Natural History Center the natural history center
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Winter 2018-2019...

Here at The Natural History Center, we are always excited to share our passion for the natural world!


This winter is shaping up to be quite spectacular! Our first snow came in November and winter finches are making themselves known. Evening Grosbeaks, virtually absent for decades, have invaded Maine. Pine Grosbeaks are appearing in larger numbers than we can recall. And most excitingly, a Great Black Hawk, a South American raptor, has been seen by dozens, if not hundreds, in Portland.


In addition to our usual private guding, we also offer Weekly Birding Tours on most Wednesdays and the occasional Saturday (click the 'calendar' link above to see our schedule). Come back here regularly, or check in with our Facebook page, to see our ever-evolving offerings. Below is a sample of local natural history opportunities and programs:



1-Day Great Black Hawk Birding Tour

If y ou wanted to see a Great Black Hawk, chances are you would plan a trip to South America. But who would have thought Portland, Maine?!?! Well, a juvenile Great Black Hawk has been hanging out in Portland since the end of November. This coming Saturday, 08 December, we are organizing a one-day birding tour to look for this mega-rarity! We will depart Bar Harbor 7:00 a.m. and make a day of it, looking for the Great Black Hawk, and then birding the area in general. Cost: $55 per person (limited to seven people). For more information on our private-guided tours or vacation planning, call 207/266-9461 or email



Private-guided Tours

If you are looking to truly experience Acadia National Park, Downeast Maine, or beyond, consider a private-guided tour. We work with you to develop a tour tailored to your interests. Being a private tour, we are are on your schedule, going at your pace, with seemingly infinite latitude to modify our itinerary on a whim.


We offer private-guided tours for most any activity, be it birding, field ecology, tide-pooling, sea kayaking, hiking, bicycling the Carriage Roads of Acadia National Park, cross-country skiing, or snow-shoeing. All our tours blend a narrative of natural history set in the context of our human environment.


And for those looking for guidance, we can even help you plan your vacation to Downeast Maine and Acadia National Park. For instance, consider blending a day that includes a ferry ride, bicycling, and hiking.


For more information on our private-guided tours or vacation planning, call 207/266-9461 or email



Weekly Birding Tours

Our Weekly Birding Tours have proven a big success, a fun learning activity to one and all, are offered year-round (when we are not leading tours away, that is). May through October, we try to offer tours both Wednesday and Saturday mornings. We look for local birds, maybe a rarity or two, learn some identification tips, enjoy good camaraderie, and work toward earning our MDI Bird Club "100" patch (identify 100 species on our tours and receive a 2" embroidered patch like the one to the right; browse for details).


RSVP by calling (207/266-9461), emailing (, or messaging ( us to sign up. $40 per person. Groups capped at eight people.



...And more to come!

Since 2010, The Natural History Center has been sharing our passion for the natural world. As a family-run business based out of Bar Harbor, Maine, we strive to make the natural world accessible and enjoyable by offering experiential opportunities in the field, providing the quality tools and resources you need in the field.


Join us as we search for birds both common and elusive. Take a walk in the park with our professional naturalists. Explore the mysteries of Maine’s tidepools. Learn about the natural and cultural heritage of Acadia National Park on a sightseeing tour following the historic Park Loop Road.


For the more adventurous, search for Peregrine Falcons or Snowy Owls as you hike or snowshoe along the summit trails of Acadia’s mountains, look for Spruce Grouse while bicycling the Carriage Trails, or find Harbor Seals from the cockpit of a sea kayak.


We will work with you to create a personalized nature experience or you can join a regularly scheduled tour. We cater our tours to your needs and interests, regardless of age or physical ability. All tours are personal and interactive with a maximum of 6 participants (of course, we are happy to accommodate larger groups, and bus tours, too).


We hope you will find our passion for the natural world is contagious and see that we enjoy both sharing our local knowledge and learning from you.


And remember, every day is Bird Day!

photo gallery

Was that a Snowy Owl on Sargent Mountain? Did anyone else see the Moose? Check our nature log to see what’s been seen, and add your own sightings to our message board. what did you see today?

Our educational tours give you hands-on fun, a view of the Maine coast most visitors don’t see, and a sense of accomplishment.current offerings

Follow lifelong birder, naturalist, and field biologist Rich MacDonald as he shares sightings and perspectives in his weekly column, The Nature of Things.recent rambles
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