Programs & Events


Upcoming Events

MONDAY, JULY 16,  7:00 p.m. Why Cuba is Strategic to Regional Ecotourism with Michael Good, founder of Down East Nature Tours. 

Since 2002 Michael has led bird surveys in Cuba with the Caribbean Conservation Trust.  He will discuss the importance of this island nation (with its geographical diversity and large government-protected habitats) as a vital stopover and wintering ground for many birds breeding in Acadia National Park and other parts of Maine. Blue Hill Library

SUNDAY JULY 22  8:30 p.m.  Celebrate National Moth Week with naturalist Lynn Havsall. 

 After a short slide presentation on common moth families, their life cycles and habits, we'll venture outside to a private garden where special lights and sweet bait lure  these fluttering insects in as nightfall descends.  Blue Hill Baptist Church, Route 15

SATURDAY, JULY 28, 8:00 p.m. Wild and Scenic Film Festival.

  Enjoy a free outdoor showing of selected 5-15 minute films that highlight water conservation issues and water adventures.  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 8 other local organizations. Knowlton Park, State Street, Ellsworth

MONDAY, AUGUST 6, 7:00 p.m.  The State of Maine’s Wildlife with Judy Camuso,  Wildlife Director for the MDIF&W. 

We’ll hear updates on some of our iconic species—moose, bear and loons. We'll discuss trends, concerns and recent successes with endangered/threatened species. Judy will share what exciting new projects are coming up and what you can do to take action! Moore Community Center, Ellsworth

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11,  7:30-9:30 a.m. Birding Bass Harbor Marsh with Michael Good. 

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.  Nelson’s Sparrow is a target species. Tremont Elementary School on Route 102, MDI

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 8:00 a.m.  Birding Scott’s Landing with Mike Little, past Executive Director of Island Heritage Trust.

This IHT parcel is rich in habitat diversity, which means that many species may be found on its 26 acres, including migrating songbirds. Views of Eggemoggin Reach make seabirds a possibility. Turn left just after the Deer Isle Causeway.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 7:00 p.m. Birdscaping Your Yard with Amber Roth, Assistant Professor of Forest Wildlife Management at UMO.  

Landscaping with birds in mind provides important habitat elements through thoughtful planning, use of native plants and provision of other features. Making changes to your yard need not be a complex or expensive process. Become more bird friendly today!  Moore Community Center, Ellsworth

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 9:00 a.m—noon.  Yardening for Birds, Bees and Butterflies Workshop with Leslie Clapp, DEA president. 

Leslie’s 10-acre property, a “certified wildlife habitat,”  is an oasis in the middle of town.  The gardens and landscaping are extensive with special attention given to native plants.  126 bird species have been recorded here— come and learn what plants and other creative ideas have drawn them in.  Meet at Blue Hill Baptist Church, Route 15

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 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 www.maineaudubon.org or call 207-781-2330 x273.  Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company, Town Dock.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 8:30 a.m.—11:00.  Secrets and Surprises of Great Pond Mountain with Merrie Eley and George Fields, Maine Master Naturalists. 

 This will be an adventure in nature on a 2-mile round trip mountain hike. Discover and identify ferns, lichens, trees, birds and geologic features.  Craig Brook Fish Hatchery, Orland.



 


 Past Events
The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods
Monday, April 23, 7:00 p.m.
Blue Hill Library
Speaker: Dr. Andrew Barton 

Dr. Barton will present a lively presentation on Maine forests— how they've changed over the past 10,000 years, their remarkable diversity across the state, from Mount Katahdin to the coast, and the challenges and possible solutions for the future.
Raised in the southern Appalachians of western North Carolina, Andrew Barton is a forest ecologist, science writer and professor of biology at the University of Maine at Farmington. His research focuses on how forests are responding to changing climate and wildfire in the Sky Islands of the American Southwest. He is the author of the award-winning book, The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods, and the upcoming Ecology and Recovery of Old-growth Forests in Eastern North America. This program is co-sponsored with Blue Hill Garden Club and Blue Hill Heritage Trust.


