News & Notes: Conservation Issues


Reflections on Warbler Walks

Posted on: Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Each weekday morning from May 5th through the 15th, I had the pleasure of leading free walks at Evergreen Cemetery and Capisic Pond Park in Portland. In 10 days we saw 99 species, plus one other taxa (American Black Duck x Mallard hybrid). A complete list of these species is located at the end of this post but I did want to reflect on a few of the highlights:

Least Bittern

On the Saturday after our first walk in Capisic Pond Park, a Least Bittern was spotted there. As a guide, I cringed at the thought that the bird could have been around during our walk on Friday and we missed it. Least Bitterns are listed as endangered in Maine because of their low numbers and very limited breeding range, so the sighting would be a real showstopper for the walk. Many birders searched for the Least Bittern over the following days to no avail. Then finally, on our last walk, (Friday, the 15th), I just happened to pause and scan the cattails and there it was! What a way to end our warbler walks!

LEBI - by Sandra Mitchell Photo by Sandra Mitchell

 

Red Crossbill (Type 10)

For almost a month now, a flock of 8-15 Red Crossbills has been reported at Evergreen Cemetery. We lucked into them on two of the days we were there. They were always foraging in the tamarack trees on the west end of the large pond. Without getting too detailed here, you should know there are 10 distinct ‘types’ of Red Crossbills, some of which may be unique species. You can read much more on this in Matt Young’s article. To make a long story short, I was able to get a good recording of the flight calls of this flock and Matt was able to identify them as Type 10. This is the expected type for Maine but it is nice to verify.

RECR

Overall Summary

This was an interesting couple of weeks for warblers. Except for two cooler mornings, we had warm and beautiful days. Although the warmth is nice for birders, it doesn’t contribute to the ‘fallout’ conditions that we all like. The winds were also less than favorable for producing large numbers of birds. Overall, diversity was near average but it did seem like a slow start. That said, we are still in the peak of it! If you feel like you missed the opportunity to see these birds, than fear not, the best may be yet to come! Over the weekend, I finally picked up my first Blackburnian Warbler of the year and I heard reports of two Cape May Warblers at Evergreen on May 18th.

Bird-a-thon: Gilsland Farm team needs your help!

This Saturday, as part of the L.L.Bean Freeport Festival, Maine Audubon is holding its annual Bird-a-thon. This is a 24-hour event where teams of birders travel anywhere in the state to see as many species of birds as possible. Please consider donating to my team, the “Sub-adult Twitchers”, because the funds we raise go directly towards programming like these spring Warbler Walks and the free Naturalist Forum talks every month. I’ve put together a team of mostly youth birders (some of us want to feel young, but last year I learned that having multiple drivers on your team is very helpful). Please consider donating to our team at: https://www.crowdrise.com/bigday2015/

Complete Species List:

  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • American Black Duck
  • Mallard
  • American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid)
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Common Loon
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Least Bittern
  • Green Heron
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Bald Eagle
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Virginia Rail
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Solitary Sandpiper
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Herring Gull
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Mourning Dove
  • Black-billed Cuckoo
  • Chimney Swift
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Least Flycatcher
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Great Crested Flycatcher
  • Eastern Kingbird
  • Blue-headed Vireo
  • Warbling Vireo
  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Tree Swallow
  • Bank Swallow
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Brown Creeper
  • House Wren
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Veery
  • Swainson’s Thrush
  • Hermit Thrush
  • Wood Thrush
  • American Robin
  • Gray Catbird
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Ovenbird
  • Northern Waterthrush
  • Black-and-white Warbler
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • American Redstart
  • Northern Parula
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler
  • Blackpoll Warbler
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler
  • Palm Warbler
  • Pine Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Prairie Warbler
  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Canada Warbler
  • Wilson’s Warbler
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow
  • Swamp Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Common Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Orchard Oriole
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • House Finch
  • Purple Finch
  • Red Crossbill
  • Pine Siskin
  • American Goldfinch

-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:

How Do We Build a Broader Network of Wildlife Conservationists?

Posted on: Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Over the last year, Maine Audubon’s Board and leadership has been reflecting on how we can build a more sizable and durable network of wildlife conservationists. We cannot attain our vision unless we engage a far greater number of people in our mission. To develop a clearer idea of how we might solicit broader support, we conducted a statewide web survey that included Maine Audubon members as well as the general public.

One key finding was that we haven’t been effective in building awareness of our work among non-members. The difference in awareness was dramatic—a factor of nearly seven to one. We cannot now assume most Mainers even know enough about our work to decide whether they agree with our mission.

