Plum Island Turnpike bridge

Plum Island Turnpike bridge

Newbury, Massachusetts 01951

Plum Island Official Website

About Plum Island

See all hotspots at Plum Island

Plum Island is an 11-mile-long barrier island off the shore of Newburyport and Newbury. Once largely a summer getaway, Plum Island is increasingly a year-round community. The island has many residences, a national wildlife refuge, restaurants, an inn on the beach, and of course miles of beautiful sandy beaches.

Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Joppa Flats Education Center, an environmental conservation and educational organization, is conveniently located on Plum Island Turnpike on your way to the island. They offer organized bird watching tours and other educational programs for adults or the whole family.

The focal point for many birding trips is the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, a 4,662-acre sanctuary located on Plum Island. The entrance to the refuge is situated less than four miles from Market Square Newburyport. The refuge contains a wide variety of habitats including beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes, salt pannes, freshwater impoundments, and maritime forests. The large salt pannes located on the west side of the refuge road are excellent places to see a large variety of shorebirds during fall migration (July through September) and egrets and herons from mid-April through October. The Hellcat Wildlife Observation Area has large freshwater impoundments, an extensive swamp, and a deciduous forest. The impoundments and swamps usually support large numbers of waterfowl, herons, and shorebirds. The woodlands are excellent places during the spring and fall to observe large numbers of migrating songbirds, including the magnificent wood-warblers. Near the southern end of the island, Stage Island Pool is also excellent for waterfowl and waders. Sandy Point State Reservation at the sound end of Plum Island is a breeding area for the endangered Piping Plover during the summer and a very productive site in fall for shorebirds. During the winter, the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to see waterfowl plus many northern species that winter in our area. Highlight species include the Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Shrike, and Snowy Owl.

Content from Plum Island Official Website