Joys of a Spring Evening
Saturday, April 15, 7:00 PM
Meet at Blue Hill Post Office
Leader: Lynn Havsall
This field trip will be filled with all sorts of crazy creatures…from pollywogs and salamanders to Water Scorpions and dragonfly nymphs. We’ll explore the edges of a woodland pond and use dip nets to see what we can pull up from the depths below! Lynn will explain the life history of these weird and wonderful animals and we’ll take a close-up look at them using our 2-way viewers. Wear boots!
Earth Day Cleanup at Birdsacre
Saturday, April 22
9:00 AM - Noon
Join us for the 13th annual spring cleanup at Birdsacre in Ellsworth. PLEASE donate some of your time to help keep the grounds of this important urban sanctuary in good shape. Bring a rake and gloves and we’ll provide the rest, including warm drinks and Dunkin’ Munchkins for coffee break. Tasks range from raking and cutting back perennials to hauling leaves and picking up sticks... “Many hands make light work!”
Seal Populations on Maine’s Coast – then and now
Thursday, April 27, 7:00 PM
Ellsworth Unitarian Universalist Church
Speaker: Kristina Cammen
Seals are a common sighting from Maine’s coasts today, increasingly so in some areas as local populations of Gray and Harbor Seals have grown over the past several decades. Yet, this has not always been the case. As recently as the 1990s, Gray Seals in particular were hard to find in New England, though archaeological remains suggest their historical presence. Gray and Harbor Seal populations in New England share histories of depletion due to human exploitation and subsequent recovery following federal protections from hunting and harassment. Within the context of this local history, Kristina, who is a new Assistant Professor of Marine Mammal Science at UMO, will share information on the biology, ecology and health of our resident seal populations today.
Friday, May 5, 7:00 PM
Blue Hill Library and Blue Hill Mountain
Speaker: Lynn Havsall
Learn about the wonders of the American Woodcock in this 30-minute presentation revealing secrets of our weirdest shorebird. Then carpool up to the fields of Blue Hill Mountain to experience one of the best of spring's delights— the dazzling displays of courting woodcocks! Hear the “peents” and twittering of the wings while watching the amazing spiral sky dance.
“Flying Gems”- Delightful Spring Migrants
Friday, May 12, 7:00 PM
Blue Hill Library
Speaker: Doug Hitchcox
As we dive into spring, millions of songbirds are traveling from their winter grounds in the West Indies, and Central and South America to return to areas around Maine for the breeding season. There are dozens of new species arriving daily. From warblers to tanagers, vireos to orioles— it can be a lot to take in! Join Maine Audubon's Staff Naturalist, Doug Hitchcox, for an evening slideshow to refresh yourself on how to identify these colorful flying gems that will fill our forests this summer.
Plants and Birds of Corea Heath
Saturday, June 17 8:30 AM
Leader: Jill Weber
Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of “The Plants of Acadia National Park,” in the Corea Heath division of the Maine Coastal Islands NWR and learn about the ecology of this special place. The Corea Heath Trail is a short 0.2 mile wheelchair accessible trail surrounded by stunted trees and shrubs which leads to an observation platform with a 270 degree view of the heath. The trail offers excellent wildlife viewing and a rare opportunity to experience a coastal plateau bog with its unique plants which include carnivorous plants and orchids. In Prospect Harbor turn right onto 195 (Corea Rd) and proceed for 2.6 miles.
Co-evolution: Nature's Model for Sustainability
Wednesday, June 21, 7:00 PM
The Bay School, Blue Hill
Speaker: Tom Wessels
Life has existed on this planet for 3.8 billion years. During that time it has not only sustained itself, it has thrived. At its core, the organizing principle that has allowed this to happen is co-evolution—a process that creates an incredibly complex web of mutually beneficial relationships. This talk will explore how co-evolution works, using lots of examples that occur in nature, as a model for creating human systems that not only sustain themselves, but thrive as well. Tom Wessels is a terrestrial ecologist and professor at Antioch University New England in the Department of Environmental Studies, where he founded a master's program in conservation biology. He is the author of five books including Forest Forensics: A Field Guide to Reading the Forested Landscape. This special event is co-sponsored by DEA and six other local organizations.
Monitoring Maine’s Great Blue Herons
Thursday, June 29, 7:00 PM
Moore School Community and Conference Center
2nd floor 5 General Moore Way, Ellsworth
Speaker: Danielle D’Auria
Last spring was the first time that five Great Blue Herons in Maine were trapped and outfitted with lightweight GPS tracking devices, then released to allow researchers to follow their movements during nesting, migration and wintering. Two of the five Maine birds migrated to Florida, one to North Carolina, one to Cuba, and one flew all the way to Haiti! Hear about herons and the project from Danielle D’Auria, a wildlife biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and project leader for the Heron Observation Network of Maine (HERON), a citizen-science initiative that has involved hundreds of adult volunteers over the past eight years. In 2016 she incorporated students from eight schools in the tagging effort and hopes to get students of all ages across the state following Maine’s Great Blue Herons online to learn about the birds’ habits and the wetlands they depend on. She will present the results from this first year of heron movement data collection, and how it ties in with what we have learned thus far about the natural history and current status of Maine’s Great Blue Heron population.
7:00 AM Bird Walks— (Limit 15)
Saturday, May 13
INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY BIRD DAY, Birdsacre, Ellsworth.
Welcome back the migrant birds on their special day by exploring the many trails at this important stopover site. Leader: Leslie Clapp
Sunday, May 14
CRAIG BROOK, Orland.
Discover early warblers and other spring migrants in the diverse habitat along the nature trails and quiet roads surrounding the hatchery. Meet at Craig Brook Fish Hatchery. Leader: Zach Holderby
Saturday, May 20
NEW! BRANCH LAKE PUBLIC FOREST, RT. 1A Ellsworth.
Tucked into a quiet parcel, this 239-acre forest has 3 miles of trails which pass through various habitats, along a stream, to a large marsh and to the shore of Branch Lake. Leader: Chuck Whitney
Sunday, May 21
CATERPILLAR HILL, Sedgwick.
Meet at the parking lot in the field and walk the dirt road towards the town landing. Open grassland and evergreen forest—a nice beginner walk! Leader: Leslie Clapp
Saturday, May 27
BLUE HILL MOUNTAIN
Blue Hill Mountain is considered one of the most productive birding locations in the area with varied habitats. Be prepared to hike part way up the mountain on rough terrain. Meet at the field parking lot. Leader: Leslie Clapp
Sunday, June 4
BREAKFAST WITH THE BIRDS, Blue Hill.
Meet at the Blue Hill Country Club and carpool to “Rockwood,” a private residence on Parker Point where we’ll enjoy a picnic breakfast with warblers, eagles and loons as our dining companions. Enjoy this peaceful coastal property...and its birds. Leader: Leslie Clapp
Saturday, June 10
NEW! BIKE AND BIRD, Surry Forest.
Expect to spend up to 4 hours exploring the 7 miles of gravel roads in this 2,000-acre BHHT property off the Toddy Pond Road. Mountain Bikes Required! Leader: Sue Shaw
Sunday, June 11
SIEUR DE MONTS SPRING, Acadia National Park.
This is one of the most popular areas in the park for birding, known for its warblers. Bird along the boardwalk and Jessup Trail for a relatively level walk through several habitat types. Leader: Sue Shaw