News & Notes


Gilsland Farm Office Volunteers (Year-round)

Posted on: Friday, April 17th, 2015

Assist with the coordination of Maine Audubon mailings at Gilsland Farm (Falmouth). Tasks include data entry, mail merge, printing and preparing letters.

Proficiency with Microsoft Office  applications is essential. Prior experience working in a database a plus.

For more information: contact Agata Ketterick at (207) 989-2330 x232 or aketterick@maineaudubon.org

Media Release: Maine Audubon to Host Earth Day Film Festival

Posted on: Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

April 14, 2015

Contact: Agata Ketterick
aketterick@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-2330 x232

Maine Audubon to Host Earth Day Film Festival

Screening is centerpiece of Maine Audubon’s Earth Week celebrations

maine outdoor film festival

EARTH DAY FILM FESTIVAL: April 22, 6:00 – 9:00 pm, Gilsland Farm (Falmouth)

Falmouth – Maine Audubon invites friends, supporters and the general public to a special Earth Day screening of the Maine Outdoor Film Festival on Wednesday, April 22, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The film screening will take place at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, 20 Gilsland Farm Road in Falmouth. Tickets are $5 for Maine Audubon and Appalachian Mountain Club members and $8 for the general public. Cash bar and food opens at 6:00 pm, films begin at 7:00pm. Online registration is encouraged.

The festival will feature the Maine premier of Fifty Lakes One Island by George Desort,  a film about the eighty nights the filmmaker spent alone on Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior. There will also be screenings of five short films: Desert Ice, Mike Libecki: Pursuit of Passion, Une balade à la mer (A ride towards the sea), Moments from Hogback and Tow Pony.

The films are presented in conjunction with the Maine Outdoor Film Festival (MOFF) and in partnership with Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). The event is sponsored by Maine Magazine.

Other Maine Audubon events to celebrate Earth Day include:

April 19: Pollinators Parade and Picnic

In honor of the endangered monarch butterfly’s annual migration between Canada and Mexico, local kindergarten and pre-school children will participate in Greater Portland’s 1st Annual Pollinators Parade held at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center.  Educational activities, including crafts, a scavenger hunt and a symbolic planting of milkweed, will emphasize the steps we can take to help rescue the disappearing monarch. Festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. and the costume parade begins at noon

April 22: Early Morning Celebration of Earth Day

The 7:00 a.m. celebration, held at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center and hosted by Maine Audubon’s “Osprey” advisory group, will feature music, readings from a variety of spiritual backgrounds and yoga (sun salutation).  Everyone is welcome to attend and share their connection to the earth at this nondenominational sunrise service.

April 25: Earth Day Cleanup – Scarborough Marsh

Give back to the Earth by helping clean up the marsh, the Nature Center and the grounds ahead of the new season. In partnership with Project G.R.A.C.E in Scarborough, support a neighbor by bringing canned and staple foods or grocery gift cards to the cleanup event that takes place from 9:00 a.m. – noon.

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 20,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

 

 

 

Action Alert! Speak Up for Solar

Posted on: Monday, April 13th, 2015
solar panels

New solar panels were installed at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in 2014.

Please help make solar power more accessible and put Maine on the path for steady growth of solar by asking your legislators to support LD 1263, An Act to Increase Jobs and Promote Investment in Maine’s Economy through Increased Access to Solar Energy, (Sponsored by Rep. Sara Gideon).

Take Action:

Speak up for solar power:

Public Hearing:

When: Thursday, April 16, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Room 211 of the Cross State Office Building (next to the State House)

Contact the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee:

Ask them to reduce restrictions and other barriers that limit access to solar for Mainers by supporting LD 1263.

Key Points:

  • Maine is falling behind on solar, losing opportunities for job creation and energy security.
  • Solar offers Maine homeowners and businesses an affordable way to generate their own power.
  • To better capture the opportunity of solar, Maine needs to reduce its financial and regulatory barriers to solar.

This important bill can help move Maine forward on renewable energy. Please attend the hearing or contact the Committee members and urge them to support LD 1263.

Thank you for being part of the solution!

For more information, please contact: 

JenniferJenn Burns Gray

Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate

jgray@maineaudubon.org

(207) 781-2330 x224

 

Rare Bird Alert – April 4-10, 2015

Posted on: Friday, April 10th, 2015

Reporting Period: April 4 – 10, 2015
Compilers: Doug Hitchcox

Noteworthy Species Mentioned:

  • Cackling Goose
  • ‘Eurasian’ Green-winged Teal
  • Golden Eagle
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Surfbird+
  • Black-headed Gull
  • Gyrfalcon+

(+ Details requested by Maine Bird Records Committee: https://sites.google.com/site/mainebirdrecordscommittee/)

York County

Maine’s first SURFBIRD, which was originally found on March 21st, continued to be seen around Biddeford Pool until April 5th. The bird is often found on the rocky shoreline of East Point Sanctuary or on the marshy edge of the ‘pool’ bordered by Mile Stretch Road.

