Seabird Island News - Vol. 1 - 28 May 2021



Like clockwork, the puffins have returned. The Eastern Egg Rock, Matinicus Rock and Seal Island NWR teams have reported numerous puffin eggs already in the rocky burrows these alcids call home. Even our beloved “Willie” and “Millie,” stars of the Seal Island NWR burrow cam, can be seen in incubation mode. Check out our live bird cams on as we anxiously await the arrival of these fluffy little pufflings soon.

Want to be in the know about what’s happening on Eastern Egg Rock this summer? Follow our researchers on Instagram and TikTok @EasternEggRock!


Our four tern species are also back and courtship rituals are in full swing. Arctic and Common Tern nests have been confirmed on Seal Island, some nests even contain two-egg clutches already! Tern activity is increasing on Stratton as Least Tern numbers continue to grow and Roseate Terns can be seen scouting for nesting sites in “RoseyTown”. As courting behaviors continue, we look forward to more nesting reports from our island teams.

Other Bird News

  • Razorbills are off to a booming start on Seal Island NWR, 75% of the burrows checked contain eggs!

  • The Common Eider census on Stratton Island yielded more than 500 nests this year and a single Black-crowned Night Heron nest.

  • “Troppy”, the Red-billed Tropic Bird, is back for his 17th season on Seal Island NWR.

Island Life

This year’s flock of seabird researchers have arrived in the Gulf of Maine for the 2021 Seabird Season. Due to pandemic precautions, operations continue to be modified with safety in mind. The first teams to deploy were researchers heading to Seal Island NWR, Eastern Egg Rock, Stratton Island, and Matinicus Rock. 

The teams got busy setting up camp, reconstructing blinds, clearing invasive vegetation and patrolling for predators. With grant assistance provided by NOAA, they have also been hard at work clearing marine debris that accumulates on the island and in the surrounding waters. These efforts will provide increased and safer nesting habitats for our seabirds.

The skies have come back to life and our 48th Season has taken flight!

For additional news, please visit the Seabird Island News index page.

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