Atlantic Puffins at Machias Seal Island.

Graeme Simpson, his wife Pamela, and I went to Machias Seal Island last week to see Puffins and other sea birds, not  to mention the seals. In 6 days, starting on June 29, we drove to Cutler Maine, where we got a boat to the island, then returned. We stopped at Acadia National Park, Plum Island and Acadia National Forest along the way. There were varying degrees of success along the way, but Machias Island was better than we could have hoped. I’ve got too many photos and too many stories for one post, so I’ll have to finish this as I can.

Landing at Machias

Warning sign at the landing.

Cutler Lighthouse 1

The lighthouse at Cutler Harbor.

Machias Lighthouse 1

The lighthouse on Machias Seal Island.

Pamela Simpson 1

Pamela points out a bird at Acadia.

Graeme and Pamela at an Acadia vista.

Common Murre 2019-2

Common Murre 2019-1

Common Murres were, indeed, common.

Common Murre 2019-5

Two Common Murres and a Razorbill.

Common Murre 2019-4 Common Murre 2019-3

Bald Eagle 2019-10

This Eagle pair was perched in a tree at the Harbor entrance.

Arctic Tern 2019-6 Arctic Tern 2019-1

Arctic Tern 2019-3

Arctic Tern with chick.

Northern Gannett 2019-1

A lone Northern Gannet was visible on the island.

Common Eider 2019-5

Female Common Eiders with chicks were feeding near shore.

Savannah Sparrow 2019-1

I was surprised to see many Savannah Sparrows. I was told they had Baltimore Orioles as well.

Black Throated Green Warbler 2019-1

Black Throated Green Warbler 2019-2

We found a Black Throated Green Warbler in Acadia,

Dark Eyed Junco 2019-2

Apparently, Dark Eyed Juncos spend the Summer in Acadia.

Northern Parula 2019-1

We saw at least 5 Northern Parulas.


Raven 2019-1

This Raven seems to have found an egg.

Razorbill 2019-3 Razorbill 2019-2

Razorbill 2019-1

Many Razorbills were hanging out on the island.


Razorbill 2019-2

Razorbills often engage in “Bill Crossing.”

Common Eider 2019-4

Common Eider 2019-1

Common Eider 2019-3

Common Eiders are breeding on the island.

Northern Gannett 2019-1

A lone Northern Gannet was visible on the island.


Puffin 2019-18Puffin 2019-17Puffin 2019-19Puffin 2019-16

Puffin 2019-21

Atlantic Puffins were in the air and the water everywhere you looked.

Puffin 2019-20Puffin 2019-15Puffin 2019-14

Puffin 2019-13

Puffins nest in natural burrows, or excavate their own.

Puffin 2019-09Puffin 2019-08Puffin 2019-07Puffin 2019-06Puffin 2019-12Puffin 2019-11

Puffin 2019-21

Atlantic Puffins were in the air and the water everywhere you looked.

Common Harbor Seal 3 Common Harbor Seal 2

Gray Seal 1

Gray Seals and Harbor seals were numerous in the area.

Graeme Simpson 100

Graeme Simpson waiting for the trip to begin.

Arctic Tern 2019-4

Arctic Tern 2019-2

A visit to the head requires a “Tern Stick”. Terns are very protective of their nests, and will harass anything that comes near. The stick distracts them.


2 thoughts on “Atlantic Puffins at Machias Seal Island.

  1. Hugh, Can you private message me and give me some details of your trip? We are heading up this month to roam around Maine and I very much want to go out to see the puffins. Can you give me the name of the boat cruise company, etc. and some advice on where you stayed, etc.?

  2. Hugh!!!! I am thrilled that you got to go! Isn’t it a fabulous place! And your photos/videos are extraordinary 😍 Wonderful, wonderful!!!

Leave a Reply