Great Spoon is a treeless island lying east of Little Spoon Island and the southeastern tip of Isle au Haut?s Eastern Ear. It has a long history of human uses including egg hunting, feather and down collecting, and sheep grazing.
The complex rocky shoreline of the island provides a diversity of habitats for nesting Common Eiders, Double-crested Cormorants, Great Cormorants, and Leach?s Storm-petrels. Good numbers of most seabirds and eiders have been recorded there. Great Spoon is one of only nine islands coast-wide with Great Cormorants and one of less than 20 islands with both Common and Arctic Terns. The area is known to be used by Harlequin Ducks throughout the winter and is suspected to be used by Purple Sandpipers. Bald Eagles are seen here regularly.
The rough shoreline, difficult access, and exposed location limit the threats common to other island IBAs. Protection at Great Spoon is enhanced by the recent acquisition of Little Spoon Island by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. However, a hazardous spill or the on-going ballast discharge from the large number of cruise ships and Canadian-bound tankers that pass by the island potentially pose a more damaging threat with long-lasting effects.
The site is owned by the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and managed as part of the Coast of Maine Wildlife Management Area. This seabird nesting island is closed to public use annually from April 15 to August 31.