Bird Ecology

Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program carries out biodiversity conservation studies through year-round bird research and education programs. It engages professional ornithologists, citizen scientists, Acadia National Park visitors, and students of all ages.

Download and print Bird Ecology brief  HERE.

Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program offers a range of field trips, workshops, tours and other events for birders and nature lovers. Whether a beginner or advanced participant, all are welcome! All programs require advance registration to limit participant numbers and to provide the best experiences.

Field Birding Trips are usually 2 to 3 hours in length. We design these to visit a local seasonal hotspot or series of hotspots. We usually meet at a specific hotspot and explore it on foot. Other field trips declare a meeting place and then travel by van to experience a series of hotspots. Specific details will be advertised. Guide-to- participant ratio is 1:14 or better.

Workshops feature a combination of limited classroom instruction to compliment and enhance a majority of field time. Our approach is to maximize enjoyment and learning through thoughtful teaching and camaraderie. Workshops usually have an overnight option. Guide-to- participant ratio is 1:12 or better.

Tours are multi-day, residential birding-focused experiences. Our current offerings are 5 days and 4 nights in length. June tours feature exploration in the northwoods looking for boreal landbird specialties before coming to the institute to concentrate on seabirds (think puffins and terns) and pelagics birds (and whales). Guide-to- participant ratio is 1:6 or better.

All program content focuses upon building identification skills, discussing conservation and ecology, and emphasizes the use and purpose of data collection apps such as Merlin and eBird. Your registration fees support the mission of the Schoodic Institute and research projects of the Bird Ecology Program.

Current Bird Watches and Tours

Sea Watch

SeaWatch has monitored the coastal migration of autumn’s southbound birds since 2011, counting thousands of birds between September and Thanksgiving. SeaWatch at Schoodic Point is a citizen science program conducted by staff and volunteers of the Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program. 



Acadia National Park’s Hawk Watch on Cadillac Mountain

Hawk Watch is a collaborative effort between the park’s Interpretive Division and Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program. Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is 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. 


Frazer Point Early Bird Watch 

Frazer Point Early Bird Watch is the third and newest migration monitoring program being conducted by the Schoodic Institute Bird Ecology Program.  Witness songbird migration, learn identification tips, gain bird conservation knowledge, and find out about a variety of opportunities to participate as a Schoodic Institute citizen scientist.



Birding Tours

Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program also offers birding tours. Tours are multi-day, residential birding-focused experiences.

Mountains to Sea I: June 5-9, 2019 • Mountains to Sea II: June 12-16, 2019

Winged Migration I: August 16-20, 2019 • Winged Migration II: August 26-30, 2019

2019 Trip specifics and details can also be found at:    For more information, contact the leaders: Bob Duchesne,, 207-827-3782 or Seth Benz,, 207-288-1350.

2019 Maine Bird Tours Registration Form

Enjoy video by Bob Duchesne: Mountains to the Sea 2016

Enjoy photos and video of 2015 tours: Mountains to the Sea and Winged Migration.


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