The Science of Seabirds
The Science of Seabirds, developed in partnership with Shoals Marine Laboratory and University of New Hampshire, highlights seabird ecology research taking place on the Isles of Shoals—specifically, research on the diets of common terns that inhabit White and Seavey Islands.
The Gulf of Maine is one of the fastest-warming regions on the planet, with 2022 data showing that it is warming faster than 97% of the world’s ocean.* As ocean temperatures rise, it can impact marine ecosystems and the distribution of species. By observing common terns, and identifying the types of fish they are consuming and where they are catching them, researchers are learning about the health of, and changes in, our fish stocks and local coastal ecosystem.
The Science of Seabirds provides an opportunity for visitors to see what it is like to be a research scientist working in the field first-hand, through interactive learning stations and bird watching in nature.
What can seabirds teach us about the Gulf of Maine?
Discover what research scientists are learning about our rapidly changing marine ecosystem by observing common terns.
What's the Catch?
Step into the role of a tern parent who has just returned from foraging — it is now time to feed your hungry chicks. Did you bring back the right-sized fish for your babies, or are they too big to swallow? How big, or what species, is too big?
Bird Watching along the shore.
Learn about the most common seabirds spotted along our coast and grab a pair of binoculars to birdwatch in nature.
Bird Observation Blind
Experience the sights and sounds, as you get a sneak peek into what it is like to be a research scientist in the field, viewing the nesting grounds on the “shoals” and observing tern behavior in a diorama.
Bird Observation Blind
Enjoy the vista from the Shoals and "observe" a tern parent flying above and another feeding its chicks in the beautifully crafted diorama.
The Science of Seabirds was generously sponsored by New Hampshire Sea Grant with contributions and support from the following partners and donors:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; New Hampshire Audubon; New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program; School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire; Shoals Marine Laboratory, University of New Hampshire and Cornell University; United States Fish and Wildlife Service; New Hampshire State Wildlife Grants; University of New Hampshire Department of Biological Sciences; Berwick Academy Students; Tim Briggs, Photography and Videography, New Hampshire Sea Grant; Shawn Loughlin, Artist; Ron Watson Photography; Kristen Weyrick-Scott, Felt Pals