Lake Buel and the immediate environs support a broad range of birds, fish, and animals.  As the result of conservation and re-introduction programs, the diversity and sheer number of species is remarkable.  Due to the diverse surroundings in and around Lake Buel, bird sittings can be a little more unusual than the common birds often seen in the Northeast. The lake is surrounded by wetlands, grazed wet meadows, forested wetland, national forest, and surrounding mountains all in a rural setting. This affords the ability to see unusual birds, waterfowl, in addition to multiple other species the appear in the spring and fall during their migration.

Some of the species you may encounter are listed below.  Do be aware that while even larger animals very rarely attack humans, they will vigorously respond to perceived threats to their offspring.  That cute bear cub you see may have an angry, much larger mother close by!



  • Large and small mouth bass
  • Trout (Brook, Rainbow, Brown)
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch (Yellow, White)
  • Horned Pout
  • Tiger Muskie
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Sunfish
  • Bluegill
  • Golden Shiner


It’s worth noting that Timber Rattlesnakes are present in Berkshire County, generally in mountainous, rocky terrains.  They are very rare and are classified as endangered.  The last documented fatality in MA from a rattlesnake bite was 1791.   Fortunately timber rattlesnakes prefer flight over fight, so it is unlikely you will encounter one.

You may however see Northern Water Snakes in Lake Buel swimming across the surface or near the shoreline.  While non-venomous, they will defend themselves by biting aggressively and excreting foul-smelling musk and excrement.  Best left alone!

Want to learn more about local wildlife?  Recommended sites include Mass Audubon, MA Dept of Fish and Game, MA Division of Fisheries and Widlife Biodiversity Report (Monterey), and the MA Division of Fisheries and Widlife Biodiversity Report (New Marlborough).

Please note that hunting on private land in Monterey and New Marlborough is not permitted without written permission from the land owner, and must be in compliance with MA regulations.  Information on hunting, trapping, or fishing licenses can be found here.

7 thoughts on “Wildlife

  1. The first brood of bluebird fledgings have left the nesting boxes. Looks like the tree swallows are about a week behind.

  2. Male hummingbirds have pretty much left the area. Females are starting to get scarce. Please keep your feeders up until Sept. 25th for the migratory hummers and the juveniles who are still around.
    This is a wonderful web site.

  3. Autumn is in full swing right now, perhaps a bit past “peak”, and the Pine Siskins have arrived in force! Anyone with a birder feeder has no doubt seen increased competition by these recent arrivals. A member of the Finch family, these small brown streaked birds seem to be nonstop eating machines right now.

    Noted for their irruptive migrations, the Pine Siskin population in Berkshire County will fluctuate significantly year to year and this appears to be our year for hosting many of them. So if you’re seeing a new bird at your Lake Buel feeder this autumn that looks somewhat like a sparrow, chance are you are observing Pine Siskins.

  4. First confirmed sighting of a Barred Owl relatively close to the house! It was perched on a dead tree limb, rotating its head as surveying the meadow area, and then dove down to the ground. I suspect there’s one less field mouse today. With the binoculars, it was amazing to see the extent of the head rotation without any body movement at all.

  5. Laura Arnold on July 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm said:
    I am writing in regards to the Bald Eagles and their offspring. There are 2 babies who fledged on July 1st and 2nd. (Fledging happens 10 to 12 weeks old). They were gone for 2 days learning to fly by watching their parents. The parents encouraged them back to the nest on July 4th. One parent had just roosted near the nest when the fireworks started and scared her off. How rude and disrespectful! These bird are not on the endangered species list however, they ARE still federally protected! It is against the law to disturb these birds. Less than 50% survive their first year. At this time they are still learning to fly and perch. Soon they will learn from their parents to hunt. Please have some respect for these 1st time parents and their fledglings….HUMANS are their top predator, 2nd is the Great Horned Owl, 3rd is Raccoon. Look it up for yourself, laws and behavior.
    Lake Buel has been very blessed to have these birds choose here to live. The association and home owners might want to reconsider fireworks on Labor Day weekend. To home owners, Fireworks are ILLEGAL in Massachusettes. It is VERY disturbing to these birds. Birds don’t fly at night but on the 4th the parent did because it got spooked. What if someone hit it with a firework?? That parent’s freedom and independence would have been…dead. Please have some respect and consideration to help them thrive. The babies won’t be here long…..

    Reply ↓

  6. Today I found a fishing lure at the bottom of the nest tree…hooks and all, about 3 inches long. There are a lot of bones from fish, turtles, etc. from the nesting Eagle pair and their babies. This lure wasn’t there yesterday. It is a shame people aren’t more considerate of these birds. Once again, HUMANS are their primary reason they don’t make it.
    Prayers sent for them.

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