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Question:  We love both B&Bs and birding. Can we combine these two interests?

Answer:  You bet! The only hard part is trying to find when and where to go! Winter is the best time to see bald eagles, especially along the Mississippi River, while spring and fall migrations are ideal for many other bird species. All you'll need to bring are a good set of binoculars, a birder's field guide, and comfortable shoes. Never tried it? Many innkeepers will be happy to loan you the first two! Here's a brief sample, listed alphabetically by state:

ARKANSAS

Beaver Lake Cottages, Eureka Springs, AR: Several hundred bald eagles nest on Beaver Lake in Eureka Springs during the winter months; guided boat tours offer a close-up view of the eagle nesting sites. Info: www.beaverlakecottages.com.

Mountain Thyme Bed & Breakfast Inn, Jessieville, AR: Mountain Thyme's setting in the Ouachita Mountains (north of Hot Springs) is a registered National Wildlife Backyard Habitat where plants are intentionally placed to attract birds and butterflies. Info: www.MountainThyme.com.

ARIZONA

The Azure Gate, Tucson, AZ: With hummingbird, seed, nut & bug, thistle, and cardinal feeders located on the grounds, hundreds of birds can be seen here throughout the day. Nearby are such birder hot spots as a Sabino Canyon, Saguaro National Park, and Mt. Lemmon. Info: www.azuregate.com.

Casa Tierra Adobe Bed and Breakfast Inn, Tucson, AZ: One mile from the visitor's center of Saguaro National Park West, this hacienda-style B&B is home to quail, whitetail dove, numerous hummingbirds, finches, cardinals, gila woodpeckers, roadrunners and more. Info: www.casatierratucson.com.

CALIFORNIA

The Inn at Playa del Rey, Playa del Rey, California: Overlooking a 300-acre bird sanctuary near the beach in Los Angeles, where over 60 species of West Coast birds live or stop by during seasonal migrations. Until April 30th, book a View Room for $50 off, Sunday through Thursday. All View Rooms have fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs, and, most importantly, balconies from which to observe black-shouldered kites, egrets, great blue herons, double-crested cormorants, peregrine falcons, American kestrels, least terns, and many others. Info: www.innatplayadelrey.com/.

Inn at Shallow Creek Farm, Orland, CA: Near the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex in the heart of the Pacific Flyway and California's Sacramento River Valley, this B&B offers a secluded farm setting convenient to I-5. Innkeepers Mary and Kurt Glaesemans are avid birders and can direct guests to prime birding sites around the area. Refer to this offer and get a 50% discount on the second night of a two-night stay (must be consecutive nights). Info: www.bedandbreakfast.com/property/ppf/id/214482/index.aspx.

COLORADO

Log Cabin Bed and Breakfast, Cedaredge, CO: Spring in Western Colorado signals the northward migration of thousands of sandhill cranes on their way to Canada through nearby Hart's Basin. Birdwatchers gather after sunrise each morning from early-March to mid-April, when the cranes take flight. Crane Days are celebrated the last two weeks in March and include special events. Info: www.logcabinbedandbreakfast.com.

CONNECTICUT

Brewery Gulch Inn, Mendocino, CA: Birdwatching guests can select from a number of offerings, including a private two-hour tour of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens with an Audubon Society docent ($25 for two). Over 150 species of coastal birds have been recorded, and on a typical tour approximately 50 species are spotted. Info: www.brewerygulchinn.com/.

CONNECTICUT

Angels' Watch Inn Bed and Breakfast, Westbrook, CT: Join others for the February Bald Eagle Festival in nearby Essex, or visit in spring, summer and fall to enjoy an Eagle Watch cruise on the River, or a self-guided tour. Info: www.angelswatchinn.com/.

Daniel Trowbridge House, Pomfret Center, CT: Birders flock here to spot everything from resident red-tailed hawks and great blue herons to the occasional flock of snow geese passing through in the fall. Nearby Bafflin Sanctuary has mapped walking trails and wonderful educational programs. Info: www.danieltrowbridgehouse.com.

FLORIDA

Siam Garden Resort, Anna Maria Island, FL: Both the village and island are designated bird sanctuaries; nearby Passage Key is a protected nesting island just offshore. Magnificent frigate birds, sanderlings, yellow-crowned night herons, double-crested cormorants, semi-palmated plovers, royal terns, osprey, palm warblers, snowy egrets, and herons abound. Info: www.SiamGardenResort.com.