Woodcock Watch
Friday, April 27,  7:00 p.m.
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. We will then drive up to the fields of Blue Hill Mountain to experience one 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. 

Bird ID by Sight and Sound
Friday, May 4   7:00 p.m.
Blue Hill Library
Speaker:  Bob Duchesne


Improve your birding skills overnight!  Bird guide and author Bob Duchesne will present a 2-part tutorial on bird identification by sight and by sound. Bob will offer easy-to-remember tips on how to recognize what you're hearing and how to visually identify birds more quickly through field marks, habits and habitats. This quick seminar will help new birders build skills and help experienced birders shake off the rust of winter. There will be a short intermission between programs offering refreshments.


Feral Newfoundland
Thursday, May 10  7:00 p.m.
Moore Community Center, 133 State Street, Ellsworth
Speaker:  Deborah Gordon


Join artist, musician and photographer Deborah Gordon as she reveals secrets and hidden natural wonders of Newfoundland and Labrador. Learn about the less frequented outports, national and provincial parks, World Heritage Sites and the infectious humor and uplifting spirit that comprises the culture and people of Canada’s eastern-most province.  Her captivating, in-depth slide show of the wildlife, landscape, architecture and mystery of this dauntingly exquisite, unpretentious place will interest all.


Rafting the Grand Canyon
Friday, June 15  7:00 p.m.
Blue Hill Library
Speaker:  Leah Titcomb


The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon has world class whitewater and stunning canyon views. Join adventurer Leah Titcomb as she shares her recent trip rafting through the layers of the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon, exploring the earth from the inside out. Hear tales and see pictures of swirling whitewater, majestic bighorn sheep and starry canyon nights. Explore Anasazi ruins and the blue waters of Havasu Creek, and be inspired to take a trip of your own!


Wildflower and Fern Walk
Sunday, June 17  9:00 a.m.
Snow’s Cove Preserve, Sedgwick
Leader:  Cathy Rees


Get to know the local flora on this 3/4 mile walk to the Bagaduce River and back. (1.5 miles total)  We will search for spring wildflowers, learn where we are likely to find them and determine how to identify newly unfurled ferns. Meet at the preserve’s parking area on the west side of Route 15 about 1.3 miles south of the junction with Route 176 at Strong Brewing Company.


The Dynamic Landscape

Tuesday, June 26  7:00 p.m.
The Bay School, Blue Hill
Speaker:  Patrick Cullina


Patrick Cullina is an award-winning horticulturist, landscape designer, photographer, lecturer and consultant based in Manhattan with more than twenty years of experience in the landscape field. Known for his connection with New York City’s High Line and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, he is dedicated to the innovative and sensitive integration of plants and materials into a diverse range of compelling designs—drawing inspiration from both the natural world and constructed environments alike.  Using many photographic examples, Patrick will draw upon “lessons from regional ecologies and examine strategies for creating transformative landscapes.” This special event is co-sponsored by several local organizations.

Attu: The Holy Grail of North American Birding
Friday, January 12  7:00 p.m.
Moore School Community Center, 2nd Floor, 5 General Moore Way, Ellsworth

Attu in the Aleutian Islands, the westernmost point in the United States located 1500 miles from mainland Alaska, is known worldwide as a birding mecca. It featured prominently in the hit movie “The Big Year,” and it was the target destination for an intrepid group of five Maine birders in the spring of 2012. Doug Hitchcox, Maine Audubon’s staff naturalist, will present a travelogue of photos and stories that document his amazing birding adventure into the Eastern Hemisphere, highlighted by rare species, colonies of over two million birds, Song Sparrows the size of robins, enduring 20-foot (and higher!) seas en route and a bird that only recently rebounded from the edge of extinction.


