THING TO DO

Birding Sieur de Monts Springs

Two juvenile barred owls rest on a tree branch

Sieur de Monts Springs is the best location in Acadia National Park to find a diverse range of birds. In roughly 2.5 miles of hiking a variety of habitats can be covered including a marsh, a large shallow pond, wetland meadow, mature hemlock forest, mixed woods, and the Wild Gardens of Acadia. These diverse habitats create an amazing area to find warblers, flycatchers, marsh birds, and a variety of other song birds. The best time of year to bird at Sieur de Monts is during the spring migration, the end of April to the beginning of June.
Details
Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
Although this activity is free, a park entrance pass is required for all areas of the park from May 1 through October 31.

The Trailhead: Where to Begin

  • Sieur de Monts

Getting to the Trailhead

  • By car: Start at Hulls Cove Visitor Center and follow the Park Loop Road. Follow signs for start of one-way road towards Sand Beach. Continue for two miles and turn right at signs for Sieur de Monts. This area can also be accessed from Bar Harbor via Maine Route 3.

  • By bus: Take the Island Explorer (mid-June to October) to Sieur de Monts. Check bus schedules for times and routes.

Accessibility Information
Some trails at Sieur de Monts are mostly accessible, specifically Jesup Path, Hemlock Trail, and Stratheden Path.

There is an accessible restroom next to the parking area.
two young owls perched on a branch
Two fledgling barred owls watching park visitors pass bye

Emma Forthofer, Friends of Acadia, NPS

Birdwatching Sieur de Monts Springs

Arriving early in the morning is the best time to see many songbirds, which are more active in the morning and late afternoon. Starting in the parking lot and scanning the edges is a great place to find woodpeckers, sparrows, and a variety of shrub preferring species like the Gray Catbird. Please be cautions of vehicles and other park visitors arriving for early morning hikes. Walking in the Wild Gardens and the grounds around the nature center is also a great pace to spot birds that prefer the high canopy of deciduous trees like the Red-eyed Vireo and the Black-throated Green Warbler.

From the grounds around the nature center, a variety of trails leads throughout the rest of Sieur de Monts. The preferred trails for birding are the Jesup Path, Hemlock Road, and Wild Gardens Path (a trail found south of the lawn, not the Wild Gardens walking paths). Together these three trails make a 2.5 mile figure eight of easy walking.

The Wild Gardens Path extends south through mature mixed woods. During the springtime a significant stream also runs parallel to the trail. This is an excellent place to see Northern Waterthrush, Pine Warbler, and Blackburnian Warbler. The trail comes to the outlet of the Tarn, where you can often find wood ducks, herons, and the occasional American Bittern. Watch out for bald eagle and osprey fly-overs as well. Crossing over the stone walk way gives access to the southern end of the Jesup Path.

The Jesup Path runs from the Tarn through mature mixed woods, a boardwalk through maples and birches, and a small section of the great meadow as in intersects with the Park Loop Road. Expect deciduous birds like Great-crested Flycatcher and American Redstart but in the meadow be on the look out for Swamp Sparrow, Alder Flycatcher, and rarely Virginia Rail in wet spring years. Out at the intersection with park loop road there is a good chance for Pine Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and White-throated Sparrow.

The Hemlock Road runs from the park loop road 0.1 mile east of the park loop road intersection with Jesup path, in returns to the Sieur de Monts parking area through a birch thicket, mature hemlock forest and finishes in young mixed woods. Blue-headed Vireo, Barred Owl, and Black-and-White Warbler are great species along this section of trail. In the fall the Hemlock Road often has sparrows abound. Pay attention to the trail ahead to see Vesper Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow on their migration south.

Notable Acadia Species: Black-billed Cuckoo, Philadelphia Vireo, Bay-breasted Warbler

Last updated: October 20, 2020