A drake ‘EURASIAN’ GREEN-WINGED TEAL was photographed along Harbor Road in Wells on the 7th. This bird was still being reported here as of the 9th.

Greater Portland

A CACKLING GOOSE was found amongst Canadas in the field on the south side of Spring Brook Farm off Greely Road in Cumberland on the 8th and continued in the snow on the 9th.

Kennebec River Valley (Augusta-Waterville)

Three SANDHILL CRANES were reported from Reidfield on the 5th.

Midcoast

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was reported from Wharton Point in Brunswick on the 4th.

On the 5th, an immature GOLDEN EAGLE was reported at the Bath Landfill, located at the end of Detritus Drive. The landfill is closed on the weekends though limited viewing is available from their gate.

Penobscot Bay

On the 10th, a white-morph GYRFALCON was reported from a private residence along Castine Road in Penobscot. The bird was actively hunting in the area but could not be relocated.

Media Release: Volunteers Needed to “Lend an Ear” for Frogs across Maine

Posted on: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

April 7, 2015

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
msmith@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-2330 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

 

Volunteers Needed to “Lend an Ear” for Frogs across Maine
Maine Audubon kicks off its annual Maine Amphibian Monitoring Program

Gray Tree Frog (photo: James Treadwell)

Gray Tree Frog (photo: James Treadwell)

FALMOUTH – Maine Audubon is looking for volunteers to “lend an ear” and help observe the presence of frogs and toads in their local area. Wood frogs, the Northern Leopard frog and other amphibians will be active in vernal pools and wetlands throughout the state in the next week or two. Because of the long and cold winter, we are just starting to hear a few lone peepers now in the Portland area. It is anticipated that after the warm temperatures this coming weekend, frog activity will jump next week. Frog and toad species make their mating calls for a very short period of time, often less than two weeks – the need for volunteers in the next week is crucial.

Maine Audubon started the Maine Amphibian Monitoring Program (MAMP) in 1997. It is part of a nationwide effort (22 states participate each year) to collect data and better understand the distribution and abundance of amphibians. The presence of frogs and other species (or lack thereof) is often an indication of larger habitat changes and disturbances, such as vernal pool and wetland degradation, the availability of food, and climate change. “It takes many years of observation and data collection to truly understand how our local habitats are changing,” noted Susan Gallo, Maine Audubon wildlife biologist. “Each year, Maine contributes the data our volunteers collect to a national database managed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). This helps USGS staff work with local natural resource managers and contributes to increased knowledge about the general global trend of amphibian decline.”

Volunteers drive along an assigned route three different times during the spring and stop at designated areas to observe the presence of nine different amphibian species. A free online training is available for all volunteers. Volunteers are needed for routes throughout the state. “Participating in MAMP is a fun family activity,” noted Gallo. “Adults and kids can learn how to identify frog and toad calls together and contribute to a great citizen science project that will help us understand the larger changes that are happening to Maine’s habitats.”

Volunteers are especially needed in northern, Downeast and western Maine.To sign up for a route or to learn more about MAMP, please contact Susan Gallo at sgallo@maineaudubon.org or call (207) 781-2330 x216. Learn more at www.maineaudubon.org.

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 20,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

 

 

 

Sounds of Spring: American Woodcocks

Posted on: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Now that our nights are finally warm enough that you can tolerate being outside for a few minutes,  it is a great opportunity to try observing mating American Woodcocks. While visual observation may be difficult because the displays usually begin around dusk, even just the auditory experience is worth having.

It begins with male American Woodcocks vocalizing on their ‘singing grounds’ as they give a low nasal ‘peent’. This noise is very reminiscent of the calls you hear from Common Nighthawks, although you often hear the nighthawks in the air while you are more likely to hear woodcocks on the ground. From the ground, American Woodcocks also give a very soft deep ‘tuko’ that almost sounds like a cat purring.

The most amazing display is when the male takes to the air making a soft vocal chirping noise accompanied by a mechanical twittering that is produced by wind rushing through their notched outer flight feathers. A diagram of these amazing flights was draw by Loring Turrell and is available here.

Finally, if a female is interested and comes near the male, he will often raise his wing vertically, begin giving out the ‘tuko’ notes and slowly approach her.

I went out on a warm night last week to film a few male woodcocks. You can see that video below.

You can also see more nature videos on our Facebook page.

