Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge
Northeast Region
P.O. Box 240
2756 Dam Road
Errol, NH 03579
(603) 482-3415

Bird List

(Including the adjacent areas of Cambridge, Dixville, Dummer, Errol, Millsfield, Second College Grant, and Wentworth Location, New Hampshire, and Grafton Township, Magalloway Plantation, and Upton, Maine)

Birding in the area

Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1992 to protect and conserve wetlands and wetland associated wildlife, and to provide feeding, resting and nesting habitat for migratory birds. Located in northeastern New Hampshire and western Maine, it includes most of the shore line of Umbagog Lake, large marshes, bogs and fens, and hardwood and boreal forest uplands.

Banded eagles in their nest. Credit: Ian Drew/USFWS
  Banded eagles in their nest. Credit: Ian Drew/USFWS

The refuge and adjacent lands lie at the headwaters of the Androscoggin River and accept the flow of the Magalloway, Rapid, and Dead Cambridge Rivers. It is one of the most productive breeding areas for common loons, ducks (particularly common goldeneye and ring-necked ducks), bald eagles, osprey, and other wetland species in the State of New Hampshire. Boreal species such as black-backed woodpecker, gray jay, and boreal chickadee are fairly common in the spruce-fir habitat, where spruce grouse can also be found. Moose are abundant on the refuge.

Refuge access is primarily by boat. Birding is best in May and June for warblers, loons, breeding ducks, and raptors. April, May, and August through November are the best months for observing migrants (primarily waterfowl, sandpipers, and warblers). Binoculars and a spotting scope are recommended for birding at Umbagog Lake.

Bird life in the Umbagog region has been studied since the late 1800s. More historical bird data exists for this area than any other area in northern New England. Please help us by reporting sightings of species not listed, rare species or species with unconfirmed breeding status. Sightings should be reported to Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 240, Errol, NH 03579; Phone: (603) 482-3415 or The Audubon Society of New Hampshire, 3 Silk Farm Road, Concord, NH 03301; Phone: (603) 224-9909. Thank you.

This list contains 229 species that have been observed on the refuge. The list is in accordance with the seventh American Ornithologists' Union checklist.

Bird List Key

Wood duck. Credit: Maslowski/USFWS
Wood Duck. Credit: Maslowski/USFWS

Sp - Spring March 16-May 31
S - Summer June 1-July 31
F - Fall August 1-November 15
W - Winter November 16-March 15

Abundance codes indicate likelihood of observing species in appropriate habitat.

Relative Abundance

A - Abundant A species likely to be seen in numbers
C - Common At least a few are likely to be seen
U - Uncommon Present, but not certain to be seen
O - Occasional Seen only a few times during a season
R - Rare May be present but not seen every year
V - Vagrant Has occurred in intervals greater than 10 years


M - Migrant Not considered a breeder
PR - Permanent Resident Assumed to breed
SR - Summer Resident Not known to breed
WR - Winter Resident Not known to breed
B - Breeds On or near the refuge
I - Irruptive Numbers fluctuate erratically, usually based on food availability

