159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, New York 14850
The following information is provided
to help you decide whether or not a volunteer opportunity or a job
opportunity with National Audubon Society's Maine Coast Sanctuaries
might be right for you. The items below pertain to all islands and
small group operates at rustic or primitive
camps at each field station. With few exceptions, getting
away from others is restricted to the 3-hour observation periods
in the blinds. You must be able to coexist with different personalities
- Allergies to
ragweed or other grass species can be debilitating. Exotic grasses
cover a large portion of the islands and all the camps are set up
in these areas. If you have allergies be sure to bring enough medication
to last for your scheduled time. Sample any new medication to determine
adverse reactions before you go out to the islands.
- Exercise area
is limited. There is virtually no place to run or jog that is safe
for you or the nesting birds. The islands are nesting habitat first
and foremost—not summer camps! Three-hour-long observation
stints require sitting in a 3'x3' burlap-covered blind on a rough
- Be prepared to practice your water
conservation skills. All potable water must be carried onto
the islands. Rainwater (when available) can be used for bathing.
Laundry can be washed at the base camp after your stint, or on
the island if rainwater supplies permit.
- Terrain is
very rugged on Eastern Egg Rock, Matinicus Rock and Seal Island.
Persons with weak knees or ankles may not be able to manage hiking
over the large granite boulders to get to an observation blind. Boat
landings at all sites require stepping onto slippery rocks, seaweed
or in the water.
- Communication with the mainland is limited. Contact between the islands and the Audubon base camp is made at least once a day via cell phone. Mail will be delivered to the islands during weekly or biweekly staff changes or supply drops.
- Gull control is
a necessary part of the restoration of Maine's seabird colonies.
In managed areas, Herring (HEGU) and Great Black-backed Gull (GBBG)
nests or eggs are destroyed. Individual HEGUs or GBBGs determined
to be problem predators may be shot (as deemed necessary by the Island
Supervisor.) Predator control is done under permit from state and
federal agencies. You will not be asked to participate in gull control
if you find it unsettling; however, it is important not interfere
with the process.
- You must provide: Binoculars,
sleeping bag, ground pad and tent. Note: A suitable tent is one that
is waterproof and designed to resist damage from high winds. Low-end
model tents are constructed from hard plastics or vinyl that "crackle"
in high winds making it difficult to sleep inside. A rain fly is a
must. Strong UV rays will cause some deterioration of the fly fabric,
especially if you stay longer than two or three weeks. We recommend
a tarp sized to fit over your tent fly to protect it from UV and the
uric acid in bird droppings. A two-person tent provides ample room
for sleeping and storage of your clothes and some gear. A larger size
is not recommended since it may be difficult to find a level spot to
site it and it weighs more.