-Doug

Doug Hitchcox Head Shot - please credit  M. Kathleen Kelly (1)Meet Doug Hitchcox, Maine Audubon Staff Naturalist

A Maine native, Doug grew up in Hollis and graduated from the University of Maine in 2011. Throughout college Doug worked at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center and was hired as Maine Audubon’s staff naturalist in the summer of 2013, a long time “dream job.” In his free time, Doug volunteers as one of Maine’s eBird reviewers, is the owner and moderator of the ‘Maine-birds’ listserv and serves as York County Audubon board member and Secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee.

Submit your question for Doug:

Winners of the 2014 Photo Contest

Posted on: Monday, April 6th, 2015

We were amazed by the quality of the submissions in our inaugural photo contest! After much deliberation, we selected a winner from each of the four categories: Birds, Other Wildlife, People Enjoying Nature, and Maine Audubon Centers and Sanctuaries.

The winning photos will be published in an upcoming issue of Habitat, Maine Audubon’s quarterly membership journal.

Birds

Nick Leadley - Best Bird Photo - Common Yellowthroat

By Nick of Rangeley, Maine
A photo of a Common Yellowthroat perched on lupine in late June. Photo taken in Rangeley.

Other Wildlife

Kathy Lena - Best Other Wildlife Photo - Moose

By Kathy of Orono, Maine
A photo of a moose. This was taken from a kayak on River Pond, off the Golden Road, near Baxter State Park.

People Enjoying Nature

Michelle Amero - Best Person Photo - November Walk

By Michelle of Portland, Maine
November Walk at Gilsland Farm. This photo was taken at Gilsland Farm in the meadow.

 

Maine Audubon’s Centers and Sanctuaries

Roger-Merchant---Best-Sanctuary-Photo---Borestone-Mountain-small

By Roger of Glenburn, Maine
Northwest Viewsehd – Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary

Media Release: Maine Audubon Seeks Anglers for Brook Trout Survey Project

Posted on: Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

April 2, 2015

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
msmith@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-6180 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

 

Maine Audubon Seeks Anglers for Brook Trout Survey Project
Volunteers needed to fish ponds and coastal streams in search of wild brook trout

Emily BKT (1)Statewide - Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) are seeking volunteer anglers to survey remote Maine ponds and coastal streams for brook trout this fishing season. Information gathered by volunteers will be used to identify populations of previously-undocumented wild brook trout across the state.

Wild brook trout have significantly declined throughout their range. Today, Maine is home to 97% of the intact wild brook trout lake and pond habitat in the eastern United States. Brook trout require clean, cold water and well-connected streams to survive. The population status of brook trout is a key indicator of a healthy ecosystem that also illustrates the health of other species, including moose, deer, otters, kingfishers, herons and osprey. A decline in brook trout populations serves as an early warning that an entire ecosystem is potentially at risk.

The quality and abundance of some of Maine’s brook trout have declined in recent years due to development, land use practices, the introduction of non-native competing species and climate change. Wild brook trout are a nationally significant resource and Maine has a special responsibility to protect the last stronghold population of these iconic fish and its valuable habitat.

Maine is home to hundreds of remote ponds that have never been surveyed by fisheries biologists nor have any record of past stocking.  “Identifying the ponds and coastal streams with wild brook trout will greatly assist MDIFW in planning our conservation and management strategies over the next several decades,” noted Merry Gallagher, MDIFW Fisheries Research Biologist. The project’s focus on both remote ponds and coastal streams offers anglers a chance to explore new areas of the state. “Volunteers should be enthusiastic about fishing for brook trout, be comfortable in remote settings and have a sense of adventure,” noted Jeff Reardon of Trout Unlimited.

2015 marks the fifth year of the Brook Trout Survey Project. To date, 252 active volunteers have successfully surveyed 288 remote Maine ponds. Of those waters, 127 ponds were recommended to MDIFW for a formal survey after brook trout were caught or observed.  Based on the fact that these ponds had never been formally surveyed by MDIFW and there are no records of any past stocking, these trout are likely previously unknown populations of native or wild brook trout.

Based on the success of the Pond Survey, the project expanded in 2014 to include coastal stream surveys.  Project partners hope that this year will bring a significant increase in the number of streams surveyed and new volunteer anglers. Brook trout that live in coastal streams may spend part of their lives in saltwater and come back to freshwater to spawn.

There is little is known about the distribution and life history of sea-run brook trout in Maine, so volunteers are needed to help identify watersheds containing this special and elusive fish.  “The success of this project is entirely dependent on volunteer participation,” noted Emily Bastian, Brook Trout Survey Project Coordinator at Maine Audubon. “This is an exciting opportunity for people who care about conservation and love to fish to make a meaningful contribution to the conservation of wild brook trout, a significant and unique ecological, economic and cultural resource for Maine.”

