By Noah Henkenius -- with help from several Massachusetts birders
With much of the state bordering the Atlantic Ocean and possessing a well-maintained coastal habitat, Massachusetts is a good place to find shorebirds year-round. During migration, many shorebird species will stop at various hotspots along the coast and further west in Massachusetts' inland region to fuel up for their trips to and from breeding grounds in the Arctic. Autumn migration in particular is strong for shorebirds in Massachusetts as birds tend to be in less of a rush and more likely to stay in a single spot for longer. Autumn is also the best time to find vagrant shorebird species. In the summer months, the famous Piping Plovers will breed in various spots throughout the Massachusetts coastline. In the winter months Sanderling, Dunlin, and Purple Sandpipers are common winter residents; occasionally migratory species will linger behind, especially during milder winters.
The following is a selection of some of the most notable hotspots within the state of Massachusetts for shorebirds. Not all of these hotspots will have shorebirds year-round, however, each can be considered a notable "shorebird destination" at some point throughout the year. Our main goal was to focus on hotspots that:
While this list is not all-encompassing if you're looking for shorebirds in Massachusetts... These hotspots are a place to start.
Connecticut River Valley