Visit the Audubon Puffin Project in Rockland, Maine, for an experience unlike any other. Located in downtown Rockland, the center celebrates the efforts of those involved in making a powerful impact to protect various endangered marine birds. In fact, its success in bringing puffins and other rare sea birds back to nesting spots along the coast of Maine is a source of local pride.
If you’ve never seen one of these almost cartoon-character colorful birds, you can do so at the Puffin Project. Visitors can see the actions and interactions of these remarkable sea birds using a live video feed from the nesting sites — no wonder guests of our historic inn rave about this unique institution.
To educate the public about the importance of seabird restoration projects, the Puffin Project relies on a multi-media approach. In addition to the live feed from the remote Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge, galleries, maps, exhibits, and a theater play an essential role in keeping the public informed. The 20-minute “Project Puffin” film introduces the folks responsible for the return of endangered sea birds back to the coast of Maine. It’s a great way to start your visit to the visitor center.
Programs and Events
A wide variety of programs and events sponsored by the Puffin Project aim to further the understanding and goals of the center. Local schools take advantage of select one-hour programs to bring their students insight into the unique marine ecosystem and the puffin project history. Wednesday evening lectures in summer, as well as free science programs for children, bring both entertainment and education.
Gallery and Gift Shop
Among the interactive exhibits, you’ll find maps of the protected nesting areas on nearby islands that vividly show the project’s success. Seabird art and photography feature prominently as well. And, as with any decent exhibit hall, a gift shop showcasing relevant educational materials, souvenir clothing and apparel means visitors can also add to and invest in the project’s mission.
If you really want to get up close and personal with these delightful sea birds, embark on a puffin cruise with either Hardy Boat Tours out of New Harbor or Cap’n Fish in Boothbay Harbor. The Puffin Project provides naturalists for both tour companies to help identify the marine birds you’ll encounter and answer any questions.
Several remote cameras are positioned throughout the region to capture live feed of puffin burrows and loafing areas. Sponsored by the Audubon society, cameras are also positioned to capture the activity of osprey nests, guillemots, and seals.
So, the next time you visit us along the mid-coast of Maine, visit the Audubon Puffin Project in Rockland, Maine. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from our location in the historic district and surrounded by all the activity downtown.
Published: October 2022