Situated at the eastern edge of North America and the western edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Nantucket Island is often the last land many stray birds from the west encounter, or the first ray of hope for others straying from Europe. Over 300 different species have been recorded here, and --in any given year--you can easily spot 200. Many of these birds are not readily found elsewhere in the US, and some specialties attract birders to our shores throughout the year. Nearly half the island is preserved and free from development. Thus, it's easy to meander down to the shoreline to view shorebirds, gulls, terns, sandpipers and many other species in the warmer months. In the off season, Nantucket often presents a 'gull show' featuring thousands of Bonaparte's Gulls, along with rare 'white-winged' gulls from the north. Several species of gulls also cross from Europe. In some years, incredible flights of Long-tailed Ducks cross the island daily to feed out in the Atlantic. These may number in the hundreds of thousands and provide an awesome spectacle! The island's annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count draws birders from all over the northeast , and Nantucket often leads the New England area with the highest species total. Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) and the Linda Loring Nature Foundation (LLNF) are local organizations providing most of the birding opportunities for visitors. MMA leads birdwalks from their Vestal Street location on Tuesday and Friday mornings in July and August. Every Wednesday throughout the year, the LLNF offers birdwalks starting at 110 Eel Point Road. In addition, the informal--and very popular--Nantucket Bird Club meets at 8AM every Sunday morning in front of the High School for several hours of birding fun. Ginger Andrews writes a weekly column in the Inquirer & Mirror newspaper featuring the latest bird news and up-to-date information on local birding opportunities. Mitchell's Book Corner and Nantucket Bookworks both carry copies of 'Birding Nantucket,' and many other great books detailing Nantucket's birds at every season. You are never far from a bird on Nantucket, and they can adda wonderful dimension to any island visit. As eminent island birder Vern Laux was known to say: "While out in the field--keep your eyes to the sky!"