It's breeding season -- and it's the 30 minute period at the end of night when all the birds begin to awaken -- soon almost all male birds will sing; quietly at first and then loud and hard. As the sun rises, EVERY bird in earshot is singing simultaneously. You are the audience.
The theatre is your private lakeside veranda at the historic Eagle Lake Sporting Camps. You are listening, watching the loons, and sipping a cup of expertly brewed (shade grown) coffee as the humming birds dance at the feeders. For birders and non-birders alike this is an experience of a lifetime; simply breathtaking and overwhelming!
You are in Northern Maine, a great destination for birders and wildlife photographers. Home to a great many species of migratory and non-migratory birds, bird watching is a four-season event. It is no secret that Maine is one of the top birding destinations.
We are at the southern limit of breeding territory for many species of birds that migrate north from the tropics each spring. While the birders who live south of us get the opportunity to see these species for a few short weeks each spring, we are lucky to have the birds present all summer.
During breeding, the birds establish territories and stay put in these small areas when they are raising their young, thus allowing us certainty in finding and re-finding specific birds sought by our clients; and, very important for photographers who want to spend hours with the same bird.
Northern Maine's specialty birds, generally called boreal species, are difficult to find anywhere south of us. These include Gray Jay (gorbie), Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Rusty Blackbird, Boreal Chickadee, Olive and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, warblers (20 species) and northern finches (6 species). It is well worth the trip north for a chance to see these rare birds, most of which are within a short distance of the Eagle Lake Sporting Camps, or while on a serene paddle along the 4 mile thoroughfare, steps from your cabin.
Whether your goal is to observe, record, and quickly move on to look for more rare birds and different species, or prefer to linger for hours photographing a single bird, the staff at the Eagle Lake Sporting Camps is ready to help.
During the spring and summer season, with 16 hours of daylight and a quick breakfast at 3:30 am to 4:30 am, the determined birder can record as many as 100 species in a single day. A shore side lunch or picnic basket shared beside a special pond or near a secluded marsh helps restore energy as you savor the remote wilderness few are privileged to visit.
In the evenings, after a long day and a fine dinner, your cosy cabin awaits. Read by the gas lamps then climb under a warm and fluffy comforter. Or, wander over to the campfire and join other guests for star gazing. Located in the midst of a 23,000 acre reserve, the Camps are off the power grid and the views are shared only with other guests at the lodge.
For those needing a little more help or time to cover territory, our 26 foot covered pontoon boat can carry you along the thoroughfare and provide a stable platform for photographing the multiple species of waterfowl, herons, and Bald Eagles. A secluded marsh and other remote spots are a short all terrain vehicle ride away.
Within 45 miles of the Camp are three sites along the Maine Birding Trail. A birder can add 30 species to the lists by working in a visit to Lake Josephine and Christina Reservoir which report a big assortment of rare ducks and water birds and to Collins Pond active in summer and fall. The Aroostook Federal Wildlife Refuge is another nearby destination for visiting birders/photographers.
The Eagle Lake Sporting Camps and our exclusive professional guiding service, OMM Outfitters, are proud to be Maine’s only Cabela’s World Foremost Destination. Together we are dedicated to delivering a world class outdoor adventure. Swarovski Optics and Walker’s Game Ear are among the companies supplying the Lodge with the world class tools to bring the outdoors closer.
"Bill Sheehan is the well known author of a comprehensive Northern Maine Birding Blog and specialist in birds of Aroostook County. He is the birding advisor and instructor for guides and guests at the Eagle Lake Sporting Camps and is available to help you get the most from your Northern Maine excursion.A life-long birder, Bill grew up in Patten, just east of Baxter State Park, and lives in Woodland, just 25 miles from the Camps with his wife and two children. He is the former secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee and ornithological curator of the Northern Maine Science Museum at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. http://northernmainebirds.blogspot.com/"