Winter sings in Malone

Here a goose, there a goose

There may be no better way of knowing that it is winter than watching the Snow Geese head south from the region - pushed out by the cold and snow. And so as late fall transitions into winter, birders can scan flocks of thousands of Snow Geese in the fields around Malone for Ross's Geese before the white mass of birds heads south for the winter. Birders may also find flocks of Canada Geese which may hold a Greater White-fronted or Cackling Goose. 


But as the geese leave the fields to the cold wind of winter, they do not leave the fields entirely unattended. Raptors - which may have been likewise pressed south by fall cold fronts - may stick around for much or all of the winter - hunting in fields for unwary rodents and birds. These include Red-tailed Hawk and Rough-legged Hawk, but may also include species like Northern Harrier or Cooper's Hawk which may linger into the early winter. Northern Shrikes likewise hunt from hedgerows along the fields where songbirds like Snow Buntings, Horned Larks, American Tree Sparrows, and Lapland Longspurs can be found. 


Birders who drive through miles of farm fields in search of such quarry should keep an open eye for Snowy Owls too - and the North Country can play host to northern owls of a few species which may move south in some winters. And if they still want to look for field birds and raptors, birders should check out the Lake Champlain Region where they can search through more splendid habitat. In addition, the Adirondack Coast offers a great diversity of waterfowl, and birders should plan a short day-trip while they're in the area! 

Boreal birds

But in their quest for ducks and raptors, birders should not ignore the chance for boreal birds either. Finding such species involves trips south into the bogs and boreal forests of the Adirondacks. And, while many such spruce-fir habitats are inaccessible during winter, places like Bloomingdale Bog and Bigelow Road are easy to reach and sit north of Saranac Lake, making them a relatively short drive. In such locations, birders can look for species like Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, and Gray Jay - the latter often searching for a handout. 

Fill the feeders

Anyone heading to such habitats should also keep their ears open for the flight calls of both Red and White-winged Crossbills which may be heard overhead as the birds travel far and wide for cones on which to dine. And crossbills are not the only finches which we can find in the region. These include species like American Goldfinch and Purple Finch which may get pushed south during the fall, Pine Siskin which may linger for all or part of the winter, and Common Redpoll - a species which does not come south every winter and one which may move into our region this year. And whenever Common Redpolls move south in numbers, they may bring with them Hoary Redpolls in their ranks. 

Finally, Evening Grosbeaks may also be found at feeders or overhead throughout the region - and a small movement of grosbeaks occurred earlier this fall. Not to be outdone, Pine Grosbeaks are also being reported in scattered places in the northeast and they will likely be noted in the fruit trees of towns and yards in the area. There they may be joined by Bohemian Waxwings as the two species pound calories in order to make it through the long winter. Feel free to pound some calories too as you keep yourself warm!

Plan your next migration

Now you've heard our song and we hope our tune has you singing too. Ready to take flight? Search to find the best nest for you and book now to join the rest of the flock in Malone.

This spot is located just north of Malone where Lower Park Street creates a dog leg with Brand Road where it crosses the Salmon River at... Read More
One of the recently dubbed Saranac Lake 6ers, St. Regis Mountain is a nice hike with an excellent view of the numerous lakes which compose... Read More
Along the northern end of Blue Mountain Road, Azure Mountain is worth the short, steep climb for the view alone. The fact that it can offer... Read More
Jones Pond is a great place for a paddle and it offers excellent birding while you are on the water. Most of the pond’s shoreline is public... Read More
Drum Street Road cuts from Fort Covington through a series of private fields and hedgerows before it enters the Akwesasne Mohawk Reserve.... Read More
The Blue Mountain Road extends off of Keese Mills Road in Paul Smiths. It leads birders through deciduous forests, coniferous forests, and... Read More
Sitting just west of Malone along Route 11, the airport has breeding Killdeer and Savannah Sparrow during the summer. During the fall... Read More
Located near the junction of Routes 26 and 27 in the Town of Duane, Debar Pond offers a quiet birding paddle for anyone interested in... Read More
The large lake and its marshy edges can hold species like Common and Hooded Merganser, American Bittern, and Ring-necked Duck. Birders can... Read More
An excellent hike in the northeast Adirondacks, Lyon Mountain should not be skipped by birders either. Birders should follow the new trail... Read More
The roughly 25 kilometers of trails which compose the property of the Paul Smith’s College VIC offer birders a great opportunity to explore... Read More
Dexter Road runs between the northern end of Blue Mountain Road and Route 458 in Santa Clara and the small bog along it can be a great stop... Read More
Owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed in cooperation with the New York State DEC the Everton Falls Preserve east of St. Regis Falls... Read More
The St. Regis River not only offers phenomenal paddling, but also excellent birding and one of the best places to explore for birds is... Read More
Accessed along Route 86 between Saranac Lake and Paul Smith’s, this snowmobile trail in the winter becomes an easy walking path during the... Read More
The landscape around Malone is a bucolic collection of farm fields, wood lots, and hedgerows. Several roads east of town are worth checking... Read More
Some roads to check around Hogansburg include Frogtown Road to the west of town and Townsend and Beaver Meadow Roads to the east. All roads... Read More
The Osgood River takes paddling birders into one of the best boreal habitats in the region. Access to the river comes through Osgood Pond (... Read More
This popular park along Duane Street offers sports fields and a playground, but the large pond at the center of the park is the focal point... Read More
These two roads sit just east of Fort Covington and they pass through fields and shrubby edge habitat. Edge habitat may offer Eastern... Read More
Like the eastern side of town, Malone’s western end offers good field birding, and birders will do well to drive along Fay County Road (... Read More