Bird Ecology

Bald Eagle Photo: NPS/Kent Miller

Bald Eagle Photo: NPS/Kent Miller

Since 2011, Schoodic Institute’s SeaWatch has monitored the coastal migration of autumn’s southbound birds 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. Learn how you can participate here.

Acadia National Park’s Hawk Watch on Cadillac Mountain 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. Visitors welcome. Learn more here.

Frazer Point Early Bird Watch is the third and newest migration monitoring program being conducted by the Schoodic Institute Bird Ecology Program.  The public is invited to join the observation gathering and 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. Learn more here.

Birding Tours

Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program also offers birding tours in partnership with the Maine Birding Trail.  Designed with Bob Duchesne, former Maine State legislator, natural history tour operator, and author of “The Maine Birding Trail,” these programs consist of 4 nights lodging, 5 days of field trips, food, van travel, a boat tour, and expert instructors.

Each Tour is limited to 10 participants to insure proper attention. Package price includes lodging, all tour meals, guided transportation by 15-passenger van, and boat excursion fees.  All sightings will be reported to eBird, a global data portal for citizen scientists, and participants will learn about migratory bird research conducted at and supported by Schoodic Institute.

What species will you see during a Schoodic Institute birding tour?

Learn what was reported during Mountains to Sea II, September 2 – 6, 2016 to eBird, a real-time, online checklist program.

Click HERE for the tour’s full species count, including the highest count for each.

eBird was launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

2017 Tours:

Mountains to the Sea I and II 

Both June tours have SOLD OUT.  Please see available late summer tours below.

June 10 – 14  or  June 24 – 28   

Cost: $1120.00 – (based on double occupancy) Lodging upgrades available.

These two 5-day, 4-night tours feature the northern forest during the height of songbird singing as well as the raucous seabird breeding islands along the downeast coast of Maine. The scenery on this adventure is spectacular and equal to the variety of birds to be found.  Birds of note: American Three-toed and Black-backed Woodpeckers, Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadees, a variety of warblers and flycatchers, Atlantic puffin, Razorbill, Arctic Tern and pelagic species. Lodging is at Big Moose Inn and Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park.

Maines Winged Migration I and II

Aug. 18 – 22  or   Sept. 1 – Sept. 5

Cost: $1120.00  (based on double occupancy). Lodging upgrades available.

2017 Bird Tours Registration Form  Gift certificate available for this event. Please inquire when registering.

This tour will spend two nights at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park surrounded by the mainland portion of Acadia National Park. Then, we’ll shift to the Eastland Motel in Lubec for two nights, which sits within 15 minutes of Quoddy Head State Park and the South Lubec Sand Flats. We’ll explore the spruce-fir maritime forest, Acadia’s coastline, and visit Canada’s Campobello Island. We’ll be rewarded with a variety of songbirds, migratory shorebirds, pelagic birds and whales.

Participants should bring binoculars, and each tour is quite good for photography. Spotting scopes can be useful, which the guides will provide for group use, as well as guidebooks and extra binoculars. Each tour will not require strenuous hiking. Hikes will be slow and on level ground. There may be some spots that are muddy, uneven, and slippery. Adequate footwear is advised, but large boots are unnecessary. Boat tours can be cold and wet. Bring appropriate clothing.

Trip specifics and details can also be found at:  

For more information, contact the leaders:

Bob Duchesne,, 207-827-3782.

Seth Benz,, 207-288-1350

Enjoy video by Bob Duchesne: Mountains to the Sea 2016

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