If you're still looking for something fun to do this summer, consider registering to attend the 13th Annual Acadia Birding Festival that will be staged in and around Acadia National Park in June.
From comical-looking puffins and tiny hummingbirds to warblers, ducks, and the ubiquitous gulls, there's always something flying about Mount Desert Island that's worth watching.
For some birds, Mount Desert Island is a summer destination while others pass through to breeding habitats still farther north. Mourning, Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue, Canada and Magnolia Warblers are some of the Parulidae family highlights. Ruffed Grouse, and Pileated and Black-backed Woodpeckers are residents of our conifer forest. Noteworthy Mount Desert Island bird species include the Atlantic Puffin, Black Guillemot, and the Common Eider. Significant marsh and water birds include American Woodcock, Common Snipe, Pied-billed Grebe, American Bittern, and Sora. Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, and sometimes Red and White-winged Crossbills are representatives of our area's boreal species and have been encountered on walks over the years. Grassland nesting species, such as the Bobolink and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow breed on MDI.
Last year, according to festival organizers, "(D)uring the three field days we collectively saw 116 species of birds on Mount Desert Island. Notable species were South Polar Skua 25 miles out to sea on the Friendship V, 17 species of Warblers, Nelson’s Sparrow, Willow and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher’s, and a total of approximately 4551 birds during the weekend."
This year's festival is scheduled for June 2-5. It costs $5 to register for the festival, and then they offer an ala carte menu for deciding which events you'd like to attend. For instance, a half-day boat trip that includes whale and puffin watching runs $60 per person, while a three-hour trip to Asticou Azalea Garden and Thuya Garden costs $20.
Or, you can pay a flat $350 fee and take your pick of any events over the four days of activities.