Programs & Events


Upcoming Events

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.

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.

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.


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.
 
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.

 


 Past Events
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




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.