At 300 acres, this is the largest of the islands in the Outer Penobscot Bay IBA. The middle section of the island is forested, while the two ends of the island are covered with mixed grass, raspberry, and shrubs. A flock of 120 sheep graze the entire island during some portion of the year. A small seasonal community maintains several homes on the island.

Ornithological Summary

This site supports eight nesting species including all three coastal tern species. Several hundred pairs of Common Eiders nest on the island, while several thousand molting eiders gather around the island in late summer. Bald Eagles recently began nesting in the interior portion of the island. Forests on the island are believed to provide important stopover habitat for migrating songbirds especially warblers.

Conservation Issues

The Refuge initiated a tern restoration project on Metinic Island in 1998, and the colony grew to 750 pairs by 2004. Sheep grazing may be adversely affecting nesting habitat for Common Eiders. The Refuge uses seasonal sheep grazing to maintain nesting habitat for the terns. The sheep are excluded from the tern nesting area each spring. Biological technicians monitor the tern colony throughout the nesting season.


The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, owns the northern half of this island. The Refuge-owned portion of the island is closed to public access during the seabird nesting season (Feb 15 ? August 31)

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