26th Annual
Acadia Birding Festival


Mount Desert Island
SW Harbor, Maine
(Acadia National Park)
Keynote Speakers 2025: Lilllian Stokes and Matt Young
May 29 - June 1
2025

Survey

Don't miss our PELAGIC SEABIRD BOAT TRIP Saturday May 31, 2025
PUFFINS, GANNETS, RAZORBILLS, MURRES, TERNS, SHEARWATERS, STORM-PETRELS, and more

Video 


2025 EXTENSION TRIPS
For those arriving early or staying late

ABF is proud to offer pre-fest and post-fest trips for those who wish to extend their birding experience. 

PRE-FESTIVAL

Monhegan Island Trip 
May 28 (Wed) 6:30am - 5:30pm (starts and ends at The Monhegan Boat Line dock in Port Clyde)

This pre-festival trip starts at the Monhegan Boat Line dock in Port Clyde where we board the boat to Monhegan Island. Twelve miles offshore, scenic Monhegan Island has long been recognized as a migrant trap where anything might turn up, even species that you won't see anywhere else in Maine! (Summer Tanager, Lark Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak, and Dickcissel are all "regulars.") While much of the island is forested conservation land laced with trails, the best birding is often in the tiny village, where old apple trees and spruce stands serve as the backdrop for warblers (20+ species is average) and a wide diversity of other songbirds as they pass through. Atlantic Puffin and other seabirds are possibilities on the boat trip out and back! This outing is all on foot (2-3 miles) over easy to moderate trails and dirt roads, with some uneven sections.

Participants should bring binoculars, snacks, lunch, beverages, bug repellent, sunscreen, and good hiking/walking shoes.  Dress in layers as it could be cold (especially on the ferry!).  There will be some opportunities to stop for food and refreshments at a few places on the island. Keep in mind that the group will not have any place to stash extra items, so be sure to bring a backpack or the equivalent to carry extra clothing or food (if you bring you own).

The group will meet at the Port Clyde ferry dock at 6:30am in time to catch the 7:00am ferry. The return trip will be on the 4:30pm ferry from Monhegan. If you live far away, we recommend that you spend the night near Port Clyde so you can easily meet the group. Port Clyde is over 2 hours from Festival Center.

The price for the trip covers the ferry cost. Please do not purchase your own ticket.
Fee is $125/person. Limit 36 participants.


Saddleback Mountain in search of Bicknell's Thrush 
May 28 (Wed) 7am-2pm

This is a day trip at Saddleback Mountain. Bicknell’s Thrush unique breeding ecology above 3000 feet requires a steady climb to the barren bald peaks of Saddleback Mountain tucked away in the western mountains of Maine (the group will be taken up the mountain in ATVs, but descent will be by foot). Many northern specialty birds will be found among the rocky summit heaths and boreal krummholz ecosystems of the Rangeley Lakes region, offering opportunities for a variety of hard to find boreal species like Gray Jays, Spruce Grouse and Black-backed Woodpecker. We will study bird communication and ecology of the spruce and fir forest and dwarf shrub summits where Nashville and Blackpoll Warblers, Swainson’s Thrush and Blue-headed Vireo are calling from the spruce zone.

Participants should bring snacks, lunch, beverages, bug repellent and sunscreen. Dress in layers as it could be cold. The trip starts and ends at Saddleback Mountain (approximately 3.5 hours from MDI), so we recommend you find a motel closer to the mountain the night before the trip. There are several lodging oportunities in Rangeley, only 15 minutes from the mountain.

Tour guides are Michael Good and James Longo. This day trip requires 2-3 miles of hiking on steep ski slopes of uneven terrain with rocks and roots (some hiking up slope but mostly down the slopes with a drop in elevation of 2000ft). This trip is only for those in very good physical walking shape (walking sticks helpful).  The group will be taken up the mountain in ATVs, but descent will be by foot. Participants should bring binoculars, snacks, lunch, beverages, bug repellent, sunscreen, and good hiking/walking shoes.  Dress in layers as it could be cold.

Meet at the base of Saddleback Mountain Ski Resort.

Fee is $90/person.


Acadia Puffin Cruise 
May 28 (Wed) 11:30pm-2:00PM

Set sail aboard the 40 ft Tricia Clark, Maine’s original puffin boat. This is a two hour tour out of Pigeon Hill Bay to the stunning Petit Manan Island. During this tour, you will also experience the breathtaking views of the Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge and Bois Bubert Island. After the tour, we recommend hiking the boreal forest trails of Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge. This will give you a beautiful view of Petit Manan Island from ashore. Petit Manan is home to a variety of seabirds and water-dwelling mammals, more notably the Atlantic Puffin. Other species you may see are Razorbills, Arctic Terns, Roseate Terns, Common Terns, Guillemots, Cormorants, Bald Eagles, Eiders, and a variety of gulls. There is also opportunity to see both Harbor and Gray Seals. Petit Manan Lighthouse was constructed in 1857. The light is a conical granite tower, standing at 119 feet tall, making this the second tallest lighthouse in Maine. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Petit Manan light is still in service today.

Meet at the boat at 147 Back Shore Road, Steuben ME.

Fee is $85/person.

POST-FESTIVAL


Acadia Puffin Cruise 
June 2 (Mon) 11:30pm-2:00PM

Set sail aboard the 40 ft Tricia Clark, Maine’s original puffin boat. This is a two hour tour out of Pigeon Hill Bay to the stunning Petit Manan Island. During this tour, you will also experience the breathtaking views of the Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge and Bois Bubert Island. After the tour, we recommend hiking the boreal forest trails of Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge. This will give you a beautiful view of Petit Manan Island from ashore. Petit Manan is home to a variety of seabirds and water-dwelling mammals, more notably the Atlantic Puffin. Other species you may see are Razorbills, Arctic Terns, Roseate Terns, Common Terns, Guillemots, Cormorants, Bald Eagles, Eiders, and a variety of gulls. There is also opportunity to see both Harbor and Gray Seals. Petit Manan Lighthouse was constructed in 1857. The light is a conical granite tower, standing at 119 feet tall, making this the second tallest lighthouse in Maine. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Petit Manan light is still in service today.

Meet at the boat at 147 Back Shore Road, Steuben ME.

Fee is $85/person.



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