Birds and mammals

Seal RI Beach

Marine mammals and many species of migratory birds may be spotted in Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. In the Bay, seasonal visitors include gray seals, harp seals and harbor seals. A variety of dolphins and harbor porpoises may also be spotted. Off the coast, the North Atlantic right whale, humpback, fin, minke and sperm whales are commonly spotted - depending on currents, water temperature and other factors. 

Click here to learn about seals and how to view them safely 

hawk wildlife RI Save The Bay
JuvEnile red-tailed hawk

From November through April, Save The Bay offers seal watching tours aboard the education vessels M/V Alletta Morris and M/V Elizabeth Morris. We provide expert guides and binoculars for an educational view of these seasonal marine visitors.

Migratory birds also spend time in Narragansett Bay during their migration in the spring and fall, and many shorebirds come here to nest. These shorebirds include the endangered piping plover and the least tern. Raptors have made a comeback in the Bay watershed, and birds such as osprey and bald eagle can be readily seen during nesting season.

save the bay harlequin duck
HARLEQUIN DUCK

Rhode Island is also home to the endangered salt marsh sparrow, which is quickly losing its habitat due to salt marsh loss. This bird nests directly on the salt marsh, and its nests are vulnerable to flooding during high tide.