To prevent “preaching to the choir” we realize we need to reach a larger audience and engage a broader cross section of Maine’s community. The survey demonstrated that diversification of our membership is a key element for increasing our reach to the 99.6 percent of Maine’s population that are not Maine Audubon members. While both members and nonmembers expressed enthusiasm for participation in outdoor activities, Maine Audubon members are more likely to self-identify as birders, by a factor of three to one.  We must sustain that strong tie, but in order to build a more sizable and durable community of people for wildlife, we must also reach out more effectively to people who appreciate wildlife in other ways.

And the issue of wildlife conservation and climate change offers particular engagement challenges, according to the survey. While 82 percent of members prioritized programs addressing climate change impacts on wildlife, only 42 percent of non-members agreed. Unfortunately, this finding is consistent with the broader picture of the environmental movement. Many people feel climate change is a problem on a scale too large to address with practical measures.

From action alerts that mobilize advocates to Stream Smart workshops that empower people to improve local habitat, Maine Audubon can engage people in addressing specific threats at a scale they can understand. These programs are proven winners, but won’t do the job unless they reach a much larger audience. I’d welcome suggestions as to how Maine Audubon can do that. Send me an email and tell me what you think.

- 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.

Get More From Our Naturalist on Instagram

Posted on: Friday, May 8th, 2015

This blog has become a great place for me to connect with Maine Audubon members and others by sharing some of my observations of nature. I always try to make the posts relevant to what is going on in the natural world at the time I am writing and I wanted to share another way that you can get some of this natural history information: Instagram.

Instagram was designed as a “simple way to capture and share the world’s moments.” I’ve started using this app to share photos of the flora and fauna that I encounter on Maine Audubon trips, bird walks or anytime I’m in the field.

You can download the app for free on any iOS (6.0 or later), Android (2.2 or later) or Windows Phone (8) and find our account: @maineaudubon. Also, you can view our Instagram page on the web at: instagram.com/maineaudubon

Here are a few photos I’ve posted recently:

common yellowthroat

This male Common Yellowthroat was one of the many warblers we’ve been seeing recently on our Warbler Walks at Evergreen Cemetery.

red maple flower

The red hue from all the maple flowers blooming recently has been gorgeous!

piping plover

This is one of the proud adults from Maine’s first Piping Plover nest of 2015.

crescent moon

I hope you enjoy the posts on Instagram. Please feel free to share your posts of flora, fauna or anything worth looking at with us by tagging us with @maineaudubon.

-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:

Rare Bird Alert – April 25-May 1, 2015

Posted on: Friday, May 1st, 2015

Reporting Period: April 25 – May 1, 2015
Compilers: Doug Hitchcox

Noteworthy Species Mentioned:

  • Glossy Ibis
  • White-faced Ibis+
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Caspian Tern
  • American Three-toed Woodpecker
  • Black-backed Woodpecker

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

Greater Portland

Two WHITE-FACED IBIS were found behind the Pelreco Building at the Scarborough Marsh on the 25th. This location is off Snow Canning Road in Scarborough. These birds were seen throughout the week and are often in a large flock of GLOSSY IBIS at various points around the Scarborough Marsh.
 
Kennebec River Valley (Augusta-Waterville)

Eight GLOSSY IBIS were found in Albion on the 26th and continued until the 28th in a pasture adjacent to a wetland on E. Benton Road opposite (west of) #133.

Midcoast

On the afternoon of the 25th, a CASPIAN TERN was seen feeding at Wharton Point in Brunswick. Two CASPIAN TERNS were seen here on the 29th and 30th.
 
A CASPIAN TERN was seen flying just offshore along Seawall Beach on the 26th.
 
Penobscot Bay
 
On the 27th, two CASPIAN TERNS were found in the Weskeag Marsh in South Thomaston. They continued here on the 28th and 29th, with only one bird being reported on the 30th and May 1st. There was a late report at least one could have been present since the 24th.
 
Central Maine
 
At least two pairs of BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS were seen along the Harvester Road, off the Telos Road in Northwest Piscataquis on April 26th. A pair of AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKERS was also reported near here, at a spot west of Chamberlain Lake.

Downeast

Rare this far east, a GLOSSY IBIS was photographed at Roque Island in Jonesport on the 24th.
 
On the 26th, a CASPIAN TERN was seen flying up the Pleasant River near the boat landing in Addison. Not far from here, a CASPIAN TERN was reported from Flat Bay in Harrington on the 30th.

