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Project Puffin Visitor Center

Visit us in downtown Rockland, Maine!

The Project Puffin Visitor Center opened its doors July 1, 2006 with the support from Audubon, local businesses, and private donors and has become a destination point for out of town visitors and residents.  The Center celebrates the success of Project Puffin in bringing puffins and other rare Maine seabirds back to historic nesting islands. Here the public can view puffins and other seabirds in real time through a remarkable video system that delivers live video to the Center. Visitors can also learn about the success and challenges faced by Audubon and its conservation partners to restore and protect the seabirds on Maine islands and beaches.

"Seabirds are ideal symbols for ocean conservation," said Dr. Stephen Kress, who initiated Audubon's Project Puffin in 1973 and remains its director. "Because they live in a variety of habitats—including oceans, islands, estuaries and beaches—they demonstrate how all coastal life is connected. Long-term conservation success hinges on public understanding and community support."

Visitors will find many fun, educational, and interactive exhibits for people of all ages. These include:

  • Wednesday Night Lectures in July and August - featuring many entertaining guest speakers, giving lectures on a variety of topics; 
  • Thursday Seaside Science Programs for Children in July and August - featuring many entertaining activities and projects, while teaching kids about conservation; 
  • Real-time video images and sounds of puffins and other seabirds from remote Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge, 20 miles south of Rockland, thanks to robotic cameras funded by grants from The Annenberg Foundation; 
  • A theater featuring the 20-minute film "Project Puffin"- about exceptional people taking innovative action to bring puffins and other seabirds back to the Maine coast;
  • Maps showing protected seabird islands;
  • Exhibits, including a puffin burrow and an actual-size observation blind for children. The exhibits highlight Audubon's conservation work on Maine seabird islands, and facts about wildlife conservation, seabird adaptations, and life histories;
  • A gallery exhibiting seabird art and photography and a gift shop featuring nature-related books, videos, and clothing, as well as educational material and information about joining and supporting Audubon's work in Maine;
  • Schedules and other information about seabird-watching boat tours to Maine islands;
  • Descriptions of residential programs for youth and adults at historic Hog Island Audubon Camp in mid-coast Maine; and
  • Additional information about Audubon's work for wildlife conservation in Maine.

For Educators:

The Project Puffin Visitor Center offers a variety of one-hour programs for school groups. Here is our selection:

  • Seabird Restoration History: The groundbreaking work of restoring a seabird colony began in 1973 on Eastern Egg Rock, a tiny island in Muscongus Bay. Today the restoration techniques are used around the world for many seabird species. A 20-minute documentary tells this inspiring story, followed by a scavenger hunt.
  • Seabird Adaptations: How can those little puffins, smaller than a lobster buoy, spend years out on the open ocean? Seabirds are spectacularly adapted to life at sea! Get your camera ready as we dress up a student to be as well suited to life at sea as a puffin. We will also investigate through experimentation how fat keeps a bird warm, and how different types of beaks excel at catching different types of food.
  • Marine Ecosystem: Puffins are just one part of the larger ocean community. We will create a complex food web in which students play the parts of marine plants and animals and see the inter-connectedness. Each student will also create a food chain mobile.

Pricing for Programs:

Groups of 1-14: $35
Groups of 15-30: $70

For more information, please contact Susie Meadows at 207-596-5566, or at smeadows@audubon.org

Project Puffin Visitor Center Address:

311 Main Street
Rockland, ME 04841
Phone: 207-596-5566
OR (toll-free within the USA): 877-4-PUFFIN (877-478-3346)

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HOURS:

May 1 to May 31:
Wednesdays through Sundays (only): 10:00am to 5:00pm

*June 1 through October 31:
Daily: 10:00am to 5:00pm, and until 7:00pm on Wednesdays (seasonally)
*The center is closed every year on the July 4th Holiday and on the Labor Day Holiday (Sept. 3, 2018).

*November 3 through December 21 (Winter Hours):
Thursdays and Fridays: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00am to 4:00pm
*The center will be closed on November 22nd and on November 25th for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

December 23 to May 1:
Center will be closed

ADDITIONAL NOTE: When the center is closed for the season, the online store will remain open. 

Online Store Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Do you ship outside of the US? No, sorry, we do not ship outside the US at this time.

2. Do you need a PayPal account to purchase items through the on-line store? No, but since we process payments through our PayPal account, you will see a charge on your credit card statement from PayPal.

3. What is your return policy? If we ship the wrong size or item or an item is damaged, we will replace the item and will ship replacement at no additional charge. However, to exchange for a different size, we are not responsible for paying any additional shipping fees.

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