Plum Island National Wildlife Refuge is a US Top 100 birding site. Its coastal marshes with vegetated dunes provide diverse habitats that support a rich diversity of birds year-round. Ocean viewing allows near-shore and occassionally off-shore pelagics to be seen. Sandy beaches support migrant and overwintering shorebirds, including breeding Piping Plovers. Leeside of the dunes support some mature stands of woody vegetation that serve as migrant traps and an extensive estuarine spartina marsh system. In Winter, Snowy Owls and offshore wintering waterbirds, including loons, grebes, gulls, and seaducks are regular.
Meet Up - Unless otherwise determined, this tour begins at the Parker River NWR Visitor's Center Address: 6 Plum Island TPK, Newburyport, MA.
Snowy Owl is a reliable Winter find on Plum Island
Focus: New England Coastal Birds, Spring and Fall Migrants, Winter Birds
Season: Available Year-round
Hike: None; some walking to beach, on short trails and boardwalks
Time: 2-8 hours
Size: up to 8 persons
Open: $69 per Adult per 2 hour block (Youth 10-15yo half-price); book multiple blocks to extend your birding day
Open Tours not available during COVID-19 pandemic
Join other birders on this guided birding tour in search of birds in the marsh, salt pannes, dune scrub, or ocean side. Open tours try to find a large and diverse number of bird species.
Private: $99 per person per 2 hour block; book additional blocks (@$75pp) to extend your birding day
Private Tours only during COVID-19 pandemic (masking and social distancing required; no carpooling)
Enjoy a tour customized to your birding needs and goals. We can direct search of species, including lifers, or try to build as big a bird list as we can. You're in charge of the itinerary. Private tour is recommended if focus is on one or a few species (e.g., Snowy Owl, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Piping Plover, etc.) that may take significant amount of time for good views or for photography.