Down East Maine & Acadia

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With Gabriel Willow

Saturday, May 25th - Sunday, June 2nd, 2019


Come along with NYC Audubon to explore Maine's “Country of the Pointed Firs”: a land of lighthouses, quaint villages, and lobster pounds . . . all nestled in a setting of primeval pine forests, bogs, and bucolic islands. Home to some of the East’s last true wilderness, Maine hosts populations of Atlantic Puffins, bears, moose, shorebirds, and dozens of warbler species. This land of forests and rocky coast has been an inspiration to artists and naturalists for generations.

This year we're offering our rugged Down East itinerary, visiting the "real Maine" from Acadia National Park up to the Canadian border. We will also participate in the 21st annual Acadian Birding Festival.

We’ll begin our exploration in Bangor, visiting forests and a bog trail before heading to the fishing village of Lubec, the easternmost town in the U.S. We will take hikes in search of boreal specialties such as Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, and breeding warblers and other songbirds of the boreal forests. Following our exploration of the mainland, we’ll take a chartered boat to Machias Seal Island, home to the largest nesting colony of Atlantic Puffins in the U.S., with over 5,000 breeding there, alongside Razorbills, murres, and other seabirds. We will land on the island and closely observe the puffins and other species from bird blinds, alongside the biologists who live and work there. While on the water, we'll keep our eyes open for whales and porpoises.

After thoroughly exploring this rugged Down East region, we will head down the coast to the world-famous Acadia National Park, a true national treasure of forests, rocky coasts, and mountains. We will participate in the Acadian Bird festival, with keynote speakers Doug Hitchcox, Raymond VanBuskirk, & Abby McBride, and hikes to local birding locales. Itinerary may be subject to change. $2,100 ($380 single supplement)


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Click here to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please contact Gabriel Willow at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with any questions


Your guide will be Gabriel Willow, a Maine native who began his career leading tours there over a decade ago. Now based in Brooklyn, Gabriel knows and loves his home state, and will take you to some of his favorite birding haunts. Here are some thoughts from past participants on their experiences:

“Gabriel Willow, always sensitive to the varied needs and birding levels of his charges, was an extremely knowledgeable guide to an area he knows and loves. We had unforgettable encounters with both migratory birds (many warblers) and seabirds (I especially remember the razorbills and puffins) well as tidal marshes and rocky coasts. A wonderful experience!” -- Virginia Stotz

“In addition to being an excellent birding leader, Gabe is an all-around naturalist…and since Maine is his home territory, he is a font of knowledge about local history. But the real joy of the trip came from seeing the migrant birds settling into their breeding grounds in Maine’s gorgeous coastal landscape. On Monhegan Island, a Northern Parula singing its heart out in a blossoming apple tree was almost worth the trip by itself.” – Mary Jane Kaplan

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