Between the end of May and mid- August we offer daily Puffin and Whale watching tours. On these tours we visit and stop at Petit Manan Island, on our way offshore to watch whales. Petit Manan is seven miles up the Maine coast from the entrance to Frenchman Bay and 3 miles from the mainland. On the way there, enjoy our live puffin cam, showing the seabirds on the island on our large screen TVs before we arrive. This is a nesting island for eleven seabirds including: common puffin, razorbill, black guillemot and three species of terns (artic, common and roseate). We spend about 15 minutes at the island viewing seabirds in the water, on the rocks and in flight all around us. We often have a chance to talk via two-way radio to the research staff from the US Fish and Wildlife –who live on the island all summer – and learn all about their important work.
Pelagic Seabird Tours
On our regular whale watching tours we also encounter a great diversity of pelagic (open ocean) seabirds and our naturalist staff is trained to identify and call them out. The feeding grounds were we go to whale watch are areas of strong ocean upwelling that are incredibly productive. These productive waters are rich in plankton and small fish and provide a great banquet for seabirds. The Gulf of Maine is special in that it is an area were northern and southern hemisphere seabirds mix. You may encounter northern hemisphere seabirds like northern gannet, Jaegars, Great Skua, and northern Fulmar (the most northerly nesting seabird of all). Also, Southern hemisphere nesting seabirds like Great and Sooty Shearwater, Wilson’s Storm Petrel and South Polar Skua. For a complete list of seabirds we see please visit our BHWW Seabird Checklist.
Special Seabird Charters
We have hosted many bird watching groups on special seabird charters including: American Birding Association, New York Audubon Society, WINGS, and Field Guides. Annually, the Acadia Birding Festival – in the spring; and the Maine Audubon Society – in the fall, charter the Friendship V for seabird tours that are open to the public. We have heard many times that this is the “best boat for seabird trips” – hands down and no comparison. To learn more about these special seabird charters and the excellent trip leaders that guide them please visit the following sites: