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Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve

Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve
Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve
Gannets at Cape St Mary's Ecological Reserve
Cape St. Mary's

Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve is a wonderland for birdwatchers and explorers alike. Thousands of gulls, razorbills, common murres, black-legged kittiwakes, northern gannets, and double-crested and great cormorants nest here. Where 20,000 scoters, oldsquaw, harlequin, dovekies, thick-billed murres, and kittiwakes winter. This captivating area is one of seven seabird ecological reserves protected by provincial legislation. Its natural beauty makes it perfect for nature walks and family adventures.

Cape St. Mary's is the most accessible seabird rookery in North America. Bird Rock is the third largest nesting site and southernmost colony of northern gannets in North America. Cape St. Mary's is also the southernmost breeding area for thick-billed murres in the world and the southernmost major breeding site for common murres in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. This site is overflowing with perching, diving, and scrambling birds from edge to edge – melding together into an awesome moving, breathing spectacle of colour and sound.

Explore the edge of rugged cliffs and spend hours watching the daily lives of some of the world's most interesting seabirds. The stunning, majestic scenery of the Cape is perfect for a relaxing walk or a challenging hike. Mosses, lichens, low-growing shrubs, and alpine wildflowers blanket the plateau and nearby Golden Bay is seasonally rich with wild bakeapple berry pickings. Snap photos of eiders, eagles, osprey, cormorant, and guillemot against a brilliant glowing horizon.

In the interpretation centre, take a moment to understand the lives of seabirds in the wild and watch them soar from a giant viewing window. Friendly and hospitable staff can guide you through the reserve and answer any questions you may have. The reserve can be visited year round, and the interpretation centre is open from May to October. During the summer, visit our annual concert series that includes traditional music, dancing, food, drink and fun!

The Cape is a lovely place to see seabirds, especially Northern Gannets. However, sometimes the fog makes it difficult to fully appreciate the beauty of the place. So we suggest calling ahead of time. As a rule of thumb, if it’s foggy in St. John’s, it’s usually clear at the Cape, and vice-versa.

Getting Here:

Cape St. Mary's is located on the Cape Shore Drive off Route 100 approximately 2 hours from St. John's.

Location data provided by the operator. Please confirm location
before departure.


Print Directions

Driving distances and calculations derived using Google Maps. Actual driving times may vary. GPS coordinates have been provided by tourism operators. Please confirm location with operator before departure.

Helpful Links

Government of Newfoundland – Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve

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