ILLINOIS

Beall Mansion, Alton, Illinois: Each year between Christmas and Valentine's Day, Alton hosts the largest concentration of American bald eagles outside of Alaska. Packages include everything from self-guided tours to guided tours with spotting scopes. Info: www.beallmansion.com.

Isle of View Bed and Breakfast, Metropolis, IL: Located along the Mississippi flyway, guests can take advantage of the bald eagle observation platforms, or venture a little farther to the Grassy Lakes, renowned for first-rate birding. Info: www.isle-of-view.net

LOUISIANA

Victoria Inn B&B, Lafitte, LA: Three great birding trails are nearby: a levee walk, Jean Lafitte Nature Study Park, and the Barataria Unit with twelve miles of boardwalk and twenty-three miles of canoe trails. The first weekend of October celebrates the fall migratory bird season with "Wings Over the Wetlands." Info: www.victoriainn.com/.

MARYLAND

The Alexander House Booklovers B&B, Princess Anne, MD: Every April, the Delmarva Birding Weekend is held in historic Princess Anne on the Eastern Shore. Hoping to sight some of the 296 species of area birds, participants take canoe and kayak trips, boat and trekking excursions. Info: www.bookloversbnb.com.

MASSACHUSETTS

Addison Choate Inn, Rockport MA: Halibut Point is at the northern boundary of the Atlantic Path, a locally maintained trail that winds along the ocean near Rockport village. Visit the Parker River Wildlife Refuge located on Plum Island, a nationally known bird watchers paradise, just 30 minutes away. Info: www.addisonchoateinn.com.

MINNESOTA

Golden Lantern Inn, Red Wing, MN: In February, hundreds of eagles can be viewed from the Mississippi River parks just a few blocks away from the Golden Lantern Inn. In late February, the "Eagle Spot" event features a full day of activities. Info: www.goldenlantern.com .

Round Barn Farm Bed and Breakfast, Red Wing, MN: The Mississippi flyway bottlenecks at Red Wing, Minnesota where the Mississippi River pours into Lake Pepin, making for some of the best birding in the country. February is the month for eagle watching, while in May, the town offers the Great River Birding Festival. In summer, take a guided B&B bird walk with local guide Kelly Larson. Info: www.roundbarnfarm.com/.

MISSOURI

KD's Botanical Guest House, Rolla, MO: Surrounding by flower gardens, KD's tree top deck puts you at bird level, and offers not only the ideal roost for birders but a perfect spot for enjoying moonlit nights and constellation sightings. Info: www.kdsguesthouse.com/

OHIO

Campbell Cottage B&B, Kelleys Island OH: In Surrounded by Lake Erie, Kelleys Island is a "stepping stone" for migrating birds as they cross the lake to their Canadian summer breeding grounds. Each May, the "Nest With The Birds" program includes professionally-led daily programs, twice-daily bird hikes and evening woodcock watches. Info: www.campbellcottage.com.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Inn at Crystal Lake, Eaton, NH: Bird lovers listen to the call of the loon on bucolic Crystal Lake, and delight in sleeping in the Birdhouse Room, decked out with a collection of birdhouse motif quilts, bird books, binoculars and birding accessories. Info: www.innatcrystallake.com .

NEW JERSEY

Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast Inn, Cape May, NJ: Located within biking distance of the Cape May Bird Observatory and the Nature Conservatory Refuge, the Queen Victoria offers early morning birders a backpack-ready breakfast with muffins, bagels, fresh fruit and juice. Info: www.queenvictoria.com.

Southern Mansion, Cape May, NJ: Encompassing a private portion of Cape May's best birding sites, guests have exclusive access to this wonderful acreage where rare birds (especially raptors) have been seen. Info: www.southernmansion.com.

SeaScape Manor Bed and Breakfast, Highlands, NJ: Close to Sandy Hook National Recreation Area, where over 300 species of birds have been identified during the spring and fall migrations. Info: www.bbianj.com/seascape.

MONTANA

Candlewycke Inn B&B, Bigfork, MT: Stay at the Candlewycke Inn during the annual Bigfork Bird Festival, June 6-8, 2003 for $185 for the weekend. Celebrating the harlequin duck and the tundra ptarmigan, birders will be treated to a variety of guided and self-guided tours to northwest Montana's finest birdwatching spots. Info: www.candlewyckeinn.com.

