This important wildlife island lies to the west of Deer Isle in east Penobscot Bay. It is treeless, but supports a near-perfect mix of vegetation for seabirds, including terns. Cliffs and rock rubble dominate the perimeter of the island.
This island supports one of the largest Double-crested Cormorant colonies in East Penobscot Bay (166 pairs in 1995). Hardhead Island is one of the most productive non-managed tern nesting islands in Maine (95 pairs in 2006). Bald Eagles often prey on Herring Gull chicks from this island.
Because Deer Isle islands are in LURC jurisdiction, this island is zoned P-FW (Protection-Fish and Wildlife). An oil spill is considered the greatest threat to this island.
This island has been owned and managed by the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife since at least 1973. Landing is prohibited on Hardhead Island between April 15 and July 31.