Common Name Status SP S F W
Red-throated Loon M R
Common Loon B C C C R
Pied-billed Grebe M U R U
Horned Grebe M R U
Red-Necked Grebe M R U
Double-Crested Cormorant M U O U
Great Cormorant M R
Bitterns, Herons and Egrets
American Bittern B U U U
Great Blue Heron B C C C
Green Heron M R R R
New World Vultures
Turkey Vulture SR U U U
Geese and Ducks
Snow Goose M R O
Canada Goose B C U C
Wood Duck B C C C
American Wigeon M R R
American Black Duck B C C C R
Mallard B C C C R
Blue-winged Teal B O O U
Northern Shoveler M R R
Northern Pintail M R R
Green-winged Teal B C O C
Ring-necked Duck B C C C
Greater Scaup M R R
Lesser Scaup M R R
Surf Scoter M R O
White Winged Scoter M R O
Black Scoter M R U
Long-tailed Duck M R R
Bufflehead M O O
Common Goldeneye PR C U U R
Barrow's Goldeneye M O R
Hooded Merganser PR C U U R
Common Merganser PR C U C O
Red-breasted Merganser M V R
Osprey, Hawks and Eagles
Osprey B C C U
Bald Eagle PR U U U O
Northern Harrier B U U U
Sharp-shinned Hawk PR U U U O
Cooper's Hawk PR R R R R
Northern Goshawk PR O O O O
Red-shouldered Hawk SR R R
Broad-winged Hawk B U C C
Red-tailed Hawk B U O U R
Rough-legged Hawk M R R
Golden Eagle M R R
American Kestrel B U O C
Merlin B O O O
Peregrine Falcon B O O O R
Gallinaceous Birds
Ruffed Grouse PR C U C U
Spruce Grouse PR O O O O
Wild Turkey PR O O O O
Virginia Rail B U U U
Sora B O O O
Common Moorhen M R R
Black-bellied Plover M R R O
Semi-palmated Plover M R R
Killdeer B U O O
Sandpipers and Phalaropes
Greater Yellowlegs M R O O
Lesser Yellowlegs M R
Solitary Sandpiper M O O O
Spotted Sandpiper B U U U
Sanderling M R
Semi-palmated Sandpiper M R R R
Least Sandpiper M U U U
Pectoral Sandpiper M U
Dunlin M R R R
Short-billed Dowitcher M R R R
Common Snipe B C C C
American Woodcock B C U U
Red-necked Phalarope M R
Gulls and Terns
Bonaparte's Gull M R R O
Ring-billed Gull SR U U U
Herring Gull B U U U
Great Black-backed Gull M O O O
Common Tern M R R
Black Tern M R R
Pigeons and Doves
Mourning Dove B C C C U
Black-billed Cuckoo B O O O
Great Horned Owl PR U U U U
Barred Owl PR U U U U
Northern Saw-whet Owl PR U O O O
Common Nighthawk M R O
Whip-poor-will SR R
Chimney Swift B U U O
Ruby-throated Hummingbird B U U U
Belted Kingfisher B C C C R
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker B C C U
Downy Woodpecker PR C C C U
Hairy Woodpecker PR C C C U
Black-backed Woodpecker PR U U U U
Northern Flicker B C C C
Pileated Woodpecker PR U U U U
Tyrant Flycatchers
Olive-sided Flycatcher B U U O
Eastern Wood Peewee B C C U
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher B U U O
Alder Flycatcher B C C U
Least Flycatcher B C U U
Eastern Phoebe B U U U
Great Crested Flycatcher B U U O
Eastern Kingbird B U U U
Northern Shrike I R O O
Blue-headed Vireo B C C C
Warbling Vireo B R R
Philadelphia Vireo B R R O
Red-eyed Vireo B C A C
Crows and Jays
Gray Jay PR U U U C
Blue Jay PR C C C U
American Crow PR C C C U
Common Raven PR C C C C
Horned Lark M O O R
Tree Swallow B C C U
Bank Swallow B U U U
Cliff Swallow B U U U
Barn Swallow B C C U
Black-capped Chickadee PR C C C C
Boreal Chickadee PR U U U U
Red-breasted Nuthatch I C C C U
White-breasted Nuthatch PR O O O O
Brown Creeper PR U U U O
Winter Wren B C C C
Marsh Wren B U U U
Golden-crowned Kinglet PR A A A C
Ruby-crowned Kinglet B C C C
Eastern Bluebird B O O O
Veery B C C U
Bicknell's Thrush B R R R
Gray-cheeked Thrush M R R
Swainson's Thrush B U C U
Hermit Thrush B C C C
Wood Thrush B O O
American Robin B C C C R
Thrashers and Mockingbirds
Gray Catbird B U U U
Northern Mockingbird SR R
Brown Thrasher B O O
European Starling B U U U O
American Pipit M O
Bohemian Waxwing I R R R
Cedar Waxwing B O C A
Wood Warblers
Tennessee Warbler B O O U
Nashville Warbler B C C C
Northern Parula B C C C
Yellow Warbler B U U U
Chestnut-sided Warbler B C C C
Magnolia Warbler B C C C
Cape May Warbler B R R O
Black-throated Blue Warbler B C C U
Yellow-rumped Warbler B C C A
Black-throated Green Warbler B C C C
Blackburnian Warbler B C C U
Pine Warbler B U U U
Palm Warbler B U U U
Bay-breasted Warbler B U U U
Blackpoll Warbler M U R U
Black and White Warbler B U U U
American Redstart B U U U
Ovenbird B C A U
Northern Waterthrush B C A U
Common Yellowthroat B C C C
Wilson's Warbler B U U O
Canada Warbler B U C U
Mourning Warbler B U U U
Scarlet Tanager B U U O
American Tree Sparrow WR U U U
Chipping Sparrow B C C C
Field Sparrow B R R
Savannah Sparrow B C C U
Fox Sparrow M R O
Song Sparrow B C C C R
Lincoln's Sparrow B U U O
Swamp Sparrow B C C U
White-throated Sparrow B C C C R
White-crowned Sparrow M R U
Dark-eyed Junco B C U C U
Lapland Longspur M R
Snow Bunting M U O
Cardinals, Grosbeaks and Allies
Northern Cardinal PR R R R R
Rose-breasted Grosbeak B U U U
Indigo Bunting B O U O
Blackbirds and Orioles
Bobolink B C C O
Red-winged Blackbird B C C O
Eastern Meadowlark M R
Rusty Blackbird B U U U
Common Grackle B C C U
Brown-headed Cowbird B C O U
Baltimore Oriole B U O
Pine Grosbeak I O O O
Purple Finch I U U U R
Red Crossbill I R R U U
White-winged Crossbill I C R R R
Common Redpoll I R R R
Pine Siskin I U U U U
American Goldfinch I U U U U
Evening Grosbeak I O O O O
Old World Sparrows
House Sparrow B R

List of Vagrants: Species occurring at intervals of greater than ten years (since 1950).

American Golden Plover Iceland Gull Snowy Egret
American Coot Loggerhead Shrike Snowy Owl
Black-crowned Night Heron Long-billed Dowitcher Stilt Sandpiper
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Long-eared Owl Summer Tanager
Brant Northern Rough-winged Swallow Three-toed Woodpecker
Canvasback Prothonotary Warbler Townsend's Solitaire
Dickcissel Red Phalarope Vesper Sparrow
Eastern Towhee Red head Western Kingbird
Gadwall Red-headed Woodpecker White-rumped Sandpiper
Great Egret Red Knot Willow Flycatcher
Hoary Redpoll Ruddy Duck Wilson's Phalarope
House Finch Ruddy Turnstone Yellow-billed Cuckoo
House Wren Sedge Wren Yellow-headed Blackbird

Compiled by Bob Quinn with significant contributions by Tudor Richards, Carol Foss and Chris Martin.

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Last updated: November 23, 2009