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 ternspuffins, 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.

Tour Boats

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):

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