Ocean Drive Bird Walk
Saturday, January 20 (snow date Jan. 21)
9:00 a.m.
Leader: Chuck Whitney
Sand Beach, Acadia National Park
Join us for a casual winter stroll along Ocean Drive between Sand Beach and Otter Cliffs. You can’t beat the view, and with the ocean on one side and evergreen forest on the other, we have the potential to see a wide variety of winter birds. Many duck species are possible— and who knows... maybe a King Eider will show itself. Three were seen near Thunder Hole in December! Remember winter access for the park is via Schooner Head Road. 


Please pre-register for field trips by calling 664-4400 or email deaudubon@gmail.com.

Winter Birds of Schoodic
Saturday, February 3 (snow date Feb. 4) 
9:00 a.m.
Leader: Rich MacDonald
Fraser Point, Schoodic Section of Acadia National Park
This popular outing has become an annual rite of passage for winter birding. Carpooling from Fraser Point, we will follow the Schoodic Park Road, making regular stops to see winter specialties. These may include sea ducks, loons, grebes, Purple Sandpipers and winter finches.  After a rest stop at Schoodic Institute, we will move on to Corea to look for white-winged gulls and Harlequin Ducks.  Bring a lunch and be sure to dress warmly.


Please pre-register for field trips by calling 664-4400 or email deaudubon@gmail.com. 

Great Backyard Bird Count
Bird watchers of all ages count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are.

February 16-19
It doesn’t matter if your backyard is the ocean, deep woods or a village park—  anyone who has internet access can participate in this mid-winter birding event sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon.  All you have to do is:
1) Count birds for at least 15 minutes at your favorite location(s). 
Record the highest number of each species seen at once. 
Enter your tallies on the GBBC website

Last year an estimated 214,018 bird watchers from more than 140 countries joined in. Participants submitted 173,826 bird checklists reporting 5,940 species— more than half the known bird species in the world and 251 more species than the previous year!  The most frequently reported species was Northern Cardinal followed by American Crow. What’s interesting to note is that the American Crow has bounced all the way up to the number two spot. It has typically come in near the bottom of the Top 10 most frequently reported species ever since West Nile Virus appeared in North America in 1999. Perhaps the crows are finally rebounding after the virus took a serious toll on their overall population. Snow Goose was once again the most numerous bird reported— 4,793,261 individuals! Get involved!  Be a part of this huge event, and help scientists learn more about changes in bird numbers and distribution from year to year.   For more information go to www.birdsource.org.


Maine's Wild Dogs— Foxes & Coyotes

Monday, February 26  7:00 p.m.
Blue Hill Library
Speaker:  Lynn Havsall
No doubt you've seen (or heard) foxes and coyotes around your yard, but do you know how to tell these common canines apart? Discover what traits they share and how wily coyotes differ from sly foxes. Coyotes and Red Foxes are our beautiful neighbors and Gray Foxes are more prevalent a bit further south in Maine. Come learn their secrets by decoding their fascinating behaviors.


Christmas Bird Count

Participate in the 118th 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, groups choose one day to count all 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 then use to assess the health of bird populations and help guide conservation action. Go to www.audubon.org/join-christmas-bird-count for more information. There are five counts in our area, and we need your help to make sure they get covered thoroughly! Sign up today—it’s free!

