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Offshore Ornithology: Seabirds, Songbirds, and Raptors in the Wild


This week-long teen (ages 15-18) science program is packed with experiential learning adventures along Hurricane Island’s breathtaking coastline, beaches, and trails.

Challenge your mind as you explore, think, observe, and ask questions like a trained naturalist, and become familiar with the field sampling techniques of ornithology (birds), while earning a STEM certificate to add to your school transcripts.

Some of the activities that are part of this program include:

  • Learn how to use binoculars and bird field guides to identify species including osprey, warblers, thrushes, and eider ducks, and identify birds by their song.
  • Go sailing out to observe offshore birds including guillemots, terns, bald eagles, and cormorants.
  • Collect data to help researchers learn more about the impact of climate change on the arrival and migration patterns of birds (phenology).
  • Build a birdhouse and observe baby chicks in the nest.
  • Practice sustainable living through hands-on interactions with the systems and technologies that support our island community, from solar panels to composting.
  • Learn about Hurricane Island’s history as a granite quarry’s company town by exploring the remaining tools and building foundations, looking at historic photos, and sharing readings from century-old newspaper stories.
  • Challenge your body by hiking, learning how to sail in Penobscot Bay, and learning how to rock climb and rappel on the historic Hurricane Island quarry rock face.
  • Relax in the evening with a pick-up soccer game, sunset hike, a swim off our main pier, or some late night star gazing.