Bird Watching in Acadia National Park

Nature’s beauty has a profound effect on our senses. Those getaways from the outer world to the inner world results in feelings of awe, wonder, and amazement. But what is it about nature that we feel to declare it as beautiful? The answer truly lies in the prominence of a mountain, the expanse of the sea, the unfolding life of a flower, vivid landscapes, and the fantastic wildlife. And bird watching in Acadia National Park can help you truly see nature’s beauty.

National Parks are a perfect place for nature lovers, adventurers, and city dwellers who dream of seeing a bit of green. With so many National Parks across the globe, you won’t have to travel far to explore it.

The wonders in National Parks go beyond tall trees and bushes. Visitors can expect volcanoes, glaciers, snow-capped mountains, lakes, rivers, hiking trails, and historical sites. People can indulge in bird watching and live amidst the protected wilderness.

Overview of the Park

Located in the state of Maine, Acadia National Park protects a patch of coastal Maine where the North woods tumble down to meet the wild Atlantic. It is the first National Park east of the Mississippi River that sprawls across half of Mount Desert Island. Located in the county of Hancock and Knox, Acadia National Park, for generations, has been the place where New Englanders escape into nature.

The Cadillac Mountain stands at 1530 feet and is the tallest mountain on the North Atlantic seaboard. It is the only attraction in the park that can be reached by car, and hence, gets crowded. Undoubtedly, it is a spectacular sight to see.

The Park Loop Road is the best way to do a tour of Acadia. It is a 27-mile road, and various trails like the sand beach, thunder hole, and otter cliff can be reached from here.

The Jordan Pond Trail is a tranquil place to be. You will find crystal clear water that mirrors the surrounding mountains. Visitors are also fond of Jordan Pond House restaurant as it has some breathtaking scenery and delicious food.

Sand Beach provides outstanding views and is filled with sharp shells. This beach is sandwiched between solid pink granite and surrounded by towering evergreens. If you want to have a better view of the beach, hike up the Great Head Trail.

Otter Cliff, Carriage Roads, Thunder Hole and Precipice Trail are other places of interest inside Acadia National Park. You can also indulge in bird-watching as Maine is home to 447 species of birds.


  • 12 Month Prepaid Bird Watching Subscription - 1 patch a month
    12 Month Prepaid Bird Watching Subscription – 1 patch a month
  • 12 Month Prepaid Bird Watching Subscription - 3 patches a month
    12 Month Prepaid Bird Watching Subscription – 3 patches a month
  • Kids Bird Watching Monthly Subscription
    Kids Bird Watching Monthly Subscription
    $10.00 / month
  • Kid & Adult Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription
    Kid & Adult Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription
    $10.00 / month and a $72.00 sign-up fee

Camping in Acadia National Park

Camping is one of the most beautiful ways to explore Acadia National Park. There are three campgrounds in Acadia National Park and more than a dozen near it. The Blackwoods Campground is Acadia’s most popular campground because of its prime location. There are 306 campsites and is open year-round.

Seawall Campground is the second most popular campground of Acadia National Park. It is located about 4 miles south of Southwest Harbor and has roughly 200 campsites.

The Schoodic Woods Campground is Acadia’s newest campground as it opened in 2015. It has 94 campsites, which have picnic tables, fire rings. Washrooms are located nearby with flushable toilets.

Bird Watching in Acadia National Park

With over 338 species of birds spotted in Hancock County and 340 in Knox County, Acadia National Park becomes a famous bird watching site.

Bird watching has grown in popularity among people of all age groups. It is an excellent way to enjoy nature and become acquainted with all things winged! Before the 20th century, bird-watching was actually bird-killing as people could only examine birds after killing them. Fortunately, with the introduction of binoculars, bird watching became possible without actually killing them. Today, it is a common hobby and enjoyed by people worldwide.

10 Birds to see Year-Round in Acadia National Park

American Black Duck

The American Black Ducks are large ducks with a profile nearly identical to Mallards. They have rounded heads, thick bills, and bulky bodies. Just like other dabbling ducks, they sit high in the water with their tails high.

They have dark brown bodies with pale-gray heads and yellow-green bills. Females are slightly paler than males. American Black Ducks eat aquatic plants, invertebrates, and occasionally small fish in shallow water. They also fly into agricultural fields to eat waste corn and grain.

