When planning your Maryland birding itinerary, it’s good to add a few trips on the water. We have hundreds of miles of Chesapeake and Atlantic coastal bay shorelines to explore, and these shallow waters are teeming with Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and dozens of species of shorebird, wading bird and waterfowl. Our Western Maryland lakes are loaded with bird life, too! It’s also good to plan a few trips with guides who are not only knowledgeable about Maryland’s birds, but where to find them.
If you’re new to birding or to exploring Maryland’s wildlife watching hotspots, our birding community welcomes you to join us and make new friends. Many of our local bird clubs, nature centers and conservation partners lead regular bird hikes all across the state, and most are no or low cost. Check out the event calendars of the Maryland Ornithological Society bird clubs, the Audubon Naturalist Society, and the Maryland chapters and centers of the National Audubon Society to learn more about these birding opportunities.
This list provides a good sample of kayak and tour boat outfitters, as well as professional bird guides and trained naturalists to help you plan a memorable Maryland birding adventure.
1 Patterson Park Audubon Center, Baltimore
The Audubon Center at Patterson Park offers regular guided bird walks in their namesake park and in Druid Hill Park. They also host the annual Baltimore Birding Weekend in May. See a Baltimore Oriole -- and more than 300 recorded species! -- in Charm City’s green spaces.
2 Assateague Adventure, Ocean City
Cruise the bays behind Ocean City and Assateague Island to enjoy the summer sights and sounds of terns, gulls, egrets, shorebirds and pelicans that feast on fish in our coastal waters.
3 Bay Venture Outfitters, North East
Kayak and paddleboard on the Upper Chesapeake Bay, where the waters provide habitat for Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Great Blue Herons and more.
4 Pocomoke River Canoe Company, Snow Hill
Ply the dark waters of the Pocomoke River in a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard, and you’ll be treated to Wood Ducks, Barred Owls and golden Prothonotary Warblers that reside in the bald cypress swamp.
5 Delmarva Birding Weekends
Celebrate the amazing songbirds, waterfowl, raptors and shorebirds that reside or migrate to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Field trips led by local guides occur every season, and private, personal tours can be arranged. Winner of the 2018 Transactional Opportunities Award from the Maryland Office of Tourism!
6 Atlantic Kayak Company, Indian Head
Go with a guide on a nature tour of Mattawoman Creek, the Mallows Bay Ship Graveyard and the Potomac River to see Ospreys, Bald Eagles and several species of egrets and herons in the wild.
7 All Earth Eco Tours, Friendsville
Explore the waters and woods of Deep Creek Lake by kayak or on a hike. Don’t miss their Eagle Watching Eco Kayak Tour!
8 High Mountain Sports, Oakland
Board their 24-foot pontoon boat for a tour of Deep Creek Lake. Eagles, hawks and herons can be spotted during the relaxing cruise.
9 Boating in DC - National Harbor
Spend the day birding by kayak or canoe at National Harbor. Explore the shoreline of the Potomac for gulls and herons, and paddle near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to see swallows and Ospreys.
10 Audubon Naturalist Society, Chevy Chase
Explore the birds around Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia through year-round bird hikes for beginners and weekend walks in the woods.