Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Spotting Puffins in Maine
Near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, Machias Seal Island
is a tiny unspoiled sanctuary for a number of Maine’s most noted marine
bird species. You can visit the island via a charter boat operating out
of Cutler or Jonesport, Maine. An hour later you disembark onto a small
low-lying island. Hundreds of plump birds whiz over your heads
searching the waters for breakfast. Some have hooded black heads that
look like Batman’s disguise. These are the razorbill auks. Others have
eyes the size of a parrot with beaks dotted red, black, and yellow.
This is the bird everyone is excited to see, the Atlantic puffin.
Weather permitting, you can climb atop the seaweed-slick rocks and see
puffins two to three feet away. The eastern part of the island is
covered with Arctic terns. The razorbill auks might look like
superheroes, but it is the aggressive tern that keeps predators like
seagulls away from the eggs of all the island’s birds. Paths lead to
four blinds where you can set up shop and watch the puffins return to
feed their young. Visit ActiveTravels for more adventures.