Top Bird Watching Destinations in North America  Best Western Experience | Travel Zone by Best Western

Top Bird Watching Destinations in North America 

By Stuart Hughes

Attention all bird lovers! If you’re searching for inspiration for a truly spectacular bird-watching adventure, we invite you to follow us as we share our top birding spots in the USA & Canada.

 If there is one thing North America is blessed with, it’s the astonishing variety of avian species that call it home. Whether you’re passionate about watching stunning birds of prey in action or looking to witness a hovering hummingbird’s vibrant plumage glistening in the sunlight, join us as we explore the best birding spots in the USA & Canada. 

Sure, reading books about birding is an excellent pastime, however, there is nothing like the rush of observing them in their natural habitat. Even if you’re a first-time bird watcher or a lifelong birder, grab your binoculars as we name some of the best bird-watching spots in North America you need to visit. 

Point Reyes Peninsula in California, USA 

Head to the west coast first to explore the incredible array of assorted bird life on the Point Reyes Peninsula in California. With an impressive 490 bird species available, the sheer diversity makes Point Reyes Peninsula one of the best birding spots in the United States. 

From its coastal marshes to the lush, dense interior forests, Point Reyes Peninsula, CA, is a gem for bird lovers of all ages. Spanning 70,000 acres, it contains a bounty of bird-watching spots to witness scenes, including a majestic bald eagle soaring in the sky above, or you can spot a resident tufted puffin with its bright orange beak fishing in the seas below.

With an assortment of fascinating hiking trails to choose from in Point Reyes Peninsula, a favorite has to be the Laguna Trail and Coast Trail Loop. Here you can spend 2 to 3 hours on this circular track and catch spectacular sites of bird species along the way, including the pileated woodpeckers and white-tailed kites. 

Spend a few days visiting this fantastic birding spot and enjoy a tranquil night’s sleep every night at the Best Western Corte Madera Inn in Corte Madera, California. 

Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada 

Heading across the Canadian border, our next bird-watching location is Thunder Bay, Ontario – a prime destination on our shortlist of the best birding spots in North America. This beautiful, forested peninsula serves as a magnificent haven for more than 300 species of birds, including a number of colorful migrating waterfowl, passerines, and native raptors. 

One of the most beloved spots for observing bird life along this 35-kilometer birding site is near Sleeping Giant Head. Here you can observe native birds of prey gracefully ascend and glide upon the warm thermal currents found in this region. 

This outstanding birding destination is also renowned for its impressive migrating wildlife, which led to the creation of the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory, a leading center of bird migration research in Canada. 

Spend a few days spotting three-toed woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks, and long-eared owls, and enjoy a sound night’s sleep each night at the Signature Collection Superior Shores in Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania, USA 

Moving south, next on the list of the top birding places to visit is the aptly named Hawk Mountain in the heart of Pennsylvania. Strategically positioned along the majestic Kittatinny Ridge, just 60 miles north of New York City, Hawk Mountain is home to a concertation of predator birdlife, including the American kestrel, Cooper’s hawk, and the remarkable black vulture.

 The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a leading international center for raptor conservation, education, observation, and research. It’s also the perfect platform for any bird watchers to view these awesome birds in their natural environment, as the surrounding mountains make for an impressive backdrop and one of the most picturesque bird-watching places to visit to capture these birds of prey in flight. 

It’s no surprise why Hawk Mountain Sanctuary has made our list of the best birding spots in America, and after enjoying the daily aerial displays, experience a peaceful night’s sleep at the Best Western Plus Reading Inn & Suites in Shillington, Pennsylvania. 

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, USA 

For fans who like to witness impressive international avian migrations, the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico is next on the list of world-class birding spots. Established in 1939, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge has become a designated refuge for migrating birds and a magnet for fellow birders worldwide

.This 57,000-acre wildlife reserve is situated between the Chupadera and San Pascual Mountains and provides a critical rest stop for migrating birds to rest and feed. Some of the impressive Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge annual visitors include snow geese, sandhill cranes, and even hummingbirds, making it one of the best birding sites in the country.

Heighten your stay at this exquisite birding location by staying at the Best Western Socorro Hotel & Suites in Socorro, New Mexico. 

Sanibel Island in Florida, USA 

Our final birding destination finds us in the tropics and a stunning backdrop for bird watchers to observe the local bird wildlife while surrounded by a harmonious symphony of exotic chirps and tweets. As one of the best birding spots in the world, the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel Island in Florida is ideal for spotting the colorful variations of the striking feathers and beaks on display.

Sanibel Island has emerged as a renowned destination for birding enthusiasts primarily due to its commitment to conservation since being designated as a wildlife refuge in 1945. Nowadays, the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge offers the chance for you to see a snowy egret mingle with a great blue heron and a roseate spoonbill as they all search for fish, crustaceans, and mollusks in the waters across Sanibel Island, Florida. 

With over 200 bird species on the island, this top birding spot offers a range of observation decks across various freshwater marshes, tidal flats, and mangrove swamps. As one of the best birding places accessible all year round, you can enhance your bird-watching experience by staying at the Best Western Plus Beach Resort in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. 

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