There’s something hopeful about watching birds returning home from the winter. It can symbolize many things: rebirth, joy, and new beginnings. In Scituate, you can find many birds migrating home to the seaside town just in time for Spring. Discover more about birdwatching in Scituate. 

Scituate’s Birdwatching History

The residents of Scituate have always had a deep love for birdwatching. The activity became such a big interest that Scituate formed two different organizations, The South Shore Bird Club and Birding Scituate. The South Shore Bird Club was founded in 1946 and continues the tradition of exploring and sharing birds and their habitats within Scituate and the South Shore. Birding Scituate is tailored specifically to Scituate birds and operates as a private Facebook group.  

What Birds Are Common in Scituate?

Scituate is home to various kinds of nautical birds. For the avid birdwatcher, you’ll find these 17 bird species:

  • red-breasted mergansers
  • eiders
  • cormorants
  • loons
  • buffleheads
  • ospreys
  • Merlin
  • great blue herons
  • red-shouldered hawks
  • Cooper’s hawks 
  • plovers
  • greater yellowlegs
  • killdeer
  • tree sparrows
  • kestrels
  • northern harriers
  • purple martins


You’ll also find that it’s not uncommon for bald eagles and osprey to make their homes in Scituate.

Where can I Birdwatch in Scituate?

There are seven locations in Scituate where you can find birds of different species. 

At Scituate Harbor around the fishing piers, you’ll find habitats of the red-breasted mergansers, eiders, cormorants, loons, and buffleheads. Ospreys, great blue herons, red-shouldered hawks, and Cooper’s hawks will poke out near the outlet marshes on the driftway. Around the beaches in the Scituate Harbor, observe the merlin. Plovers, greater yellowlegs, and killdeer roam on the perimeter of salt water in Scituate. In the area called “The Spit” near the junction of the North and South Rivers, you’ll locate tree sparrows. Local fields are decorated with kestrels and northern harriers. 

If you want to go on a longer journey, follow Route 3A south, pass over the North River, leave on Summer Street, and travel to the end of Damon Point. Here, you’ll see a private sanctuary of birds including purple martins. 

When is the Best time to Birdwatch?

Spring migration is when birds leave southern states to head back north. In Massachusetts, this bird migration takes place between March and June. You’ll find various bird species at any time of day during these months whether it’s morning during their breakfast, afternoon as they catch up with fellow bird friends, or nighttime when they are ready to mate. 

Learn More about Birds and Birdwatching 

If you want to uncover more about birds in Scituate and beyond, check out the Mass Audubon Society, an organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and nature in Massachusetts. Here, you’ll learn about the many birds in Massachusetts, how to care for injured birds, and the different sanctuaries where you’ll find bird species. Make sure to read their Birding Code of Ethics for the best practices on respecting wildlife, the environment, and fellow birders.

Many birds settle in Scituate. Begin your spring off with a bang by visiting this seaside town and exploring the many habitats where different bird species settle. What bird will you check off your list this coming season?  

42º 13’06”N 70º 47’16”W