Baltimore Oriole
The Messalonskee Lake boat ramp is one of the most popular birding hot spots in the county, because it is so easy. All birding can be done from the ramp. It's often an easy place to see the black terns that arrive in mid to late May. The boat channel runs through excellent marsh habitat before entering the lake. Dabbling ducks and pied-billed grebes are likely. Virginia rails may call at any time of day. Warbling vireos and Baltimore orioles are common among the trees along the shoreline. Northern harriers are regularly seen above the marsh.

This is a good place for an adventure by canoe, but make sure to clean all plant matter off the hull before launch and upon takeout! The lake has been plagued with invasive species in recent years, and there is a intensive effort underway to avoid spreading the problem. Also, be very careful not to paddle close to the black tern nesting areas. Rather than hiding in place, chicks tend to scatter, making them easy prey for snapping turtles, pickerel, bitterns, and other predators! Stay alert for the sandhill cranes in the area. They are uncommon breeders in Maine, but numbers have been building in this area for many years.

Directions: The boat launch is obvious on Route 27, 3.5 miles north of the split with Route 23.
Belgrade, ME 04917

GPS: 44.442630, -69.830918