Jump to content

Trip to Crow Island


Recommended Posts

We arrived at Cousins Island Beach Parking lot around 7:20. BIB at around 8:30. The day was cloudy but nice. We caught some following seas from the winds that blew from the NorthWest. Once we reached the tip of Chebeague Island we were making slower progress, I think partly we caught a little bit of current on the incoming tide. Bangs island on the left provided nice views. Bangs island is closed until about mid June. Apparently they are trying to protect nesting ducks.

We arrived at Crow island in about 90 minutes. Crow Island has a cabin for overnight visits. It has 3 mini rooms with wooden floors and nothing else. Not bad but we opted for a great camping spot under the oaks right next to the beach.


The day was spent prospecting the island. Lots of raspberry bushes. Might be a nice visit mid summer. Otherwise overgrown and we resorted to shore access. Found a couple nests by accident. The eggs are beautiful to look at.


Otherwise we left the nests alone and tried not to get in the way.

I couldn't resist and made a quick dip in the ocean. Cold but refreshing for a few seconds at a time.


Later in the day we hopped back in the kayak and made a pleasant circumnavigation of Bangs Island. The eastern side provided nice respite from the wind. In the distance Eagle Island ... looked soo reachable and Cliff Island was right there. Next weekend NSPN trip will go beyond Cliff Island to visit Jewell Island.

Along the way we saw a few seals and a racoon on the shores of Bangs Island.


Later after sunset we made dinner, sat and watched the horizon when we noticed something that looked like a seal. To our surprise if was a couple of porpoises. We watched them for about 30 minutes resurfacing and listened to them when they came up for air.

The night was pleasant in our winter sleeping bags.

Next day the forecast called for small craft advisory due to strong North West winds. We left the island around 8:30AM. Paddling was nice in the lee of the Chebeaugue Island. We saw a fox on the shores of Chebeague Island.

Channel 16 Coast Guard alerted all the ships in the area of Sheepscott river about a kayaker adrift. I wonder with it was about. If it was a sea kayaker or someone in a fishing kayak.

Once we left Chebeague Island on the way to Cousins Island we hit very strong winds. It was very slow going but we eventually made it to our parking lot. Besides the struggle against the wind we had a great weekend.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bangs island is closed until about mid June. Apparently they are trying to protect nesting ducks. .......a racoon on the shores of Bangs Island.

Kinda says it all. Previous conversations with MITA folks suggest that the warning "..until June 15" may be outdated, but keep away if there seems to be an eider community attempting to settle. We'll try to land next weekend for a little clean-up .

Sounds like you had a great trip Rene, and what a memorable time for your son, for sure.

Hope you can make the Jewell trip.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice write up and pics.

A little history: Bangs Island is a Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) property. The island was originally bought by the state in the 1970s to protect a colony of nesting eider ducks. Raccoons preying on the nests eventually wiped out the population, but the management plan still keeps an April 1 to June 15 closure to protect any new nests that may be established. The fact that you saw a raccoon on Bangs indicates it will be a big challenge for eiders to re-establish nests there.

The nest and eggs you found on Crow Island are news to the MITA staff: last year they saw numerous eiders in the vicinity, but no nests. The eggs in the pic appear to be eider eggs--which is great news for the eiders as they have a tough time finding places to nest in Casco Bay. It does mean that we need to be extra careful, however. Any disturbance, including approaching the nest, causes the adults to abandon it. Even a short time away from protecting the nests leave the eggs open to predation from raccoons and sea gulls.

MITA's Program Director Brian Marcaurelle therefore suggests we avoid Crow Island until June 15. He'd also appreciate any information on the number and location of the nests.

This kind of sharp observation of what is happening on MITA islands is exactly the kind of member stewardship MITA is based on: the users who enjoy the islands are the ones best able to care for the islands and the wildlife we share them with. While we're all familiar with MITA's clean ups, an equally important role is for us to pay attention and relay what we find back to the MITA staff. Member reports are vital data that MITA uses to develop management plans.

When NSPN agreed to a partnership with MITA last year, Brian asked us to become Island Adoptors for Crow and Bangs. So we have a special interest in these two islands. Trips by NSPN members to check up on them is a great service. For now, though, the best help we can offer is to stay away from Crow and Bangs until June 15 to give the eiders a chance to get their chicks on the water.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Here is a map of where we found the nests.


The 5 egg nest is kind of hard to miss. It is right next to the beach on the rock outcropping. It is exposed.

The 1 egg nest was discovered by me while walking the perimeter around the island, seeing a duck fly out of the bushes and looking in the direction it came from. I left the nest undisturbed by basically moving on.

My guess is that there are more nests on this island.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...