Common Eider

Common Eider is a large, stocky duck. It has a distinctive wedge-shaped head with a long bill. Males have a white back, chest, and face. Its side, belly, and tail are black. Also, males have a gray-green, yellow, or orange bill. Females are brownish overall with black barring, especially on sides and flanks. The color of the bill in females’ greenish-gray to olive green or dark gray.

Black Guillemot

Black Guillemot is a medium-sized water bird and is black. Its wings have large white patches, and its feet are bright red. In addition, it has a relatively long and thick neck.

They usually feed on fish and crustaceans and can be the Shetland and Orkney Islands, and down the west coast of Scotland.

Great Black-Backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull is the largest species of gull of the world. It has a stout-body with broad wings, a thick neck, and a heavy, slightly bulbous bill.

Adults are white with slaty-black wings and backs. They have pink legs, a yellow bill with a red spot near the tip, and dark eyes. Juveniles are checkered gray-brown and white above. They black-tipped tails, black bills, and blackish flight feathers.

These birds are supreme opportunists as they follow fishing boats to pick up scraps of bait and discards, take garbage from trash cans and landfills, watch beaches looking for morsels that wash up from the sea, harry other seabirds to run off with their catches, and callously prey on smaller birds, eggs, and chicks.

Northern Harrier Hawk

Northern Harrier Hawks are slender, medium-sized raptors with long, broad wings and a long, rounded tail. These hawks have a flat, owl-like face and a small, sharply hooked bill. They often fly with their wings held in a V shape above the horizontal.

Male Hawkers are gray above and whitish below, while females and immature are brown. Both sexes have a white rump patch that is obvious in flight. Northern Harrier Hawkers fly low over the ground when hunting, weaving back and forth over fields and marshes as they watch for small animals.

They breed in vast open habitats ranging from Arctic Tundra to prairie grasslands to fields and marshes.

Pileated Woodpecker

  • Pileated Woodpecker Iron on Patches
    Pileated Woodpecker Iron on Patches

Pileated Woodpecker is a massive woodpecker with a long neck and a triangular crest that sweeps off the back of the head. Its bill is long and chisel-like. Also, it is mostly black with white stripes on the face and neck and a flaming-red crest.

These birds drill distinctive rectangular-shaped holes in rotten wood to get at carpenter ants and other insects

White-throated Woodpecker

White-throated Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a bold, yellow stripe through its face. Both male and female have olive-green back, scaled breast, and barred belly. Male woodpeckers have a red crown, and mustache stripe, and females have red only on the hind top.

Northern Cardinal

  • Northern Cardinal Iron on Patches
    Northern Cardinal Iron on Patches

A Northern Cardinal is a fairly large, long-tailed songbird with a short bill and a prominent crest. It often sits with a hunched over posture and with the tail pointed straight down. Males are brilliant red all over with a red bill and a black face immediately around the bill. Female cardinals are a pale brown with warm reddish tinges in the wings, tail, and crest.

It tends to sit low in shrubs and trees or forage on or near the ground, often in pairs. These birds are common at bird feeders but maybe inconspicuous away from them, at least until you learn their loud, metallic chip notes.

Great Cormorant

The Great Cormorant is a heavy seabird with a long, thick neck, blocky head and heavy hooked bill. Its legs are short, the tail is relatively long, and the wings broad.

Adults are black overall with white throat and yellow skin around the bill. Juveniles are brown with a whitish throat and belly, with some brownish streaking at the edges.

Great Cormorants spends much of the day out of the water, resting, digesting, and drying its wings.

Ruffed Grouse

The Ruffed Grouse is a fairly small grouse with a short, triangular crest and a long, fan-shaped tail. It is intricately patterned with dark bars and spots on either a reddish-brown or grayish background. Their tail is finely barred, with one full, black band near the tip.

It is mainly found in mixed deciduous and coniferous forest interiors with scattered clearings. But it also lives along forested streams and in areas growing back from burning or logging.

While visiting Acadia National Park, carry a map for sure. Try to cover all the famous spots to get the best experience in the park. Carry a comfortable pair of hiking shoes and try to start exploring early in the morning as the park gets crowded in the late afternoon. Besides hiking, you can indulge in bird watching, fishing, biking, and guided tours in Acadia National Park. So pack your bags, carry a camera, and get ready to explore some of the most stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife on the Eastern Seaboard.

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