8): We’ll head north to the area around the Connecticut Lakes, the headwaters of the Connecticut River at the very northern tip of New Hampshire. These pristine lakes lie amongst rolling mountains and lush forest, and the region emanates a feeling of remoteness and total tranquility. This area is superb for boreal specialists, and we’ll take them all in, as well as the many other amazing species in the North Country. In particular, this can be a great place to find some of the more challenging boreal migrants such as Bay-breasted, Cape May, Tennessee, and Wilson’s Warblers, Philadelphia Vireo, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Rusty Blackbird. We’ll also look for boreal residents here – Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, and Canada Jay. Moose are always a likely possibility here too.

At night, there will be an optional excursion in search of Northern Saw-whet Owls.

Black-backed Woodpecker -  Tyler Pockette

Black-backed Woodpecker - Tyler Pockette

Day 3 (Sunday, June 9): We’ll visit the beautiful and diverse Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, another prime area for boreal specialists. This area can be especially good for Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Cape May, Bay-breasted, “Yellow” Palm, and Mourning Warblers. The refuge also features an abundance of Common Loons, Common Goldeneye, and Bald Eagles, as well as an abundance of Moose.

Other highlight species, both here and at the Connecticut Lakes, include Yellow-bellied and Alder Flycatchers, Blue-headed Vireo, Winter Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, Northern Waterthrush, Northern Parula, Nashville, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, and Canada Warblers, Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, and possibly Evening Grosbeak, and Red and White-winged Crossbills.

We’ll head back to Portland, and should arrive there by 4-5pm.

Philadelphia Vireo -  Tyler Pockette

Philadelphia Vireo - Tyler Pockette

Mourning Warbler -  Tyler Pockette

Mourning Warbler - Tyler Pockette

Northern Saw-whet Owl -  Tyler Pockette

Northern Saw-whet Owl - Tyler Pockette

Boreal Chickadee -  Tyler Pockette

Boreal Chickadee - Tyler Pockette