Review of Birding the Great Lakes Seaway Trail

Birding the Great Lakes Seaway Trail: A Traveler’s Guide to the 518-mile Freshwater Birder’s Paradise Along America’s Byways in New York and Pennsylvania. Published by: Seaway Trail Foundation. Written by: Gerald A. Smith with chapters by Willie D’Anna, Jerry McWilliams, and David Semple; illustrated by Robert McNamara; Edited by Julie Covey.

1996 marked a special year for the lengthy stretch of Great Lakes shoreline that is the Great Lakes Seaway Trail:

  • of the first 127 Important Bird Areas named by the National Audubon Society, 20% were along the Seaway Trail
  • the Federal Highway Administration designated the Seaway Trail as an America’s Byway

Birding the Great Lakes Seaway Trail is the perfect guide for birding this scenic stretch. With 18 chapters segmenting the various birding portions of the trail, you can easily locate a specific location to bird or you can follow longer parts (or all of) the trail, birding along the way. The guide is color-coded to make it even easier to find each segment.

Among the segments are specific birding hotspots: state parks, hawk watches, banding stations, wildlife management areas, and more. An enormous amount of work went into producing this guide and the unique details could easily be a template for other bird-finding guides.

  • Each chapter has monthly overall ratings indicated by a graphical display of raptor silhouettes
  • Chapters are color-coded for what season produces best birding
  • Detailed, colorful maps are included to pinpoint where each hotspot is located
  • Important Bird Areas are indicated with an IBA icon
  • GPS coordinates are included for each location
  • Each chapter has a “calendar page” which highlights typical species to encounter by month; rarer or more significant species are highlighted

The individual hotspots are given excellent textual coverage typical of other bird-finding guides. We love how the beautiful illustrations are mixed in, providing additional visual appeal.

Overall, this is not only an efficient guide but raises the bar on bird-finding guides in general. The layout, design, and use of full color make it stand out and could garner appeal from more casual birders or budding naturalists as well as advanced birders.

Purchase Birding the Great Lakes Seaway Trail

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