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Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada

Islands and Coves


Cormorants perched on boulders Cormorants perched on boulders
© Parks Canada

Large boulders can be seen farther out in the water forming handy and secure nesting and roosting sites for birds like gulls, Black guillemots, Petrels, Terns, and Gannets. Look for Cormorants drying out their outstretched wings between dives. Eiders also roost on these islets throughout the year. Bird rocks are typically painted white with excrement, marking that spot as a favourite place.

Harbour seals, and the larger Grey seals, tend to prefer those rocks that have easily accessible shelves where they can pull themselves out of the water. The seals spend the entire year in and around these rocks. Even in winter, they will sun themselves but tend to prefer the warmer water. During the spring, females will give birth to their pups in the relative safety of these small islands. During the summer, they divide their time between resting and playing on the rocks and fishing. Whales are seldom seen at Kejimkujik’s Seaside.


Calm seaside cove Calm seaside cove
© Parks Canada

The open North Atlantic Ocean is sometimes too exposed for many species of wildlife. Boyds Cove, Port Joli, MacLeods Cove, Harbour Rocks, and Port Mouton offer an easier option. Warmer, calmer waters of coves attract fish and shelter more marine plants. Hundreds of seabirds can often be found in large rafts, bobbing up and down in the waves, including Common eiders, Surf scoters, Cormorants, Black ducks, wintering Canada geese, and Green-winged teal. The more protected waters favour the growth of marine plants, particularly kelp. Kelp shelters schools of young fish, provides food for grazers like periwinkles, and make a more hospitable environment for many creatures.

Knotwrack Knotwrack
© Parks Canada/P. Lalonde
The cold North Atlantic waters are abundant with life. The intertidal zone is an important habitat for many species and an important region where nutrients are exchanged between the land and the sea. At the top of this zone, you may find impressive algal piles up to one metre thick. Scavenging gulls, crows and bears root through the algae for the grubs. When the rising tides submerge the decaying plants, a water-soluble nutrient is released which fertilizes the near-shore waters.

Below the high tide line, where the rocks are often submerged by the sea, Knotwrack, Bladderwrack and kelp grow. Seaweeds provide shelter for barnacles, periwinkles, Sea urchins, Dog whelks, and Green crabs. The twice-daily tidal fluctuations of cool, clear, and nutrient-rich water dictate life here.

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