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND
Saturday, December 16

Contact Michael Good, info@downeastnaturetours.com, 288-8128

BLUE HILL
Sunday, December 17

Contact Downeast Audubon, deaudubon@gmail.com, 664-4400



HOG BAY
Saturday, December 30

Contact Medea Steinman, wrenyen@yahoo.com

DEER ISLE
Saturday, December 30

Contact Tom Bjorkman, 374-3644 or Ken Crowell, kennethlcrowell@gmail.com

SCHOODIC
Monday, January 1

Contact Seth Benz, sbenz@schoodicinstitute.org




Lessons from Avian Haven
Friday, March 23  7:00 p.m.
Blue Hill Library
Speaker:  Laura Suomi-Lecker, education and outreach coordinator
Avian Haven, located in Freedom, Maine, was established in 1999 as a bird rehabilitation center dedicated to the return of injured and orphaned wild birds of all species to their natural environment.  In 2017 they admitted over 2,500 birds from all over the state with varying degrees of injuries or illnesses ranging from malnutrition to broken bones. This presentation will include common reasons why birds are admitted to Avian Haven and what public citizens can do to help our local birds.  We'll discuss Avian Haven’s  state-of-the-art facilities such as the “pool hall” and “Casa Corvus,” and recent cases involving raptors, waterfowl and songbirds. Each bird comes with a story: a Hermit Thrush whose beak was stuck in a telephone line and was rescued using a bucket truck; a young Bald Eagle struck by a vehicle while feeding on a dead moose; a Barred Owl discovered hanging upside down in a tree, entangled in fishing line; and a displaced Dovekie found flapping on the ground in Ellsworth after a big wind storm.  This program is co-sponsored with Blue Hill Library.


Special program sponsored by Downeast Audubon:

 “How to Participate in the Maine Bird Atlas 2018-2022”

Monday, March 26  7PM
Blue Hill Library
Speaker:  Rich MacDonald
Its time for the second Maine Bird Atlas! This is a five-year effort to document both breeding and wintering birds across the state. To be successful, it will need people across the state to volunteer.

Join Downeast Audubon in a program with local ornithologist and bird tour leader Rich MacDonald to learn about the history of the Maine Bird Atlas and how you can participate. Rich will walk us through some of the resources available on the website and how to report observations. The Maine Bird Atlas will be a fun new way to go birding in Maine, share sightings and contribute to a better understanding of Maine’s birds. If you would like to learn more about the Maine Bird Atlas, or to sign up as a volunteer, go to www.maine.gov/birdatlas (you can also find the Volunteer Handbook there).
 


Magical Mystery Tour
Saturday, March 31   8:00 a.m.
Leader:  Fred Yost
Seawall Picnic Area, Manset, MDI
Join us on MDI’s “quiet side” for our first official spring outing of the year!  We will scan the coastal waters— from popular harbors to the quieter coves looking for gulls, ducks and whatever else may cross our path.  March weather is unpredictable at best, and at this point we don’t know if we will need snowshoes, boots or waders!  We will be carpooling with a bit of walking if the conditions allow. We’ll have a better idea of the itinerary when we get closer to the date.  Consider bringing a scope if you have one—the more, the better when it comes to sea birding.


Please pre-register for field trips by calling 664-4400 or email deaudubon@gmail.com.

Bugs:  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Friday, April 20, 7:00 p.m.
Moore Community Center, 133 State St. Ellsworth
Speaker:  Clay Kirby 

Beetles, Chafers, Mantids, Mealybugs and more! This program will highlight the beneficial bugs in your yard as well as the insect pests of the downeast Maine garden and landscape.  We’ll review the general components of Integrated Pest Management (a science-based environmentally-friendly approach to protecting ourselves, our food and our planet from pests) and emphasize sight recognition of the insects we’re likely to encounter. Clay Kirby has been the Insect Diagnostician with the Pest Management Office at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension since 1985.  He serves as a resource person for Extension personnel, state agencies and any Maine citizen with an insect question.  


Earth Day Cleanup at Birdsacre
Saturday, April 21  
9:00 a.m.-noon

Join us for the 14th annual spring cleanup at Birdsacre in Ellsworth.  Please donate a little bit of your time this Earth Day weekend 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!”

 

Managing your Woodlot for Birds in Need
Friday, October 13, 7:00 p.m.
Blue Hill Library
Speaker: Amber Roth

Regardless of what you do with your woodlot, there will most likely be forest birds present. However, you have an opportunity to manage for bird species in decline that can really benefit from active management that improves habitat on your woodlot. Amber Roth, Assistant Professor of Forest Wildlife Management at UMO, will present elements that you can incorporate into your woodlot (or even your backyard) to target specific species or groups of species in need of your help. Come prepared with questions and ideas for your specific situation. Bring your neighbor along! Your collective actions will make an even bigger impact or, in some cases, make management more feasible.


