Arctic tern
Arctic tern

Bring Your Binoculars to MCHT Preserves

Since 1970, Maine Coast Heritage Trust has been working to conserve Maine’s extraordinary coastal lands and islands, with a special focus on protecting avian havens like Jordan’s Delight Island, an important nesting island off Milbridge.

As MCHT’s Director of Stewardship Jane Arbuckle says, “Conserving habitat for birds and wildlife is as essential to our work as protecting the coast for people to enjoy. We’re working to maintain a resilient coast, and that means striking the right balance.”

From left to right: great blue heron, long eared owl, and northern parul.

Below we’ve identified preserves that can be great places for bird watching! Of course, when you’re out on the land, please take care to observe preserve guidelines, and help us protect birds and other wildlife finding refuge on these conserved lands.

Frenchboro Preserve, Blue Hill Bay
Watch for:
Seabirds and migrating songbirds, which love the rocky ledges and spruce forests on this 1,159-acre preserve. Birders have spotted summer tanagers, scarlet tanagers, willow flycatchers, and some 16 species of warblers.

Yellow Warbler spotted at Erickson Fields Preserve Erickson Fields Preserve, Rockport, ME.

Erickson Fields Preserve, Rockport
Watch for: A wide range of warblers, vireos, thrushes, and sparrows that nest and forage in its fields and forests. The 1.4-mile loop trail is ideal for a family-friendly adventure.

Whaleboat Island Preserve, Casco Bay
Watch for: Raptors, songbirds, and shorebirds in spring migration. Casco Bay’s largest undeveloped island, boasts 122 acres of habitat.

Bog Brook Preserve, Cutler and Trescott
Watch for: Warblers, sandpipers, bald eagles, and seabirds. A diverse cluster of habitats—rocky knolls, meadows, swampy flats, cobble beaches, brooks—hosts a variety of birds, including the occasional upland sandpiper (rarely seen in Downeast Maine).

Beautiful Bog Brook Cove Preserve

These are just a few options! Here are more MCHT preserves where you’re likely to spot birds.

Interested in expanding your knowledge about birds in Maine? MCHT Land Steward and self-described “nature bum” Kirk Gentalen frequently writes about birds he finds in and around St. George. Check out his witty and fact-packed articles about fall migration, hawks, winter songbirds, and winterberries and the birds that love them.

Happy birding!

More Stories from the Coast

Preserving Mystery on a Complicated Coast

Essay and photo by Ben Cosgrove, part of the Voices from the Coast project to celebrate peoples’ deep connection to the Maine coast and MCHT’s 50 years of land conservation.

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Making the Trek

MCHT Public Policy Manager Jeff Romano and his son make the trek from MCHT’s Erickson Fields Preserve to Coastal Mountains Land Trust’s Beech Hill Preserve.

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My Favorite Preserve – Monroe Island

Soon after moving to Owls Head, Dave Waddell found and fell for Monroe Island Preserve. Here he shares what he loves about it.

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Getting Outside – Safely – in the Midst of COVID-19

While practicing social distancing, you can get outside and enjoy the health benefits—both physical and mental—of MCHT’s public preserves.

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Two New Midcoast Preserves to Check Out

MCHT, the town of St. George, and Georges River Land Trust come together to protect special places in the midcoast for the public to enjoy.

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