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Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

The Witless Bay Ecological Reserve is located roughly 40 km south of St. John’s Newfoundland and just a few kilometers off the east coast between the communities of Bay Bulls and Bauline East. The Reserve takes in 31 square km of which 29 square km is a marine area around four islands; Gull Island, Green Island, Great Island, and Pee Pee Island. During nesting season these islands teem with seabirds.

Seabirds generally spend most of the year at sea and only return to land from May to August to breed and raise their young. For the most part, public observation of their activities in the Reserve must be done from boats. Landing on the islands themselves requires a scientific research or a special access permit. The Canadian Wildlife Service and Memorial University of Newfoundland carry out extensive research programs in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve.

In addition to North America's largest Atlantic puffin colony - more than 260,000 pairs of the province's official bird nest here during the late spring and summer, the Reserve also hosts the second-largest Leach's Storm-Petrel colony in the world. More than 620,000 pairs come here to nest. Black-legged Kittiwakes and Common Murres also appear in the thousands.

VG Photography Tours has chartered the Molly Bawn ( out of Mobile for a 1 ½ hour tour through the Reserve area. In addition to Puffins and other seabirds, we hope to find whales, dolphins and other Atlantic Ocean wildlife. Bring your long lens!

This ‘on the water’ tour is the first of three we have planned during our two week Newfoundland Experience tour of the Avalon and Bonavista Peninsulas’ and Terra Nova National Park. Please join us, June 15 – 30, 2019.

Please request your copy of the detailed itinerary for this tour via the Contact Us page.

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