On the east side of Penobscot Bay, Belfast Harbor marks the mouth of the Passagassawakeag (?Passy?) River. The City of Belfast lies on the southwest shore with some commercial, but mostly residential development on the northeast shore. The harbor has a growing number of recreational boats anchored here during the summer. The closing and removal of the poultry processing facility has changed the face of the waterfront.

Ornithological Summary

The most significant avian resource here is the annual wintering population of Barrow?s Goldeneye. Numerous other species of waterfowl can be found in the estuary year round. The harbor still supports over 2,000 wintering gulls, perhaps more during summer, and is a favorite spot to search for wintering Iceland and Glaucous Gulls.

Conservation Issues

Renovating the Belfast waterfront has been underway for many years and with that perhaps an increase in moorings will follow. Potential for overboard discharge and spilled fuel could degrade the habitat here if the number of moorings expands to very high densities.


The surrounding lands are a combination of private commercial and residential with some municipal holdings on the waterfront. There are three public ways of viewing the harbor from land. First is the footbridge which spans the river just seaward from U.S. Route 1. Second, the public pier (beside the Weathervane Restaurant) affords a good view of the main harbor, and third, the waterfront park and boathouse allow great views of the outer harbor. All three access points can be found by taking High Street from U. S. Route 1 to Pierce St. then following along the waterfront.

Stay abreast of Audubon

Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives.