Maine Coastal Islands NWR Visitor Center

Located at 9 Water Street, Rockland, Maine

The Maine Coastal Islands Visitor Center and Headquarters in Rockland is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays, and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (June through October).  The Nature Store is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Snowy Egrets, Late Summer, Weskeag Marsh, pastel by Cindy House

Art Opening Features Landscapes, Woods & Birds

Friday, June 9, 2023, 4-6 PM

Maine Coastal Islands Visitor Center at 9 Water St., Rockland, ME

Maine Coastal Islands Art Gallery welcomes three artists at an art opening and reception on Friday, June 9 from 4-6 PM, at Maine Coastal Islands NWR Visitor Center, 9 Water St. in Rockland.  The public is invited to meet the artists and see the new commissioned piece of art by Jill Pelto incorporating scientific data into the painting: The Seabirds of Seal Island.

Cindy House was born in Rhode Island, and went to school at the University of Maine for a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and now resides in New Hampshire.  Her show reflects her passion to portray the beauty of familiar landscapes while capturing special encounters with common birds. The paintings were all inspired by her experiences in New England as a birder and naturalist.  She works exclusively in pastels on archival sanded pastel paper.

Susan Beebe of Rockland, has been painting in one spot in the deep spruce woods of Friendship Long Island, Maine, for the past three years.  Her sixteen paintings are about all the life in a forest:  moss and lichens growing on an old stone wall; the decay and life among the roots of the forest floor; seedlings to saplings to tall, mature trees to snags to fallen logs; and hints of animal and bird life.

Mary Gaudette of Spruce Head, who has worked as a researcher, cartographer, environmental consultant and science teacher, finds her passion in nature photography.  When looking through a camera lens, Mary sees the world in different ways, slowing down to notice and appreciate details. This show is a collection of images from the mid-coast region, taken as she “takes her camera out for walks and rides in her kayak” at local preserves and among the islands along the coast.

This summer show will be up through August.  The Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, except holidays and on Saturdays, 11 AM – 4 PM.  For more information, visit the website at

Bird Time on the Coast is back!

Join our birding experts with 12 amazing birding opportunities this spring!


Our fan favorite is back for another birding filled spring! Spend the morning birding alongside our experts as we welcome back our summer birds during their spring migrations! Walks are open to birders of all skill level from beginner to expert! Walks are limited in number so registration is required. Please register early as walks will fill up fast!


For the full list of walks and to register, click HERE!

Saturday, June 10, 2023, Eastern Egg Rock (Pelagic)   (1:00 – 3:00 PM) 

Are you tired of overcrowded pelagic trips where you can’t see the birds because there are too many people?  The beautiful thing about this trip is that it is limited to fewer people, and everyone will get a “window seat” next to the rail.  This year we are restricting the number of passengers to only 25. Although Eastern Egg Rock isn’t one of our Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge islands, it’s a wonderful duplication of our efforts protecting nesting seabirds offshore.  Expect to see nesting Atlantic puffins, common & Arctic terns, laughing gulls, black guillemots, and common eiders.  If we are lucky enough, we may be able to pick out some endangered roseate terns in the colony or even a non-breeding razorbill.  Unlike many of our weekly walks there is a $100 cost associated with this trip.  This trip is also a fundraiser to help support our seabird program. Don’t wait too long because this trip will fill up early!  Meet and park at Monhegan Boat Lines in Port Clyde.  Rain date is Sunday, June 11th.

Purchase your tickets here:

Photo by Linda Cunningham

Sunday, July 9, 2023, Petit Manan Island (Pelagic)  (3:30 – 5:30 PM)

Travel on the water in style on the Bar Harbor Whale Watching Tour Company’s Friendship V as we team up for a special fund-raiser event for the Refuge.  We will be visiting our Petit Manan Island, which is home to terns, puffins, black guillemots and more.  While we can’t go ashore on the island, we will have the opportunity to radio into the island and ask questions to the seabird researchers living on the island. There is a very good chance of seeing Wilson’s storm-petrels or shearwaters on this trip.  But wait, there’s more!  We will be joined by the popular Maine bird guide and columnist for the Bangor Daily News, Bob Duchesne.  Bob will give a short talk and Q&A on the ride back to Bar Harbor. Tickets are $70, and 100% of each ticket supports the Friends of Maine Coastal Islands NWR. Parking is by permit in the Bar Harbor area along designated streets and can be limited so get there early!  Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company is at 1 West Street, Bar Harbor.  Rain or shine!

Purchase your tickets here: