A Birder’s Guide to Mount Auburn

January 1, 2012

Ludlow Griscom, known as the “patron saint of modern American Birdwatching,” described Mount Auburn Cemetery as one of the most advantageous stations for the migration of land birds in eastern Massachusetts. From the birds’ point of view, the Cemetery is primarily a piece of woodland, providing a haven of food, water and shelter. Migrating birds swarm to the Cemetery. Mount Auburn “appears as a green oasis in a vast desert and they make for it as the best place they can see below them” when they put down at dawn for food and rest after a night’s migration.

From mid-April to mid-May hundreds of birders flock to Mount Auburn for some of the best bird watching in the area. Due to the volume of visitors during those weeks, we ask that you please review the guidelines below. Please remember that Mount Auburn is an active Cemetery, carrying out funerals, cremations, and burials and serving the needs of grieving families. We appreciate your cooperation while visiting Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Hooded Warbler by Bob Stymeist 


HOURS: In the peak of spring migration the Cemetery will open at 7 AM.  See homepage for current closing time.

• Move away from areas where memorial and funeral services are being held and give grieving visitors their privacy
• Please gather in only small quiet groups, not large loud crowds
• Avoid touching monuments and do not use them for tables or backrests
• Use paths to avoid trampling natural plantings

PARKING: Please do not park in the lot near the office reserved for clients and staff. You may park on roads within the Cemetery without green lines. Please keep all four wheels off the grass.


Bird Sightings Board. A chalkboard in the information area at the Entrance Gate lists recent bird sightings. Please help us keep this up to date and add your own sightings.

Checklist of the Birds of Mount Auburn. Available at the Entrance gate, a checklist of the birds recorded at Mount Auburn. You can also download a copy of our Checklist of the Birds of Mount Auburn 2012.

Birds and Birding at Mount Auburn Cemetery: An Introductory Guide. Available at the Visitors Center is a full color booklet with text by Christopher Leahy and illustrations by Clare Walker Leslie. $8, Non-members; $6 Members, Friends of Mount Auburn.  Buy Online.

@mountauburncem – Follow us on Twitter for the latest bird sightings.

Visitor Maps are available at the Entrance Gate for $1.00. Some of the most popular spots for viewing birds are Indian Ridge Path, Auburn Lake, Consecration Dell, and Willow Pond.


Please register all group visits of 10 or more people. You can do so by filling out the online form, leaving a message at this number 617-607-1986, or emailing friends@mountauburn.org .


Please consider becoming a Friend of Mount Auburn . Your financial support allows us maintain the wildlife habitat that attracts spring migration birds as well as year-round resident birds.

About the Author: Jessica Bussmann

Director of Education & Visitor Services View all posts by Jessica Bussmann →


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