Scenic New Hampshire – Statewide ideas on how to spend your next New Hampshire vacation. Travel Ideas, Lodging, and year-round activities for your enjoyment in New Hampshire.

Barred Owl Concord 29 May 23

Barred Owl. Courtesy photo.

Bird watching can be done anywhere in New Hampshire — along a nature trail, at the beach, on the mountains or in your own backyard. May is peak migration for birds here — a great time to try out this peaceful hobby. Even though the leaves are popping, birds are flocking back to the state to set up shop. Grab some binoculars and keep your eyes and ears open. Learning a few bird calls can greatly increase the chances you’ll see the little (and not-so-little) guys, too.

Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve, Ossipee, Freedom, Madison & Tamworth

A pine barren is just that – a pine forest that has survived in a challenging place. These rare barrens have dry, acidic soil that occurs in sandy deposits left by glaciers, but plenty of vegetation still lives here. Pine woods and scrub oak cohabitate with blueberry bushes and ferns in this unique ecosystem. A broad diverse swath of birds can be found here, including nocturnal whippoorwills, Eastern towhees and nighthawks.

Pondicherry Wildlife Sanctuary, Jefferson / Whitefield

This spot north of the notches has forests and wetlands, plus views of the presidential range, and plenty of migrating birds. Hike in about a mile to find them. Recent eBird sightings ( at Pondicherry have included downy woodpecker, pine siskin, red-breasted nuthatch, ruffed grouse, pileated woodpecker and dozens more.

Mount Washington Bicknell’s Thrush Tours, Gorham

The Bicknell’s Thrush is rare and elusive in New Hampshire, only found in high elevations in New England forests, as well as New York and Canada. Its status is listed as vulnerable, so it can be tough to find, especially if you’re not a mountain hiker. Instead, take the tram up Cannon Mountain to find this special bird, or get up early for Mount Washington’s Bicknell’s Thrush tours, which take place early in the morning on the toll road. Special tours in June offer the chance to get your sneak peek.

More places for bird watching in New Hampshire

Susan N. McLane Center, Concord

Massabesic Center, Auburn

Newfound Center, Hebron

Odiorne Point State Park, Rye

Great Bay Natural Wildlife Refuge, Newington

Categories: Best Places New Hampshire, Things to Do