Parker River NWR--Lot 3

Tips for Birding

The scrubby habitat on the east may hold a variety of passerines and the marshes on the west may hold waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, or others. Be prepared to pull over (advice that can be taken at any point along the refuge road) if something interesting comes up. 

There is a boardwalk at Lot 3 that passes a kettle hole just to its north and then crosses rolling dunes to the beach. The beach provides another excellent vantage point to scan for seabirds.
From A Birders Guide to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

About this Location

Lot 3 is one of the six parking lots that provide access to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. 

About Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

See all hotspots at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Located along the northeast coast of Massachusetts, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 to provide a feeding, resting, and nesting habitat for migratory birds. Most commonly associated with Plum Island, a barrier beach island, the refuge is comprised of more than 4700 acres of diverse habitats including sandy beach and dune, cranberry bog, maritime forest and shrubland, and freshwater marsh. The most abundant habitat on the refuge is its 3,000+ acres of salt marsh, one of the most productive ecosystems in nature. Parker River provides a pristine coastal habitat for over 300 species of resident and migratory birds, as well as a large variety of mammals, insects, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. The refuge also provides critical habitat for the federally threatened piping plover.

In addition to its mission of wildlife conservation, the refuge provides a variety of excellent wildlife-dependent recreational activities, including surf fishing, wildlife observation and photography, a variety of interpretive programs, and seasonal waterfowl and deer hunting opportunities. A large visitor center, complete with a classroom and auditorium, msupports many of these public uses.

Parker River has achieved the following special designations: Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN), Important Bird Area (IBA), and Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).


  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

  • Restrooms on site

Content from Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Official Website

Last updated January 27, 2024