Programs & Events

Upcoming Events

African Adventures
Friday, October 18, 7:00 PM
George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill

Join world travelers, Leslie Clapp and Blaise deSibour, as they share their two-month trip to South Africa, Rwanda and Uganda in a 1.5-hour presentation.  Hike in amazing landscapes, enjoy beautiful scenery and witness wildlife encounters like no other! Mountain gorillas, leopards and prehistoric-looking Shoebills are just a small portion of their many highlights. The couple explored South Africa on their own in a safari-truck with a tent on the top and hired a guide and driver in East Africa. This is a repeat of their August presentation.

Paddle Northeast Creek
Saturday, October 19, 9:00 AM
Bar Harbor

This is a scenic paddle in any season, but especially so during “leaf peeping” season!  The creek meanders through one of the largest wetlands on MDI and is partially owned by DEA.  Enjoy the fall color, pick some cranberries, watch for lingering birds and relax during this leisurely 2-hour paddle.  Wear boots as the put-in is a bit sloppy.  Life jackets are required. Park at the pull off on the right side of Route 3, exactly 2 miles after the traffic light just past the Trenton bridge.

Shells: Treasures from Maine Shores
Monday, October 21, 7:00 PM
Moore Community Center, Ellsworth

Alison C. Dibble, Ph.D., retired conservation biologist of Brooklin, will share her passion for Maine shells ranging from clams and snails to slippers and whelks. The diversity of marine mollusks in the Gulf of Maine has changed over thousands of years. Ancient shells might be found next to contemporary shells on the same beach. We will cover some challenges to mollusk conservation in a changing climate. Bring 1-2 of your favorite shells or an unknown (from Maine shores only) for us to ponder together.  

River Otters: The playful weasels
Friday, November 8, 7:00 PM
Blue Hill Library

Swimming in the ocean, rivers and lakes, or sliding in the snow, otters are a delight to watch! They are curious, intelligent and social and are Maine's largest member of the weasel family. Unlike their big cousins, wolverines, they have a much better reputation.  Join speaker Lynn Havsall as she reveals secrets of their family life, what's on an otter’s menu and why their lives look like just “an otter” day in paradise.

Maine’s Nightjars (Whip-poor-wills and such)
Tuesday, November 12
6:00 PM (note time!) 
Blue Hill Library 
Speaker- Logan Parker
 Join the Downeast Audubon in welcoming Logan Parker of the Maine Natural History Observatory (MNHO) for a lecture on Maine nightjar monitoring. Logan is an assistant ecologist and founder of the Maine Nightjar Monitoring Project. This statewide citizen science project is collecting observations of whip-poor-wills, nighthawks, and other nocturnal birds, some of which are facing widespread declines. Attendees will learn about the natural history of Maine’s nightjars, cryptic and nocturnal birds that are more likely to be heard than seen, and the efforts involved in monitoring these fascinating birds throughout the state, from Eliot to Calais, Kennebunk to Baxter State Park. The project is currently recruiting volunteers to adopt monitoring routes or simply make observations of nightjars in your own backyard.

Tracking in Acadia
Sunday, November 17, 9:00 AM
Leader: Matt Dickinson
Great Head Parking Area off Schooner Head Rd, Acadia National Park

Come explore the world of animal tracks and sign with naturalist Matt Dickinson, who holds a CyberTracker International Track and Sign level III certificate and is a registered Maine Guide.  Learn about the behavior of beavers, otters and other local animals through the evidence they leave behind. Be prepared to walk up to two miles in the Sand Beach area. Dress for the weather and bring your curiosity! 

Game Night
Friday, November 22, 7:00 PM
Blue Hill Library

Come and do some inside “birding” where it is warm and cozy, munch on popcorn and be a little competitive!  Game Night will test your birding knowledge and teach you new facts at the same time.  So, drop your binoculars and focus on a game that is sure to soar. The Great North American Bird Watching Trivia Game is the ultimate birding game designed for those who want to test their knowledge of birds. Topics covered include habitat, mannerisms, field marks, diet and more. You do not have to be an expert…beginners are welcome!  This game features over 2,000 questions falling into three levels of difficulty—beginner, intermediate, and expert—making it suitable for birders of all skills levels. We will also have flash cards for those who want to work on ID skills. Come join in the fun!

Searching for Snowies (Owls and Buntings!)
Sunday, December 1, 9:00 AM.
Leader: Zachary Holderby
Parkman Mountain Access Lot, Acadia National Park

Climb up the exposed ridges of Sargent Mountain to search for irrupting Snowy Owls and migrating Snow Buntings. Both snow-white adult owls and barred juveniles may be found perched among the sculpted Cadillac granite. Buntings will be in their whites and tans. A hike on the carriage road, then up the steep side of the ridge, will give way to a cold and exposed but gentle ridge line. Horned Larks and winter raptors are also possible. Warning: This 4-mile hike is strenuous even in moderate conditions. With snow or ice, only those comfortable with these conditions should attend. Bring traction devices for your boots and walking sticks.

Annual Holiday Party and
’Round the World Birding Part II
Friday, December 13 6:00 PM
IOOF Hall, Main St. Blue Hill

The festivities will begin with drinks and social time (BYOB) followed by a potluck dinner at 6:30.  Please bring a food item to share!  After dinner we will retire to the third floor for a special presentation by member Becky Marvil.

