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Seabird Conservation

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Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge

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Annual Seabird Cruise


Photos, top to bottom: male common eider; northern gannet; black guillemot with rock eel; common tern; common murre; Atlantic puffin; laughing gull. Photos by Kirk Rogers.

How to Visit Seabird Nesting Islands and Watch Seabirds

Because most seabirds only come to land to nest, the nesting season, May-July, is the best time to see seabirds in Maine. Landing is not permitted on most islands. The one exception is Machias Seal Island, off Cutler.

There are many reputable tourboat operators on the Maine Coast, both large and small, that visit seabird nesting islands. Some have naturalists onboard, some try to find whales and seals, some make it a point to pass by lighthouses. All are dependent on the variable weather of the Maine Coast! We encourage you to visit their websites and speak with the captains to find the right boat tour for you.

Down East Area (e.g., Petit Manan NWR and Machias Seal Island):

Midcoast Area (e.g., Matinicus Rock NWR, Franklin Island NWR, Seal Island NWR, Eastern Egg Rock):

Friends of Maine Seabird Islands
P.O. Box 1231
Rockland, ME 04841
[email protected]
Jane Hopwood, Chair