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Birding Hot Spots

SOUTHEAST ARIZONA Head for Portal, near the Chiricahua Mountains. You can watch for Gambel's quails in town, greater roadrunners in the desert, then hike higher into the cool mountains. Listen for the barking trogons and look for painted redstarts.

CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY The Cape May Bird Observatory (609 884-2736) runs some of the best fall and spring migration-birding weekends, especially for beginners. Workshops, lectures, and guided walks are offered. Check out raptors in the fall--hawks, peregrine falcons, and owls--and yellow warblers, scarlet tanagers, and blue grosbeaks in the spring.

TEXAS In spring, High Island is filled with thousands of orioles, tanagers, and brilliant warblers. In winter, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is the best place to see the only wild breeding population of whooping cranes left, as well as wetland birds and white-tailed hawks. Remote Big Bend National Park offers elusive Montezuma quail and zone-tailed hawks.

COLORADO Start with Rocky Mountain National Park. Enter through Estes Park. Up at 12,000 feet, look for white-tailed ptarmigan. At 14,000 feet, watch for golden eagles riding the thermals. Magnificent.

EVERGLADES, FLORIDA This great swamp is a birding paradise. Head down to Flamingo outpost. Watch for white ibis, yellow-crowned night heron, roseate spoonbills, wood storks, and the rare wild flamingo. Catch the anhinga on the Anhinga Trail.

CANADA For tough trekkers, heading up to Churchill, Manitoba, is a must. At the edge of the tundra, there are dozens of ''high-quality'' species, from Ross's gulls and king eiders to Arctic terns and Northern shrikes. Also check out Point Pelee in Ontario, one of the best migration spots on North America. In May, see yellow-headed blackbirds and Kentucky and prothonotary warblers.

ALASKA A cruise up the Alaskan fjords can provide great birding opportunities. Look for tufted puffins and rhinoceros auklets. The Chilkat River Valley is the place to see bald eagles. Go to Denali National Park for gyrfalcons and boreal owls. Nome has Arctic and Pacific loons.


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Updated June 23, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.
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