Eastern Egg Rock is a seven-acre treeless island located in outer Muscongus Bay. This site was host to the first seabird restoration program in Maine, with a focused effort to reintroduce breeding Atlantic Puffins. Building on that success, Arctic, Common, and Roseate Terns have been restored here as well.
The island supports state and regionally significant populations of nesting Arctic and Common Terns as well as the largest colony of federally Endangered Roseate Terns in the Gulf of Maine. It is also home to nesting Atlantic Puffins, Black Guillemots, Laughing Gulls (the largest colony in the state), Common Eider and Leach?s Storm-petrel. Razorbills have been prospecting in recent years and it is hoped they too will eventually breed. The island also supports significant numbers of migratory and wintering shorebirds including Ruddy Turnstones and Purple Sandpipers, as well as a notable Passerine migration in the spring.
Human disturbance is limited, but may be a concern. During summer, this island is frequently visited by large numbers of private boats and commercial tours hoping to view puffins. Foraging locations for breeding seabirds are not known so hazardous spills off-site could potentially devastate the bird life of the island. Predation and displacement of nesting Roseate Terns by Laughing Gulls are also significant conservation issues.
The island is owned by the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and managed intensively by National Audubon. This seabird nesting island is closed to landing during the nesting season (April 15 through August 31).