Tupper Lake is located in the heart of the Adirondack "boreal" zone. This diagonal region of habitat runs from the northeastern to southwestern Adirondacks. Spring Pond Bog and Massawepie Mire, two of the most popular Adirondack birding destinations, are located just a few minutes away. Bloomingdale Bog and the Low's Ridge-Upper Dam Trail, which encompasses Hitchens Bog, are also nearby. The marshes at the edge of Tupper Lake and Simon Pond are also famous bird watching locations.
Prime birding time in the Adirondacks
Bird species come and go with the seasons, but in the spring the Adirondacks fill with birds that stay all summer long!
Northern New York is the best location in the country to see nesting warblers. The region plays host to 30 breeding species, including: Golden-winged, Cape May, Palm, Blackpoll, Mourning, Canada Warblers, and Northern Waterthrush.
Birders can also find 18 breeding warbler species in a morning walk at Massawepie Mire alone. Bicknell's Thrush, the only endemic bird in the northeastern U.S., is a high-elevation species that brings birders from all across the U.S., Canada, and beyond to the Adirondacks. Common Loon, Northern Goshawk, Philadelphia Vireo, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Olive-sided, Yellow-bellied, Alder, and Least Flycatchers are nesting species that also bring birders to the region.
The Adirondacks are a year-round birding destination
Some of the year-round boreal species that attract birders include: Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Red and White-winged Crossbills, and Evening Grosbeak. Massawepie Mire and Spring Pond Bog are the two most famous locations to look for the increasingly rare Spruce Grouse.
Tupper Lake is also close to the St. Lawrence Valley, which is another exciting birding destination. The St. Lawrence Valley has a variety of habitats including grassland, shrubland, marsh, river, deciduous forest, and mixed forest. Just some of the species that birders look for in the valley during the spring include: Virginia Rail, Black Tern, many flycatcher species, Sedge Wren, Golden-winged, Blue-winged, and Cerulean Warblers, Henslow's and Grasshopper Sparrows, and Bobolink.
In winter 2017, birders flocked to Tupper Lake to see a mega-rare bird. A first winter Ross's Gull was photographed by Jack Delehanty on January 25, 2017. It was observed eating Walleye eggs left by an ice-fisherman on Simon Pond. Word quickly spread in the birding world and Tupper Lake is filling with people from all over the U.S. and Canada. Named after the famous 19th century British Arctic explorer James Clark Ross, the Ross's Gull is a small, dove-like gull that breeds mainly in remote stretches of northern Siberia (and also northernmost North America) and spends other seasons among the ice pack of the Arctic Ocean. It is considered a very rare visitor south of the Arctic. The Tupper Lake Ross's Gull is currently the only one being observed in North America. This extremely unique spotting brought in a flock of excited visitors carrying binoculars and spotting scopes ready to check the Ross's Gull off of their life list. Read more about this awesome sighting!
Plan your birding expedition!
By staying in Tupper Lake, a birder is surrounded by wonderful boreal habitat destinations and also close to the famous St. Lawrence Valley. Every conceivable habitat in New York, except ocean, is an easy drive from Tupper Lake! Grab lunch, and whether you decide to paddle, hike, or drive to your viewing location you're sure to enjoy your Tupper birding experience.