Visit Seabird Breeding Colonies
Seabirds spend 90% of their lives at sea.
Some pelagic birders spend 100% of their time looking for
seabirds at sea. They miss breeding activity which can be
the most exotic and interesting of bird behaviors. After you
have enjoyed watching these birds at sea the next step is
to see them on the breeding grounds. Here are some places
close to home you can
visit in Maine, Canada and Newfoundland. For more distant
colonies see Wandering Birder.
have evolved to be efficient at sea. They are most
vulnerable on the breeding grounds. Make
sure you learn and follow all the rules to protect the breeding
Location of Colonies on east coast North America
Coast of Maine
On the coast of Maine north of Bar Harbor in an area
referred to as "Down East" by natives, is the small town of
Machias which can serve as a jumping off spot to visit Machias Seal Island. You can also
reach the island from Canada.
Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia
Bird Island is reached by boat from Cape Breton Island on
the northern part of Nova Scotia.
Gaspé Peninsula - Bonaventure Island
The second largest Gannet Colony in the world is found on
the Gaspé Peninsula which juts into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland
Cape St. Mary and the Witless Bay
Ecological Reserve are located on the Avalon Peninsula of eastern
This map shows the location of Witless
Bay on the eastern coast of the Avalon Peninsula and Cape St. Mary on the south