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Look up! We all have done it. Just to watch the birds fly in a formation through the blue sky. Back in NY I recall waiting at a red light & observing from my car window, all the birds sitting single file on the entire length of an electrical wire suspended from one pole to another. As many of us, my information about birds was limited. Since moving to beautiful Maine, I have learned that many of my guests are just as amazed to listen & watch our feathered friends as I am. 

Last season a guest was packing into her car, what appeared to be a telescope. She explained that telescopes are for star-gazing, but spotters are for bird-watching. She found so many different types of species on her last visit to the Mount Battie Motel that she returned again for more bird watching pleasures. She explained that this area is the migration path for many species of birds, starting with the songbirds in May & ending with the Hawks in October. Since the Mount Battie Motel is located at the foothills of the Camden State Park, she feels birds just fly over the property line right through our backyard.

So when winter was approaching, we placed a few bird feeders behind the main house.  It didn’t take long for the birds to find them. One morning, after a snowfall, it seemed as if the birds were flying from all directions to grab a free meal. I always thought that birds sat on a perch & ate. But, I suppose when you are low on the food chain, you must grab & run, or in their case grab & fly. And it actually appears as if they do that. I observed five birds in a tree. The bird on the lowest branch of the tree was fist to visit the feeder, grab some seed & fly to the very top of the tree. All the others then descended down a branch to wait their turn. The next bird visited the feeder & repeated the circle of feeding.

As spring was approaching, we contacted the Maine Audubon & were instructed how to increase the population of birds on the property by strategically placing feeders, bird houses & bird baths throughout the decks & gardens. Our guests were delighted to listen & watch the action. You truly never know how amazing nature can be until you immerse yourself. 

At the end of May, a strange thing happened. Starting early in the morning, an enormous number of birds landed on the yard of the Mount Battie Motel. More and more appeared as the day grew on. The sound of chirping and song increased as the numbers grew larger. They all appeared to be starving and didn’t care if you walked right up to them. As if they knew where to go and communicated with each other, they kept coming, as if they were falling from the sky, more and more landed. We refilled all our feeders several times. It was chaotic. We weren’t sure when it was going to end.  It took days for the massive migration to begin to leave.  After the feast, we have noticed an increase of birds continuously in our yard.   

A short time later, a guest told us that he selected to stay at the Mount Battie Motel specifically to bird watch. We told him about the birding event which occurred in May. He immediately said “that was a fall out”! Starving birds knew about the abundant food source at the Mount Battie Motel and came to dine. He said they will be back next year and to expect even greater numbers. 

We welcome anyone who knows more about this topic, especially what to expect next year, how do we prepare for the event & best ways to spread the word, to please e-mail us at stay@mountbattie.com . We are in the learning stage of this magnificent gift of nature.        

We have recently learned that only a few miles from the Mount Battie Motel is the Beech Hill Preserve, an extraordinary birding destination that offers panoramic views of Penobscot Bay & the Camden Hills. This preserve protects 295 acres managed for grassland bird habitat. While enjoying an easy hike with a gradual climb, of about 1.5 miles round trip, look for kestrels, bluebirds & warblers. 

For a moderate but flat climb, visit the Fernald’s Neck Preserve. This gorgeous 300 acre preserve is also only a few miles away from the Mount Battie Motel. Its trail is about 1 to 2 miles but you’ll view majestic forests and unforgettable views of Megunticook Lake. 

 For a strenuous 2 mile round trip hike, visit the Bald Mountain Preserve, also only a few miles away from the Mount Battie Motel. This 600 acre preserve contains unique geologic features and forest habitat for birds. I have been told that the summit has an incredible view of Penobscot Bay & Camden Hills. 

As we hang a few more bird houses & feeders in our gardens & near our decks & await occupancy of more feathered friends, we have come to appreciate our new hobby, bird-watching.  How fortunate we are that Maine is one on North America’s top birding destinations. 

Maine offers some of the country’s most sought after species of birds. Bob Duchesne of the “Maine Birding Trail” has provided the Mount Battie Motel with a personalized “Birding Guide” for our guests. This guide was excerpted and updated from The Maine Birding Trail: The Official Guide to More Than 260 Accessible sites, Published by Downeast Books 2009. A free copy is available by CLICKING HERE.  

Enjoy the fantastic hobby of bird-watching as well as all the activities that Maine has to offer. Since Birding in Maine is spectacular all season long, we look forward to your stay at the Mount Battie Motel, to share the amazement by watching & listening to these enchanting creatures. 


Christine Smith


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