Catskills Birding for Beginners
Updated: Jul 26
A Guide to Birdwatching at Hotel Mountain Brook
Nestled in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, Hotel Mountain Brook welcomes guests to enjoy a relaxing retreat surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Here at Hotel Mountain Brook, we offer an unforgettable birdwatching experience throughout the year. From migratory birds to native species, we took the li-bird-y to explore the diverse birdlife that graces the mountain region.
Spring: As the snow melts and the trees start to bloom, spring invites a new wave of migratory birds to the area. One of the most distinct birds is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, known for its iridescent green color and rapid wing-flapping. Other birds that make their way through during this time include the Baltimore Oriole and the Yellow Warbler. You can often spot them in the fields, forests, and wetlands around the hotel.
Summer: The warm summer months attract a wide variety of birds to the region, including the Great Blue Heron, a majestic bird with a wingspan of up to six feet. Summer is also the perfect time to spot woodpeckers like the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and the Pileated Woodpecker, as well as colorful birds like the American Goldfinch and the Indigo Bunting. Don't forget to look out for the striking white and black plumage of the Bobolink, a rare grassland bird that can be found in the meadows near the hotel. Check out the three bright yellow American Goldfinches we spotted this June in our tree!
Fall: As the leaves change color and the air turns crisp, the fall season is a prime time for birdwatching in the Catskills. Visitors can witness the migration of a wide variety of birds including the Broad-winged Hawk, the Blackpoll Warbler, and the iconic Turkey Vulture. The nearby Kaaterskill Wild Forest offers an excellent location to observe these birds in their natural habitat.
Winter: Even when the temperatures drop, birdwatching doesn't stop in the Catskills. Winter is a great time to spot hardy species such as the Snow Bunting and the Dark-eyed Junco, both of which travel long distances to spend the winter on the mountain. The nearby Hunter Mountain serves as a sanctuary for Bald Eagles, which can often be seen perched high in the trees.
Side note: Many locals see owls perched in high branches, which inspired the aesthetic for Room 7 in the Main Lodge. Our wood wall hosts a gallery of all original art works, mainly paintings of fluffy feathered owls.
For the expert birders: Birding-serious visiting guests come here on the hunt to spot the Bicknell's Thrush, one of North America's rarest songbirds. They breed only in high elevations so our mountaintop is the perfect place to go looking for them. Fun fact: local brewery, West Kill donates a portion of every Bicknell's Thrush American Pale Ale sold to support their stewardship.
From watching the graceful flight of hummingbirds to observing majestic hawks, birdwatching is one of the best ways to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of Upstate New York. Whether you're a seasoned birder or just beginning to explore the world of birdwatching, we offer an incredible experience that will allow you to fully appreciate the natural wonders of the region.
Come stay with us and experience the magic of the Catskills! We have binoculars at the front desk by request. Thank you for reading.
The Mountain Brook Team