Birding Newfoundland

​Cape St. Mary's Sea Bird Ecological Reserve

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Bird Island Resort - Cape St. Mary's, St. Bride's, Newfoundland

​​​​​​​Superb landscapes, towering cliffs, and charming villages are what make the Cape Shore area of the Avalon Peninsula Region on the Island of Newfoundland a popular destination for Newfoundland tourism.

The grassy cliffs of Cape St. Mary’s, along the south western tip of the Island of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, support impressive populations of birds, such as Murres, Kittiwakes, Gannets and other sea birds. The Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve is a very popular Newfoundland tourism destination and a popular adventure tourism travel attraction, which draws scientists, bird watchers, hikers and other visitors.  An easy walk gives visitors a view of Bird Rock and thousands of birds.

Bird Rock is a sea stack standing just a few feet from the main body of the Cape St. Mary’s headland. The sea stack rises 100 metres from the sea. Millions of years of erosion have worn away the softer limestone that once connected the rock pinnacle to the cliff, thus creating a natural refuge from the land-based predators of birds eggs and chicks. Bird Rock is the second largest gannet rookery in North America.

Ringed by coves and harbours, Placentia Bay runs from Cape St. Mary’s at its entrance, 125 kilometres northward to its head at the Isthmus of Avalon. The rugged terrain and often lively sea meet where huge breaking waves crash against stark stone cliffs and against the pebbled beaches. The eroded remains of the Appalachian Mountains created the sea cliffs and deep ravines while ancient glaciers scraped smooth the bedrock of the high barren plateaus.