Western Mountains
 
On the evening of the 30th, three SANDHILL CRANES were reported from the cornfield at the north end of McNeil Road in Fryeburg.
 
Northern Maine
 
A pair of GLOSSY IBIS was photographed in Van Buren and present from the 27th through the 29th; representing what is probably the northern most record for this species in Maine.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Audubon Applauds Legislature’s Efforts on Behalf of Endangered Species

Posted on: Thursday, April 30th, 2015

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

April 30, 2015

Contact:
Jenn Burns Gray, Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate
jgray@maineaudubon.org, 207-798-2900

Maine Audubon Applauds Legislature’s Efforts on Behalf of Endangered Species
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee has voted unanimously in support of LD 807

Maine Audubon is delighted to announce that the Legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee has voted unanimously in support of adding five species to the state’s Endangered and Threatened Species List.

The little brown bat has been added to the Maine Endangered and Threatened Species list.

LD 807, sponsored by Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Franklin), adds five species to the endangered list (Cobblestone tiger beetle, Frigga fritillary, Six-whorl vertigo, Little brown bat, and Northern long-eared bat) and one species to the threatened list (Eastern small-footed bat). LD 807 also changes the status of two species from endangered to threatened (Clayton’s copper, Roaring Brook mayfly) and one species from threatened to endangered (Black-Crowned Night Heron). The committee voted unanimously to support the bill with an amendment to fix a technical error.

Maine Audubon supports timely review and amendments to Maine’s Threatened and Endangered Species List, which was last updated in 2007.

“Maine Audubon applauds the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee’s excellent work on LD 807,” said Charles Gauvin, executive director of Maine Audubon. “The committee listened to the science and respected the work of the biologists at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW).  Sending the bill to the floor with such strong support sends the right message to the full legislature.”

“The committee recognizes that MDIFW biologists are dedicated to the conservation of our state’s wildlife and they know more than anyone about the status and future of each of these species in Maine,” said Sen. Paul T. Davis, Sr. (Senate Chair, R-Piscataquis). “We strongly support and commend their efforts and this bill updating the Maine Endangered Species List. I am pleased to send the bill with unanimous support to the full Legislature for its endorsement.”

Maine Audubon is especially concerned about the future of the three bat species proposed for listing. All three species hibernate together in caves, and all have declined dramatically in Maine — and in the entire northeast region — since the discovery and spread of the fungus that causes the disease known as White Nose Syndrome.

“It’s clear that bats are in trouble,” said Rep. Stanley Short, Jr. (U-Pittsfield). “I used to have dozens of bats at my house and they’ve disappeared. I even built a bat house but there’s still no activity.  Listing the bats will help open doors for much needed funding opportunities.”

“The committee did excellent work on this bill,” said Rep. Mike Shaw (House Chair, D-Standish). “It’s clear that the listing process is thorough and sound and based on science. I commend the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for proposing updates to the list based on thorough reviews of species population size, trend and distribution and the Committee for moving this bill to the floor with unanimous support.”

The bill could come to the floor any time.

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee members:
Senator Paul T. Davis, Sr. (R-Piscataquis), Chair
Senator Scott W. Cyrway (R-Kennebec)
Senator David E. Dutremble (D-York)
Representative Michael A. Shaw (D-Standish), Chair
Representative Roland Danny Martin (D-Sinclair)
Representative Robert W. Alley, Sr. (D-Beals)
Representative Dale J. Crafts (R-Lisbon)*
Representative Stephen J. Wood (R-Greene)
Representative Roger E. Reed (R-Carmel)
Representative Patrick W. Corey (R-Windham)
Representative Gary L. Hilliard (R-Belgrade)
Representative Peter A. Lyford (R-Eddington)
Representative Stanley Byron Short, Jr. (U-Pittsfield)
Representative Matthew Dana II (Passamaquoddy Tribe)

For more information, contact Jenn Gray at jgray@maineaudubon.org, 207-798-2900

   ###

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

MEDIA RELEASE: Citizen Scientists Needed to Help Watch for Wildlife on the Road

Posted on: Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

 

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

April 29, 2015

Contact:
Agata Ketterick, 207-781-2330 x232

Citizen Scientists Needed to Help Watch for Wildlife on the Road
Maine Audubon seeks “road watch” volunteers

FALMOUTH – As the weather warms up, many animals are on the move and are more likely to be spotted on or near Maine roads.  Audubon seeks volunteers to survey roads in Maine for signs of animal road crossings. Information collected by volunteers about where different animals attempt to cross roads is the critical first step in identifying ways to reduce road-kill and increase safety for people and wildlife.

