The Indian River flows south through Addison to Whoa Bay. Here the river separates around Crowley Island forming the West River on the west side of Crowley Island and continues as the Indian River on the east side of the island. Both rivers provide productive mud flats for foraging shorebirds.
Mudflats surrounding Crowley Island provide hundreds of migratory shorebirds with a large feeding area during their fall migration. At one time, thousands of Semipalmated Sandpipers, as well as large numbers of Black?bellied Plovers and Short-billed Dowitchers have been documented at this site. In recent years, the number of Semipalmated Sandpipers here has waned. Smaller numbers of Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Red Knots, Sanderlings, and White-rumped Sandpipers also use this area. Large boulders at the north end of Crowley Island provide roosting opportunities for Black-bellied Plovers. Wintering Black Ducks are common on both rivers as well.
This area is designated as an Area of Shorebird Management Concern that qualifies as Significant Wildlife Habitat under Maine?s Natural Resources Protection Act. This requires a permit prior to placement of permanent structures within the intertidal zone. Collaboration between the Pleasant River Wildlife Foundation and Maine Coast Heritage Trust have resulted in the conservation of 293 acres and three miles of shoreline on Crowley Island.
A combination of private and conserved lands occurs in the area mostly on Crowley Island where the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and others hold conservation easements. Boat access would be the most efficient means of visiting this area. Boat launches in South Addison and Joneport facilitate birding this area from the water.