OREGON

Crystalwood Lodge, Klamath Falls, OR: Birders will see resident bald eagles, sandhill cranes, pileated and white-headed woodpeckers, pygmy owls, and the more mergansers, wood ducks, Canada geese, orioles, and blackbirds. Crystalwood Lodge has recently been selected as a Portal Site on the soon-to-be-launched Cascades Birding Trail, a thousand-mile birding trail running the spine of the Cascades in Oregon. Info: www.crystalwoodlodge.com.

Flery Manor B&B, Grants Pass, OR: Near the Rogue River, this B&B is bordered by forest trails ideal for viewing the natural habitat and bird population. The Love Bird Special includes a night in the Vintage Suite and complimentary champagne or sparkling cider. Info: www.flerymanor.com.

Homestead Bed and Breakfast, Depoe Bay, OR: With a bird sanctuary directly across the road, guests of the Homestead B&B have no trouble spotting several favorite species right from the sun porch or dining room. Self-guided tours include directions and ideal sighting spots. Info: www.thehomesteadbb.com.

PENNSYLVANIA

The Chatelaine B&B, Pine Grove Mills: Held in early May, the Annual Birding Cup at nearby Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, is held to raise funds to support raptor education, research and care. Return for the Golden Eagle Count in February and March. Info: www.chatelainebandb.com.

TEXAS

Terralak B&B On Lake Texoma, Pottsboro, TX: This B&B's lakeside location is a popular breeding ground for blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, roadrunners, owls and even an occasional bald eagle. Info: www.terralak.com.

VERMONT

Whitford House Inn, Addison, Vermont: Located adjacent to a 1000-acre waterfowl and wildlife preserve, offering an ideal panorama for birders. Two miles away, Vermont has established a site to view the huge flocks of snow geese which feed in the area during the spring and fall migrations, turning the ground snow-white. Info: www.whitfordhouseinn.com.

VIRGINIA

Inn at Narrow Passage, Woodstock, VA: Visit for the northern migration of Baltimore Orioles, which arrive like clockwork around April 28th. As many as twenty can be seen roosting in the trees that surround this inn. There are several varieties of raptors here too. Info: www.innatnarrowpassage.com.

Oaks Victorian Inn, Christiansburg, VA: Located between the Allegheny and the Blue Ridge Mountains, birders explore Claytor Lake State Park, the 54-mile-long New River Trail, and the Cascade Falls trail. Info: www.bedandbreakfast.com/property/ppf/id/601275/index.aspx.

WASHINGTON

Commander's Beach House, Port Townsend, WA: Late March through April, the Commander's Beach House offers the ideal spot to hear the soft, ruk-ruk calls of the Brant geese en route to their breeding grounds in Northwest Canada and Alaska. All rooms are equipped with binoculars so that guests can view the bald eagles, blue herons, sandpipers, kingfishers, and killdeers that frequent the inn's private beach and tide flats. Ask about the spring bird watcher's package that includes two nights lodging and a $60 gift certificate to the award winning Silverwater Café. Info: www.commandersbeachhouse.com.

WEST VIRGINIA

Bright Morning Inn, Davis, WV: Great birding in the nearby Monongahela National Forest, Blackwater Falls State Park, the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and the Dolly Sods Wilderness area. Info: www.brightmorninginn.com.

WISCONSIN

Harbor Hill Inn, Bed & Brunch, Pepin, WI: With more than 302 species of birds nesting or migrating through the Upper Mississippi River, exceptional opportunities abound year-round to spot bald eagles and numerous songbirds. Tundra swans and peregrine falcons draw large crowds during migration season too. With the National Eagle Center a short distance away, both the novice and experienced birder have unique access to educational programs and viewings. Info: www.pepinsbest.com.

Trails End Bed and Breakfast, Kendall, Wisconsin: Eighty acres with groomed birding trails winding through rugged hills and stream-lined valleys. Have breakfast with the hummingbirds on the private screened porch. Info: www.mwt.net/~cabin.

Note: Information has been supplied by BedandBreakfast.com members; most of these properties have not been visited by the editors of the BedandBreakfast.com Report.







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