When the fish begin biting and migratory birds begin arriving it's a sure sign of spring in Maine, the state with the most spring birding festivals in New England – five birding events taking place from late April to early June.
The 3rd Annual Feathers Over Freeport at Freeport and Pownal on April 27 and 28 is a birdwatching weekend for all ages – one day of activities at Bradbury Mountain State Park and one day at Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park. These are prime places for hawk and osprey watching. It is free with park admission.
Not many festivals cover birding by land, by sea and by art. One that does is the 7th Annual Wings, Waves & Woods Festival from May 17 to 19 at Deer Isle and Stonington. A special festival art exhibit featuring artwork by regional artists related to birds and habitat, including this year’s poster image by photographer Leslie Clapp, and sculpture workshops complement the art workshops, a lineup of birding walks, guided puffin boat trips, birding on Marshall Island and educational presentations.
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge and Cobscook Bay provide habitat for nearly 75 percent of Maine's 400 bird species. Morning and evening walks, guided hikes, boat tours, kayak and canoe trips, and presentations led by area experts are part of the 10th Annual Downeast Spring Birding Festival at Baring and Trescott from May 24 to 27.
With more than 40 birding guides from throughout New England and beyond, the 15th Annual Acadia Birding Festival on Mount Desert Island from May 30 to June 2 is the place to meet a lot of people who know a lot about birds. Warblers, flycatchers, migrating sparrows and pelagic birds are festival favorites.
Ranger-guided trail walks, educational presentations with live owls, viewing opportunities from forest, lake and mountain landscapes, and activities for children are all part of the 5th Annual Aroostook State Park Birding Festival, Presque Isle, on June 8. Free with park admission.
For a sampling of spring season events, activities and destinations visit www.visitmaine.com.
For more information about top events in Maine take a look