Derek Lovitch has published a great new Maine birding guide

Derek Lovitch’s new birding guide, Birdwatching in Maine, is a must-have for all who love Maine’s birds.  The book is comprehensive, covering all the state’s best bird watching places.

I can tell you that he includes all the places where Linda and I enjoy birding. Well, he doesn’t tell you about our yard, but he’s got all the rest of our favorites!

Derek and his wife Jeannette moved to Portland in 2003 and it didn’t take long for them to establish their Freeport Wild Bird Supply and a very busy guiding service. “Maine offers a tremendous wealth of birding opportunities for all levels and interest and experience,” he writes in the preface. That’s an important point because you don’t have to be an obsessive nearly-professional birder to find value in this book.

“No small part of the reason Jeannette and I stayed in Maine is the reason you are reading this book,” he notes.” Yup. We are a birding paradise.

Consider this, as Derek notes in the book’s introduction. “Nearly 450 species have been recorded in the 33,215 square miles, over six thousand lakes and large ponds, over three thousand coastal islands, and thirty-five hundred miles of coastline of the state of Maine.”

Well, you probably aren’t going to bird in all those places, so this book will help you narrow down your choices, which are organized by county. I focused first on our favorite places, starting with Lubec, one of the best places to see migrating shore birds in our state. And Derek nails it.

On page 380 is a section on Lubec and the Lubec Bar and Flats. We rent a house near the sand bar every August, to enjoy the area and the birds. Derek even mentions our two favorite restaurants, Franks’ Dockside and the Water Street Tavern. You can sit on their decks and see birds as well as seals while enjoying a beverage and great food.

We enjoy birding at our camp on Nesowadnehunk Lake on the west side of Baxter Park and Derek covers that area well. He doesn’t mention our camp driveway (thank goodness!) but he tells you where you can see all of those great boreal forest birds, mentioning the Black-backed and American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Spruce Grouse, Gray Jay, and Boreal Chickadee. We see all of those right in our camp driveway!

The book includes detailed directions and maps, as well as some beautiful photos. He also gives you charts showing which months you can see each species in Maine. And he credits and thanks all the folks who contributed information for the book, an impressive list of impressive people, including some our friends – Ron Joseph, Don Mairs, and Greg and Pat Drummond of Claybrook Mountain Lodge where we’ll be enjoying a birding weekend soon, guided by Ron and Greg. And for sure, I’m looking forward to Pat’s great meals!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.