Monomoy NWR

Tips for Birding

When submitting eBird observations at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, it is most helpful to start a new checklist for each hotspot in the refuge. Use the general hotspot when you have a checklist that includes multiple locations or if no other hotspot or personal location is appropriate for your sightings.

About Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

See all hotspots at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in 1944 to provide habitats for migratory birds. The sand stretches for eight miles off the elbow of Cape Cod, forming the barrier islands of North and South Monomoy. In addition to the two islands, a 40-acre unit on Morris Island is also part of the refuge. This is where the headquarters and visitor center are located. The total size of the refuge is 7,604 acres with varied habitats of oceans, salt, and freshwater marshes, dunes, and freshwater ponds of which 3,244 acres are designated Wilderness. The refuge provides important resting, nesting, and feeding habitat for migratory birds, including the Federally protected piping plover and roseate tern. More than ten species of seabirds, shorebirds, and waterbirds nest on the islands. The refuge also supports the second-largest nesting colony of common terns on the Atlantic seaboard with over 8,000 nesting pairs.

One of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge’s missions is to protect habitats critical to migratory shorebirds, spawning horseshoe crabs, and any other life that may reside on the refuge.

Monomoy is designated as an Important Bird Area and a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Regional site due to its importance for migratory birds.

Approximately 94% of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is designated as a Wilderness Area.

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has descriptions and maps of hikes at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge.


  • Roadside viewing

  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge Official Website

Last updated March 13, 2024