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Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve is a wonderland for bird watchers and explorers alike. Thousands of gulls, razorbill, common murres, black-legged kittiwakes, northern gannets, and double-crested and great cormorants nest here. Where 20,000 scoters, oldsquaw, harlequin, dovekies, thick-billed murres, and kittiwakes winter. This captivating area is one of six seabird ecology reserves protected by our provincial parks system. Its natural beauty makes it perfect for nature walks and family adventures.
Cape St. Mary’s is the most accessible seabird rookery in North America. Bird Rock is the third largest nesting site and southernmost colony of Northern gannets in North America. Cape St. Mary’s is also the southernmost breeding area for thick-billed murres in the world and the southernmost major breeding site for common murres in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. This site is overflowing with perching, diving, and scrambling birds from edge to edge - melding together into an awesome moving, breathing spectacle of colour and sound.
Hike to the edge of rugged shores and spend hours watching the daily lives of some of the world’s most interesting seabirds. The stunning, majestic scenery of the Cape is perfect for a relaxing walk or a challenging hiking adventure. Mosses, lichens, low-growing shrubs, and alpine wildflowers blanket the plateau. Ponds, bogs, and brooks embrace the landscape and cliffs plunge into the sea. Snap photos of eiders, eagles, osprey, cormorant, and guillemot against a brilliant glowing horizon.
In the interpretation centre, take a moment to understand the lives of seabirds in the wild and watch them soar from a giant viewing window. Friendly and hospitable staff can guide you through the reserve and answer any questions you may have. The reserve can be visited year-round, and the interpretation centre is open from spring until fall. During the summer, visit our annual concert series that includes traditional music, dancing, food, drink, and fun!
Cape St. Mary’s is located on the Cape Shore Drive off Route 100 on the southwestern tip of Newfoundland’s Avalon region, approximately 2 hours from St. John’s by road.