Volunteer anglers are needed to survey 300+ ponds in northern Maine and coastal streams ranging from Kennebunk to Lubec. Surveys can be completed any time before September 30, 2015. The prime time for coastal stream surveys is mid-April through June, while pond fishing can be productive in both the spring and fall.  Project partners will provide maps, data sheets and instructions on how to survey ponds and streams.

To sign up to volunteer, please contact Emily Bastian at (207) 781-2330 x207 or ebastian@maineaudubon.org.  For more information about the Brook Trout Survey Project, please visit maineaudubon.org/brooktrout.

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 20,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

Contemplating Maine’s Energy Future: Thoughts on the Maine Energy Summit

Posted on: Monday, March 30th, 2015
Phil, Charles, Shawn - March 20, 2015

Phil Coupe, Charles Gauvin and Shawn Moody standing next to one of Maine Audubon’s solar arrays.

Maine Audubon recently held a press event featuring its new photovoltaic array, which uses a series of solar panels to generate enough electricity to handle roughly 80 percent of the organization’s annual electric usage.

A series of speakers made a compelling case for not only Maine Audubon’s decision to develop solar energy at its Gilsland Farm headquarters, but for solar in the state and national energy mix.  Phil Coupe, cofounder of Revision Energy (who developed the photovoltaic array), explained how solar has become a competitive energy source in Maine, and how—by avoiding the need to rely on energy sources that put carbon in the atmosphere (read all combustion technologies)—solar delivers even greater benefits. Shawn Moody of Moody’s Collision Center spoke to the role of solar in the Maine economy and how private and nonprofit entities can collaborate to develop solar energy. Senator Angus King addressed the big-picture role of renewables in addressing the national and global challenge of climate change.

Angus King - March 20, 2015

Senator Angus King at Maine Audubon’s press conference

It was an upbeat, forward-looking event and hardly a one-off. Later that same day, Senator King traveled to Wells to inaugurate the Wells Reserve at Laudholm’s installation of a photovoltaic solar array.  Although not yet a wave, the move toward solar in Maine is certainly a trend. The state, after all, has 33 percent greater solar energy resources than the entire nation of Germany, a leader in solar energy production. By devoting just one percent of its landscape to solar energy production, Maine could meet its energy demands indefinitely. It’s not likely that we’ll ever go quite that far with a single energy source, but the potential is intriguing.

No one can predict Maine’s energy future with certainty. But knowing how energy choices affect our environment (and in Maine, our economy depends on the health of our environment), I can safely say that solar—along with other renewable energy sources– will be a big part of it.

Thus, it was a more than disconcerting when I read an invitation from the state Chamber of Commerce to attend its April 3 “Maine Energy Summit.” I don’t know for sure, but the event, although claiming to be an “in-depth discussion” of Maine energy issues (electricity and heat and commercial/industrial usage), is unlikely to be about respective roles of renewables and other sources in Maine’s future energy mix. Renewable energy is missing from the agenda, and there are no renewable energy sponsors. Given the critical role of energy choices in Maine’s and the planet’s climate future, an event that does not include that subject in its agenda, hardly qualifies as a “summit.”

We’re well past the time when solar and other renewable energy sources were “boutique” experiments. An energy future without them is no future at all. If there is to be a true Maine energy summit, it must do a far better job of contemplating Maine’s energy future

- Charles

Charles Gauvin, Executive Director

Charles Gauvin, Executive Director

Charles Gauvin started at Maine Audubon in 2014. Gauvin brings more than 25 years of experience in conservation leadership, much of it as the president and CEO of Trout Unlimited, the nation’s leading river and fish conservation organization.Gauvin most recently served as Chief Development Officer at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. He collaborated with Carnegie scholars worldwide to develop program strategies and support in the United States, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Asia and South Asia.

2015 Piping Plover/Least Tern Project Intern/Southern Maine

Posted on: Monday, March 30th, 2015

Interns monitor and manage endangered piping plovers and least terns on beaches in southern Maine under the supervision of the Seasonal Biologists and Outreach Coordinator. Duties include: locating nests, erecting fencing, tracking nest success and fledglings, monitoring predation, coordinating project volunteers, and conducting public outreach programs.  Internship is a volunteer position, though we will offer a small stipend to help offset expenses. Interns will develop skills in field biology, public outreach and education, and working as part of an endangered species recovery team.

The successful applicant will:

  • have experience working with birds,
  • have excellent observation skills,
  • be a diplomatic and effective communicator, and
  • be in excellent physical condition

Position is for approximately 10 weeks during May, June and July.

To apply:
E-mail cover letter, resume and three references to conserve@maineaudubon.org or send to PPLT Intern Search Committee, Maine Audubon, 20 Gilsland Farm Rd., Falmouth, ME 04105.

Status:
Applications reviewed starting mid-April/Search done when positions filled.