Spruce grouse

Wildlife & Birding

The call of a loon and the sight of a moose are part of what make a visit to Grand Lake Stream and Maine special.

From water and wetlands to early successional or mature forest, diverse habitat in the Downeast Lakes region supports diverse wildlife. Read about our wildlife habitat management in the section about the Downeast Lakes Community Forest.

Birds around Grand Lake Stream, Maine range from diverse warblers to several boreal species hard to find in most of the country. The American Bird Conservancy identifies the area as a Globally Important Bird Area with at least 180 species of birds, including 23 warblers, species associated with boreal forest (including black-backed woodpecker, boreal chickadee, gray jay, & spruce grouse) and neotropical migrants.  Download a Bird Checklist.

The Maine Birding Trail has the following observation about the Grand Lake Stream area:

“Washington County has everything except crowds. It would be one of the most heavily birded areas in America, if America’s birders only knew about it… All of Maine’s most highly sought-after species are found here, sometimes in abundance.”

The Birding Trail includes several sites in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest and around Grand Lake Stream. Rare bird alerts and a .pdf of the entire trail are available online.

From moose to black bear, bobcat, coyote, river otter, pine marten, and weasels, there are many wildlife species that are exciting to see. Vernal pools and other wetlands provide breeding opportunities for amphibians – the calls of wood frogs and spring peepers define the season, and frogs and salamanders are an abundant and important part of the forest ecosystem. On the water, visitors are likely to see painted turtles and snapping turtles sunning on a rock or log.

To see wildlife, try paddling a quiet stream like Big Musquash or hiking one of the trails in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest.

Registered Maine Guides can help you in your search for wildlife – whether it’s a moose or a spruce grouse you’re hoping to see.