The Breathtaking Seabird Capital of North AmericaBy Newfoundland & Labrador
It’s never too early to start planning your visit to Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve. And while late summer and early fall are good times to arrive, it’s in the early summer when this wonderful bird sanctuary really bursts with life. Tens of thousands of migrating seabirds perched almost within arm’s length, whales offshore, possibly an iceberg – and the heart-stopping beauty of a rugged coastline blanketed in a velvet green wash of mist and sunshine.
Cape St. Mary’s is the most accessible seabird rookery in North America, full every summer with hordes of razorbills, common murres, black-legged kittiwakes, northern gannets, gulls, double-crested and great cormorants, scoters, long-tailed ducks, harlequins, dovekies, thick-billed murres, eiders and kittiwakes. The focal point is Bird Rock, the third-largest nesting site and southernmost colony of northern gannets on the continent.
It’s a place where you can stand just 20 metres away from the most intense flurry of bird activity you might ever see. It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid birdwatcher or just there for the scenery. You can’t help but be impressed by the living, breathing, swooping, elegant, screaming mass of nature.
And as if the outdoors wasn’t enough, Saturday evening throughout the summer you can attend Cape St. Mary’s Performance Series, which showcases artists from around this prolifically creative province, set against the scenic backdrop of the glass viewing area inside the interpretation centre.
Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve (not to be confused with the town Cape St. Mary’s) is located on the Cape Shore Drive off Route 100, approximately two hours from St. John's.
For information on birdwatching tours in the area and around the province, check out this link to our plan and book section on our website.
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