General Rules for Birding in Cemeteries

Birders visiting cemeteries should be respectful of other visitors and mindful of cemetery rules and regulations, particularly those concerning hours and parking. Picnicking is not appropriate and is against the rules in some cemeteries, such as Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown/Cambridge.

Leaders of groups planning to visit cemeteries should call in advance to register. Birders should avoid touching monuments and certainly should not use them for tables or backrests. If birders observe any vandalism or disturbances, they should notify cemetery management. Many cemeteries would appreciate a report of your bird sightings for their records.

Mount Auburn Cemetery, in particular, enjoys a long history of well-mannered BBC groups and depends on the efforts made by club leaders and members to set examples for the many visitors and groups that gather there each spring. Club members can do their part to maintain this relationship by observing the birding ethics published above. Further, birders in Mount Auburn should move away from areas where memorial and funeral services are being held and give grieving visitors their privacy. Birders should use paths to avoid trampling natural plantings and should gather in only small quiet groups, not large loud crowds. Cars should be parked on roads without green lines with all wheels on the pavement. Observe “no parking” signs and requests from the cemetery staff. Move far away from the entrance area to park. Do not park on sections of roads needed for funeral processions — Central, Lawn, Spruce, and Fountain Avenues. Food and drinks are not permitted in the cemetery. Groups planning to visit Mount Auburn should register well in advance by calling 617-607-1986 (group registration) or completing the online group registration form at (Note: Spring BBC trips are already registered.) Birders mindful of the above will help preserve the special peace and tranquility of Mount Auburn.