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Parker River National Wildlife Refuge - BirdForum Opus

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Plum Island.


An 8 mile barrier island located in Newburyport, Massachusetts, itself a heavily birded location. Driving the length, you see marshes on one side while the other side has dunes and ocean accessible from boardwalks.


Notable Species

Parker River Wildlife Refuge has 4662 acres of diverse wetlands which are habitat to more than 300 species of migrating birds. Parts of the refuge are closed due to winter conditions or the summer breeding of Piping Plovers. The 6.3 miles of refuge beach is closed for the Piping Plovers starting April 1. The beach reopens in mid/late August, but parts not being used by the birds may be opened starting July 1. Winter visitors include Snowy Owl and Northern Gannet.


Birds you can see here include:

Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Mallard, Common Eider, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, American Woodcock, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Mourning Dove, Snowy Owl, Eastern Kingbird, Northern Shrike, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Black-throated Green Warbler, American Redstart, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird

Other Wildlife

Site Information

History and Use

Established in 1942 mainly as a habitat for migratory birds. Consists of 4,662 acres.

Areas of Interest

To do

Access and Facilities

The refuge is a place to bird year round. There is an entrance fee. Follow Water Street to Plum Island over the bridge and turn right.

Contact Details

  • Information/Refuge Headquarters: (978) 465-5753
    • Fax: (978) 465-2807
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Federal Relay Service for the deaf and hard-of-hearing: 1-800-877-8339
  • Information on the area in general can be found by contacting the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry at (978) 462-4481.

External Links

Content and images originally posted by Digital Rebel