This site consists of beach front and dune systems along the northeast shore of the outlet of the Little River in Kennebunk. Most of it is privately owned, though some is U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service property. The site is characterized by a high-energy beach, that is often overwashed providing excellent Piping Plover and Least Tern habitat.

Ornithological Summary

In most years, the site hosts the largest breeding colony of the state-Endangered Least Tern. Multiple pairs of Piping Plovers nest here as well and generally have had good success. The site provides important shorebird roosts during fall migration. It is an important staging area for Roseate and Common Terns, and provides an alternate roost site for Roseate Terns when they fail on their breeding grounds.

Conservation Issues

Avian and mammalian predation, as well as human disturbance, are the key threats. However, upstream land uses and additional development adjacent to this site also are believed to be important. The location of the Least Tern nesting colony is under conservation easement.


Ownership at this site is a mix of private and federal (Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge) holdings. There is no public access to this site. Interested parties could launch a boat at Wells Harbor or in the Mousam River in Kennebunk and view this site from the water without trespassing on private property.

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