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Monarch butterfly on Deer Island


Watch Wildlife

How many mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, bugs, or marine animals you can find in one day?

Search for crabs, clams, mussels, and barnacles along the shore using the Tide Pool Hunt sheet.

Creatures of the Microwilderness is your guide to common bugs and other spineless creatures, including butterflies, beetles, dragonflies, crickets, snails, and spiders.

Be on the lookout for deer, fox, coyote, rabbits, raccoons, muskrat, squirrels, voles, harbor seals, or other mammals that call the islands home. Help us track mammals by returning a completed Mammal Sighting Form. Send a picture of what you see! Remember, watching is fine but please DO NOT attract, feed, or disturb any species of wildlife.

Are you a birder? Check out the birds nesting on, or passing through, the islands. Record your own sightings on the eBird Checklist and enter what you see at eBird.org—one of the largest biodiversity data resources in existence.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of fish could I catch at the Boston Harbor Islands?

Striped bass, bluefish, flounder, skate, haddock, and cod are among the many varieties of fish you may catch at the Boston Harbor Islands. 

How is the water quality?

The Boston Harbor cleanup and creation of the Deer Island Sewage Treatmeny Plant have resulted in Boston Harbor going from one of the dirtiest urban harbors in the country to one of the cleanest.  There is still the occasional summer day when the bacteria count may be too high.  This is usually due to excessive rainfall, and the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation will close harbor beaches, including Spectacle Island.  Water temperaure in mid summer is in the high 60s, a little warmer than Nantasket Beach and equal to or slightly warmer than other ocean beaches of New England.      

Park Map

Boston Harbor Island Map