Birding the Adirondack Mountains:
Birding at the Paul Smiths VIC
The 3,000-acre Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) includes varied Adirondack habitats, providing excellent opportunities to see and hear the many different birds that make the Adirondacks their seasonal or year-round home. As a result, the VIC has become a bird watching haven, attracting birders from throughout the northeast.
- Heron Marsh (accessible from the Barnum Brook Trail, the Heron Marsh Trail, the Logger's Loop Trail, the Woods and Waters Trail, and the Jenkins Mountain Trail) is home to a variety of birds which flourish in wetlands, including American Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Wood Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Common Merganser, Mallard, and American Black Duck.
- Birds which nest on Barnum Bog, including the Lincoln's Sparrow and the Palm Warbler, can be seen and heard from the Boreal Life Trail boardwalk. The Boreal Life Trail also has an overlook tower on Barnum Pond, where Common Loons are sometimes seen or heard.
- The early successional forest on the north side of the Logger's Loop Trail offers opportunities to see the Scarlet Tanager, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and Black-and-white Warbler.
- One very convenient birding hot spot at the VIC is the VIC parking lot, where a large number of birds may be seen and heard, including a wide variety of warblers.
- Other sightings at the Paul Smiths VIC include Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, and Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker.
- For a list of birds seen on the trails at the Paul Smiths VIC, click here.
- Ask at the VIC front desk for our VIC Birding Trail Guide, covering the Barnum Brook Trail, the Boreal Life Trail, the Heron Marsh Trail, and the VIC Parking Area.
The Paul Smith's College VIC has continued the tradition of providing guided bird walks and nature walks throughout the year. A variety of bird walks and nature walks are held throughout the year, including Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walks in the spring, summer, and fall, and Snowshoe Bird Walks in the winter. The VIC also hosts the annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration (GABC), featuring birding trips, lectures, and workshops. The 2015 Great Adirondack Birding Celebration (GABC) was held on 5 - 7 June 2015 and featured field trips to boreal birding hot spots, informative lectures, workshops, and more.
To give a better sense of where and when each bird may be observed at the VIC, detailed trip reports from organized VIC bird walks are provided below.