During the spring and fall migrations, thousands of land and water birds move through this area. The migrant land birds seek sanctuary and food on the thickets of Plum Island and surrounding areas. In mid-May, it is not unusual to see 15-20 species of warblers – those magnificent songbirds so sought after by birders. During spring and summer, large numbers of waterfowl, herons, egrets and land birds nest and feed in the extensive salt marshes.
During fall, huge numbers of shorebirds pass through the area en route from their Arctic nesting grounds to Central and South America. These birds stop to rest and feed on the mud flats and salt meadows of the Merrimack River estuary. The shorebirds are joined by vast numbers of land birds also moving to their southern wintering grounds. During the winter, large flocks of loons, grebes, and ducks seek the ice-free waters of the Merrimack River for shelter and food. Snowy Owls and Rough-Legged Hawks, species closely associated with northern latitudes, are annual visitors to our area. One of the best year-round bird watching destinations in North America, Newburyport draws thousands of bird watchers to our area each year.
(source: Newburyport Chamber of Commerce).