Lichens, Ferns AND Birds!
Sunday, October 15, 9:00 a.m.-noon
Harriman Point, Brooklin

We will be looking up, down and all around on this easy, level, 3-mile (round trip) nature walk at Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s Harriman Point Preserve in Brooklin. Come explore the varied habitats of this 138-acre preserve with Maine Master Naturalists, Ann Brayton, Merrie Eley and George Fields. The reward for making it to the end of the point will be spectacular, colorful views across Blue Hill Bay in prime leaf peeper season. Turn left onto Harriman Point Road off Rt 175/172 in Brooklin. The parking lot is half a mile on the right.


The Greatest Mountain Adventure in the World
Friday, October 20, 6:00 p.m.
Esther Wood Lecture Room, George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill

Join Leslie Clapp and Blaise deSibour in their latest travels—this time to Nepal! Discover the exotic city of Kathmandu, explore Sherpa communities in the Himalayas and witness a colorful Buddhist festival at Tengboche Monastery. The couple spent three weeks at altitude trekking lodge-to-lodge in the spectacular region around Mount Everest, and even made it to Base Camp...no easy task! Marvel at stunning, crystal clear views of the highest peaks on Earth, made all the better from an 18,000' vantage point. Cross the snow-covered Cho La pass into the Gokyo Valley of turquoise lakes and end with an unforgettable helicopter ride around the places they spent days getting to. After saying goodbye to the mountains, Leslie and Blaise then headed south to the country’s lowland jungles for safaris in two national parks that are home to one-horned rhinos, tigers and lots of birds. This presentation has something for everyone—culture, adventure and nature! (Note the 6:00 p.m. start time!)


Breakfast on the Bagaduce
Sunday, November 5, 8:30 a.m.
Bluff Head, Sedgwick
Leader: Sue Shaw

Pack a light breakfast and make your way to Blue Hill Heritage Trust’s Bluff Head—a great place to appreciate the beauty and expanse of the Bagaduce River far below. The bluff is a unique ecological feature of the peninsula and a great place to enjoy a picnic breakfast after an easy 1-mile hike. Admire the colors of the late- turning oaks and perhaps view ducks, eagles and other lingering birds. Parking is located 0.2 miles down Rope Ferry Road, from its junction with Route 15 and Route 176 at Strong Brewing Company, Sedgwick.


Maine’s Bats: Ecology and Conservation of a Secretive Guild
Friday, November 17, 7:00 p.m.
Moore School Community Center, Ellsworth
Speaker: Cory Mosby

Cory Mosby is the small mammal biologist for Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. His first exposure to working with bats was while employed as a biologist for Grand Canyon National Park, and he became instantly enamored with this diverse and poorly understood group of mammals. Having been with the MDIFW since 2015, he has worked to build his knowledge of bat ecology, the management issues they face and how to address these issues in Maine. This program provides a background on the natural history of Maine’s eight bat species, their status in the face of an invasive disease (White-Nose Syndrome) and other concerns and the research efforts occurring in Maine by multiple entities to address the conservation and recovery of bats.


Annual Holiday Party and ’Round the World Birding
Friday, December 8, 6:00 p.m.
IOOF Hall, Main Street, 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. In the summer of 2015, Becky spent 30 days with her husband, Josh, who is a pilot, and two other couples traveling around the world in a private plane. Their route took them from the U.S. to Newfoundland, the Azores, Turkey, Oman, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan, Russia and Alaska. In addition to sightseeing and learning about different cultures, she enjoyed focusing on the birds, photographing and videotaping many species and learning about regional family variations AND similarities from one stop to the next. From the volcanic islands of the Azores to the 106-degree heat of Oman to the chilly, drizzly coast of Alaska, Becky will share her photos and stories of bird species from around the globe.