Latest Projects in Bird Ecology

Long-term Monitoring of Bird Populations

We use eBird from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society to track bird observations. Checklists are updated almost daily for Frazer Point and Schoodic Point and other hotspots in Acadia National Park. These databases allow us to evaluate trends over time.

Sea Watch

Help us count the thousands of birds that travel past Schoodic Point in autumn. Drop-in from sunrise until 9:30 a.m. every day (weather permitting) from September through November. Bring binoculars. Dress for the weather. No registration required.

Hawk Watch

A collaborative effort between the park’s Interpretive Division and Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program, Hawk Watch takes place on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, the highest point along the Atlantic coast from the Canadian border to Brazil. Its latitude makes Cadillac Mountain a natural sentinel and exceptional early detection point for observing the northeastern-most headwaters of what becomes a spectacular river of southbound raptors. August-October 2022 (Visitors to Cadillac Mountain summit will need an advance vehicle registration).

– View the latest count data at hawkwatch.org

– Read the 2021 update

– Read the September 2019 update from Acadia National Park.

Landscape of Change

In partnership with Mount Desert Island Historical Society and several other organizations, we are comparing historical records of Mount Desert Island bird populations with contemporary data to understand changes over time. Learn more.

Wild Acadia

In recent years, the National Park Service managers have shifted their approach to restoring and protecting park resources, employing the “resist, accept, direct framework” that anticipates ongoing and future change. Through Wild Acadia, we are working with the National Park Service and Friends of Acadia to implement this new approach in three areas of the park, including Great Meadow and Bass Harbor Marsh, where we are helping to monitor the effects of restoration projects on birds, insects, and other wildlife. Learn more.

Bird Sounds

Laura Sebastianelli, a professional wildlife tracker and trained sound recordist, works with the Bird Ecology Program each June to record the calls and songs of breeding birds such as the Common Nighthawk and Northern Saw-whet Owl. Learn more at the Schoodic Notes website.

Seasonal Changes

Environmental changes may affect birds indirectly by altering available food resources. Volunteer observers with the Downeast Phenology Trail help us document the presence of fruit and insects during the seasons.

We are also conducting an analysis of historical bird data as part of Landscape of Change.

Winged Migration Monitoring

We participate in the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, an international effort to monitor the movement and behavior of individual birds, bats, butterflies, and dragonflies.

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May 2022

Spring Birds in Acadia, with Puffin Cruise – FULL

May 24 - May 27
Schoodic Institute, 9 Atterbury Circle
Winter Harbor, ME 04693 United States
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This event has reached capacity.  Please consider one of our other bird tours.  You may also call Michelle at 288-1356…

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July 2022

Acadia’s Birds & Whales

July 20 - July 24
Schoodic Institute, 9 Atterbury Circle
Winter Harbor, ME 04693 United States
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Comorant takes flight from water, wings forward

This five-day tour is offered to showcase seabirds, pelagic birds, and whales.  By design there will be two different boat…

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August 2022

Acadia’s Birds by Land & Sea II

August 20 - August 24
Schoodic Institute, 9 Atterbury Circle
Winter Harbor, ME 04693 United States
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common tern fllying with fish in its beak

Explore a variety of habitats in the Downeast Acadia Region, focusing on terrestrial birding hotspots and nearshore waters of the…

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Winged Migration

August 27 - August 31
Schoodic Institute, 9 Atterbury Circle
Winter Harbor, ME 04693 United States
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This tour begins in Bangor, Maine at 8:00 AM *.  We’ll spend two nights at Schoodic Institute in Acadia National…

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September 2022

Downeast Maine Birding Hotspots

September 30 - October 4
Schoodic Institute, 9 Atterbury Circle
Winter Harbor, ME 04693 United States
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Two harlequin ducks in dark blue ocean waves

This tour begins in Bangor, Maine at 8:00 AM *.  We’ll spend two nights at Schoodic Institute in Acadia National…

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October 2022

Seabirds at Schoodic Point

October 14 - October 17
Schoodic Institute, 9 Atterbury Circle
Winter Harbor, ME 04693 United States
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In October, the waters off Schoodic Point are filled with migrating waterbirds: loons, sea ducks, and cormorants.  A variety of…

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