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.
Check out nesting birds right from your home from webcams on Seal Island. See nesting arctic terns, puffins, and guillemots throughout the nesting season. A new camera has been installed on Seal Island, directed at the cormorant colony.We hope it will help us better protect those birds from eagles, as we will be able to see what is happening without constantly disturbing the colony by walking there to look.
There are many reputable tour boat operators on the Maine Coast, both large and small, that visit seabird nesting islands. Some have naturalists on board, 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):
- Bar Harbor Whalewatch, Bar Harbor, 888-942-5374, www.barharborwhales.com
- Bold Coast Charter, Cutler, 207-259-4484, www.boldcoast.com
- Downeast Coastal Cruises, Milbridge, 207-546-7720, www.downeastcoastalcruises.com
- Robertson Sea Tour Adventures, Milbridge, 207-483-6110, www.robertsonseatours.com
Midcoast Area (e.g., Matinicus Rock NWR, Franklin Island NWR, Seal Island NWR, Eastern Egg Rock):
- Breakwater Kayak, Rockland, 207-596-6895, www.breakwaterkayak.com
- Cap’n Fish’s Whale Watch Cruises, Boothbay, 800-636-3244, www.mainewhales.com
- Hardy Boat Cruises, New Harbor, 800-278-3346, www.hardyboat.com
- Long Reach Cruises, Bath , 888-538-6786, www.longreachcruises.com
- Maine Kayak, New Harbor, 866-624-6352, www.mainekayak.com
- Maine Windjammer Association, Rockland, 800-807-9463, www.sailmainecoast.com
- Matinicus Excursions, Rockland, 207-691-9030, www.matinicusexcursions.com
- Midcoast Kayak, Damariscotta, www.midcoastkayak.com
- Monhegan Boat Line, Port Clyde, 207-372-8848, www.monheganboat.com
- Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, Stonington, 207-367-8977, www.oldquarry.com
- Sail Muscongus, Bremen, 207-380-5460, www.sailmuscongus.com
- Tidal Transit Kayak, Boothbay, 207-633-7140, www.kayakboothbay.com
- The Mail Boat, Stonington, 207-367-5193, www.isleauhaut.com