Sprague Neck is a peninsula of land dividing Machias Bay to the west and south and Holmes Bay to the north and east. A gravel spit, approximately ? mile long, is found on the north end of the neck. Extensive mudflats are found in nearby Holmes Bay.

Ornithological Summary

The neck and surrounding flats are extremely important for shorebird feeding and roosting.

Conservation Issues

Nearby Holmes Bay is designated as an Area of Shorebird Management Concern that qualifies as Significant Wildlife Habitat under Maine?s Natural Resources Protection Act. A permit is required for placement of permanent structures such as docks within the intertidal zone. Coastal development along the shore of Holmes Bay could be a problem at some point in the future. Threats from a coastal oil spill could have serious consequences for shorebirds and the marine invertebrates on which they depend. Disturbance associated with clamming and worming can be a problem when large numbers of persons use the area. Also, use of airboats to access the flats for clamming can be disturbing to shorebirds.


Sprague Neck is currently owned by the U. S. Dept. of the Navy, as the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station - Cutler. Although the area includes an ecological reserve and a watchable wildlife site, access is difficult and best made in writing well in advance of visiting the area. Birds feeding and roosting in the area can be viewed from the water and boat launches in Machiasport and Bucks Harbor facilitate access to locations throughout Machias Bay.

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