The Binocular Site

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, MassachusettsParker River National Wildlife Refuge occupies approximately three quarters of Plum Island, a barrier island off the coast of Massachusetts. The refuge is comprised of 4,662 acres, covering sandy beaches and dunes, wetlands, thickets, swampland, bogs, salt marsh, freshwater marsh, mud flats, and creeks. The diverse land provides habitats for numerous species of wildlife, including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, insects, plants, and over 300 species of birds.

Parker River Refuge offers several wildlife-oriented educational and recreational programs and activities through their visitor facilities. Visitors can participate in kayaking or canoeing, fishing and shellfishing, waterfowl hunting, and wildlife observation and photography. To accommodate observers and photographers, the refuge has several pull-offs along the road, as well as observation towers and platforms, many of which are handicap accessible. There are also several miles of self-guided foot trails.

Nesting boxes are kept for the purple martin and other cavity-nesting birds. Several elevated nesting platforms can be found near bodies of water throughout the park to attract osprey. The refuge is also a resting habitat for migratory birds as it is located along the Atlantic Flyway. Many shorebirds, waterfowl, and songbirds stop here during periods of migration, including the black-throated green warbler, greater yellowlegs, American kestrels, and peregrine falcons, among many others.

The state bird of Massachusetts is the Black-Capped Chickadee and you can find a checklist for birding activities in Massachusetts here.

Photo credit to gailf548, used with permission under the creative commons license. You can learn more about Parker River National Wildlife Refuge here.

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