Maine is known for its lighthouses and lobsters rolls, but you haven’t truly experienced the best of this beautiful state until you’ve seen the puffins. Penguin-like in their appearance, these seabirds call the Maine ocean islands home. If you’re a bird lover or simply can’t wait to see and learn more about these beloved birds, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a handy guide of the best places to see puffins in Maine.

The Best Time Of Year To See Puffins

Since puffins are seabirds, they only come to land during their nesting season. Luckily, it just so happens to be between May and July, which are some of the best months to visit the Maine coast during the summer season.

Puffin Viewing on Machias Seal Island

In an effort to protect the species, visitors are not permitted on most of the nesting islands. However, Machias Seal Island is one exception. This island is home to one of the largest puffin colonies on the coast of Maine and is one of the best places for close-range observation. You’ll arrive by boat to this one-of-a-kind birding destination that is one of Maine’s most unique and breathtaking experiences. All that’s left to do is book your tour guide from our recommended list.

Puffin Viewing from Boat Tours

If you’d prefer to observe the puffins from afar, several reputable tour boat operators offer guided tours through the nesting islands on the Maine Coast. Eastern Egg Rock, Petit Manan, and Seal Island are among the most popular. Depending on the weather and the tour guide, you’ll have opportunities to spot some other seabirds, whales, seals, or some of the coast’s great lighthouses. Choose your preferred puffin viewing experience by exploring what our list of recommended tour boat captains have to offer.

Learn More About Atlantic Puffins

We welcome you to continue your education and understanding of these remarkable birds at the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Rockland, Maine. We’ve created educational exhibits and an outdoor replica of Seabird island to provide a more in-depth look at the nesting habitats of puffins and their fellow seabirds. These exhibits are also a fun and educational activity for children to learn more about these birds in a safe environment.

We’re a non-profit and community-based organization dedicated to seabird conservation and preserving Maine’s coast in hopes that we can preserve the habitats of Atlantic seabirds and other wildlife. Come see us at the Visitor Center Monday to Friday, from 8:00-4:30. Follow us on Facebook to find out about future events and to follow along as we work to protect our great coast.