Ada Govan Bird Sanctuary

Ada Govan Bird Sanctuary

Lexington, Massachusetts 02420

Birds of Interest

Some of the birds that can be seen here are woodpeckers, warblers, chickadees, nuthatches, bluebirds, hawks, and owls.

About this Location

Ada Govan Bird Sanctuary is a small but diverse natural area in Lexington that offers a refuge for many bird species and other wildlife. The sanctuary was established in 1937 by Ada Govan, a local writer and bird enthusiast, who donated her backyard woodland to the town after it was threatened by development. The sanctuary covers about 12 acres and features a variety of habitats, including mixed hardwood forest, wetland, meadow, and pond. The sanctuary is open to the public and has a network of trails for walking and birdwatching. It is also a part of the Lexington Conservation Land network and connects to other nearby natural areas.

The bird-loving community that Ada Govan built and connected with through her writing especially supported her in 1937 when development threatened a woodland bordering her backyard. Moved by her Nature Magazine article appealing for help, readers mailed donations, a few dollars at a time, to purchase what is today the Ada Govan Bird Sanctuary in Lexington. Govan was deeply grateful and proud, too, that she had inspired “shut-ins” and others who most needed the joy of birds to foster their own welfare.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Massachusetts Audubon Society

Last updated December 20, 2023