For two months last winter, Becky, along with her husband, Josh (a pilot), and another couple traveled west bound around the world in a private plane. They flew to South America then island hopped their way to New Zealand via Robinson Crusoe Island, Easter Island, Tureia, Tahiti, and Nuie during the month of December.  In January they continued from New Zealand to Australia, then flew across the Indian Ocean to Botswana in Africa via Singapore, the Maldives and the Seychelles. The last legs of their trip took them to Angola, then across the Atlantic Ocean to Saint Helena Island and on to Brazil, French Guyana, Jamaica, then back to the US. Becky will share her photos, videos, and stories of her birding adventures on this amazing trip around the Southern Hemisphere.

Christmas Bird Count

Participate in the 120th Christmas Bird Count and help contribute to the longest running survey in ornithology, with over 100 years of compiled data.  From December 14 through January 5, organized groups choose one day to count birds seen or heard within a designated 15-mile circle.  Join a team in the field or keep a tally of the birds seen at your feeders if you live within the circle. Results go to a compiler who sends in the data which National Audubon and other organizations use to assess the health of bird populations and help guide conservation action. Go to for more information.  There are five counts in our area, and we need your help to make sure they get covered thoroughly!

Mount Desert Island
Saturday, December 14
Contact Michael Good:  288-8128

Blue Hill
Sunday, December 15
Contact Zach Holderby:

Deer Isle
Saturday, December 28

Hog Bay
Sunday, December 29
Contact Medea Steinman:

Wednesday, January 1
Contact Seth Benz:  288-1350

Project FeederWatch

Now in its 33rd year, Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit your feeders. Join now for the 2019-20 season, which begins November 9 and runs through April 3. (Don’t worry, you can still go on vacation!  You don’t have to be present the entire time.) Data gathered from “citizen scientists” like you help researchers track broad scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.  There is an $18 fee ($15 for lab members) which covers materials, staff, support, data analysis and a year-end report. It’s as easy as 1) putting up a feeder, 2) counting birds on a weekly basis and 3) entering your data! Go to for more information.

Paddle the Narramissic River with Sue Shaw
Sunday, July 7, 8:00 AM 
Alamoosook Dam, Soper Rd, Orland

 As it winds from the Alamoosook Dam toward Orland Village, the Narramissic is one of the prettiest paddles around! Expect plenty of birds, turtles, dragonflies and pond lilies. Provide your own equipment.

Great Nature Hikes with Aislinn Sarnacki
Thursday, July 11, 7:00 PM
Moore Community Center, Ellsworth 

This slide presentation will highlight easy to moderate hiking trails in the area that are ideal for viewing birds and other wildlife and feature a variety of native plants and beautiful landscapes. Guidebooks will be available for purchase. 

Birding Bass Harbor Marsh with Michael Good
Saturday, July 13, 7:30 AM
Tremont Elementary School on Route 102, MDI

Explore the different habitats around this Important Bird Area, looking for post-breeding activity while studying bird calls, behaviors and the ecology of the marsh.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 4:00-6:00 p.m.  Remembering Sal  Last December Sal Rooney, a long-time board member and friend to many, passed away.  Come celebrate her life with laughter, stories from the past and of course bird watching.  We will gather at Rockwood, a peaceful salt water property on Parker Point Road in Blue Hill. RSVP by July 29 to if you plan to attend.

African Adventures with Leslie Clapp and Blaise deSibour
Thursday, August 8, 7:00 PM
George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill

 Join these world explorers as they share their 2016 trip to South Africa, Rwanda and Uganda.  Hike in amazing landscapes, enjoy beautiful scenery and witness wildlife encounters like no other!

Dead River Paddle with Sue Shaw
Saturday, August 10, 8:00 AM
Craig Brook Fish Hatchery Landing, Orland
Join us for this 3-hour summer paddle that starts on Alamoosook Lake and meanders up the Dead River, a very scenic stretch of water, despite the name!  Search for loons, eagles, herons and many other bird species.

2nd Annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival
Saturday, August 17, 8:00 PM
Knowlton Park, State Street, Ellsworth

 Enjoy this community celebration of conservation in Downeast Maine with a free outdoor showing of selected 5-15 minute films.  Bring your own blanket or chair, food is available starting at 7:00. In case of rain, the event will move to The Grand. Co-sponsored by DEA and 9 other local organizations.

Searching for Shorebirds with Zach Holderby
Saturday, September 7, 1:30 PM 
Marlboro Beach Road, Lamoine

Marlboro Beach in Lamoine can be a prime spot for migrating shorebirds in the fall.  This is a new trip, so come and enjoy a short, easy walk on a sandy beach and discover what is there with us! If time allows (because of the tide), we may drive to Pinkham Bay for more viewing.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 6:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.  Annual Bar Harbor Pelagic Birding with Maine Audubon. Great boat, great camaraderie and of course great sightings of birds and marine mammals! Members $135. To register go to or call 207-781-2330 x 273.  Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company, Town Dock

Bird Walk at Holbrook Island Sanctuary with Tim Skillin and Molly DellaRoman
Sunday, September 15, 8:00 AM
Headquarters parking lot, Cape Rosier, Brooksville

Search for migrant passerines along the shore and check for resident species along Indian Bar Road and at the Beaver Flowage Trail if time permits. 

Maine’s Seaweed Scene
Thursday, September 26, 7:00 PM.
Moore Community Center, Ellsworth

Author Susan Hand Shetterly will talk about her latest book, Seaweed Chronicles and the importance of protected wild habitats in the Gulf of Maine as well as good inshore jobs for people that can enhance, rather than compromise, the environment.  Marine biologist Robin Hadlock Seeley will talk about the critical role of seaweed, especially rockweeds and kelp in the nearshore ecosystem and the role of landowners in protecting rockweed habitat for shorebirds, lobster, cod and other species in light of the 2019 Maine law court decision (Ross v. Acadian Seaplants).