National Wildlife Refuge

Discover Plum Island, Massachusetts for the best birding around.

Plum Island is an 8 mile long barrier island off the coast of Newburyport, Massachusetts. At the southern end is Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Located on the Atlantic Flyway, it’s a vital stopover for migrating songbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds and a wonderful place for bird watching. In fact, it’s known as one of the Top 10 birding sites in the country with over 300 species of migratory birds being seen there.

 (click on the images below for a larger view)


At the time of my visit in late September, most of the migratory birds were gone, but there was still an abundance of egrets, ducks, swans and cormorants to be seen in the salt and freshwater marshes on the west and gulls and terns along the beach on the eastern side. And non-migratory songbirds were plentiful among the thickets of bayberry, marsh elder and sweet gale. At this time of year, with a minimum of human visitors, the refuge is quiet and peaceful with beautiful vistas. If you’re a bird and nature lover, definitely make this refuge a stop if you are ever in New England! Happy Birding!

— R. Brune

You Might Also Like