News & Notes

Planting Oaks and Counting Loons

Friday, July 8th, 2016
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June was an exciting month for Maine Audubon as we hosted Doug Tallamy, the author of Bringing Nature Home – a book which has really inspired a science-based movement to plant native plants. Doug’s work as an entomologist documents in a compelling fashion how native plants support a vast array of insect live, which in turn support other creatures like birds. His research points out how several tree species like oaks and willows support hundreds of insects and are cornerstones of an ecosystem that is relevant at a neighborhood scale, as well as a landscape scale.

As part of our Wildlife Stewardship Council we held a great event bringing Doug Tallamy into the field at the home of Dan Hildreth. Dan’s home is nestled under large oak trees and his wife had thoughtfully potted several red oak seedlings in case guests wanted to plant an oak of their own as result of what they had learned from Dr. Tallamy. Well, I have just the spot for an oak tree at our home in Waterville!

By doing something simple like planting one oak tree – you are helping an entire ecosystem. Plus, once the tree starts to produce nuts and seedlings, you too can share with your neighbors, friends, and family the magic that an oak tree can bring.

nesting-loons-june-leducJuly brings all sorts of opportunities to engage with Maine Audubon in citizen science projects across Maine. In greater Bangor, on July 3, Fields Pond Audubon Center hosted a butterfly walk so volunteers could help count butterflies for the North American Butterfly Count. Saturday July 16th is our annual Loon Count, which for over 30 years has been documenting the loon populations on lakes and ponds across Maine. And we are recruiting volunteers to come out to Scarborough Marsh on July 23rd for a marsh-wide survey of birds and on July 30th for a plant and insect survey. So, if you’re interested in helping scientists collect data to monitor Maine wildlife, we have your whole July planned out across the state.

See you out in the field in July!


Ole Amundsen became Executive Director of Maine Audubon in March 2016. He brings more than 25 years of experience in conservation leadership, with a focus on landscape scale conservation, environmental education and finance. Amundsen most recently served as program manager for the national land trust, The Conservation Fund.