Maine Audubon’s Wildlife Road Watch is a web-based map and database designed to record citizen scientists’ observations of road-side and road-killed wildlife. Volunteers can participate by submitting roadside observations on the Wildlife Road Watch website.  Go to maineaudubon.org/wildlife-habitat/wildlife-road-watch/ to register and start submitting observations today.

Since the inception of the Wildlife Road Watch program in 2010, over 460 volunteers have reported over 4,800 wildlife observations of 130 different wildlife species, including reports of rare and endangered species.

Roads can have a big impact on endangered species by impeding movement and separating populations, as well as killing individuals from collisions. Unless changes are made, Maine Audubon biologists report that Blanding’s turtles and spotted turtles are likely to become extinct in Maine due to road mortality.

Biologists with Maine Audubon, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and the Maine Department of Transportation will use the information gathered by volunteers to reduce road risks to wildlife and improve conditions for drivers.

To learn more about Wildlife Road Watch, contact Barbara Charry at Maine Audubon at (207) 781-2330 x225 or bcharry@maineaudubon.org.

   ###

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

MEDIA RELEASE: First Protected Piping Plover Nest of the Season Found in Maine

Posted on: Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

 

Shawn_Carey_Plover_Chick

Photo: Shawn Carey

NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

April 28, 2015

Contact:
Agata Ketterick, Maine Audubon, 207-781-2330 x232
Meagan Racey, USFWS, 413-253-8558
Mark Latti, MDIFW, 207-287-5216

First Protected Piping Plover Nest of the Season Found in Maine
Wildlife agencies, Maine Audubon ask for help safeguarding nesting areas

On the heels of last year’s highly productive piping plover nesting season, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and Maine Audubon reported Monday the first nests of the 2015 season, found in the towns of Biddeford and Kennebunk.

With nearly 100 plover chicks taking flight from Maine beaches in 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Audubon, and Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) ask beachgoers and landowners from Ogunquit Beach to Georgetown to help returning plovers have just as much success in 2015.

“We’re excited to ask beachgoers this year to help us watch for piping plovers with pink flags on their legs, a sign that the bird has flown to Maine from the Bahamas,” said wildlife ecologist Laura Minich Zitske with Maine Audubon. “We still have a lot to learn about the birds when they leave our breeding grounds for wintering areas. In addition to pink flags, Mainers can look out for green flags on birds banded in South Carolina or Georgia and for gray or black flags on birds from Canada.”

Piping plovers are protected as endangered in Maine and as threatened under federal law. Federal guidelines request that pets be leashed and under control of their owners at all times from April 1 to August 31 on beaches with plovers. Some areas prohibit dogs starting April 1 every year, including Ogunquit Beach, Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth, Ferry Beach State Park in Saco, Scarborough Beach State Park, Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg and Reid State Park in Georgetown. Please check with your local town office, as dog ordinances vary by town on local town beaches.

MDIFW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Maine have cooperative beach management agreements with the Bureau of Parks and Lands and the Towns of Wells, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach, and Scarborough.

“Cooperative beach management agreements and volunteer efforts have been critical in helping the population climb from barely two dozen surviving plover chicks in 2005 to nearly 100 last year,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Maine supervisor Laury Zicari.  “We look forward to continuing this work with Maine landowners, volunteer monitors and beachgoers this season, and we urge towns to coordinate with us to support these tiny shorebirds that have nested on Maine’s beaches for thousands of years.”

Beachgoers can help plovers by:

  1. Respecting all areas fenced or posted for protection of wildlife.
  2. Watch plovers from a distance to avoid disturbing them.
  3. Follow local pet ordinances. Dogs are predators of plovers. Federal guidelines recommend leashing even if not required by local ordinances.
  4. Taking trash or food scraps off the beach. Garbage attracts predators that may prey upon piping plover eggs or chicks.
  5. Volunteering and reporting bird sightings! See contact information below.

Shoreline habitat for nesting plovers has been reduced in Maine by 75 percent, once providing suitable nesting beach habitat for likely 200 pairs. Last year, 50 plover pairs—the most in the state since 2004—raised 97 chicks to the age of flight (fledging). The 97 fledglings compose the third highest number since monitoring began in Maine. Plovers nest in front of sand dunes on the upper beach and are vulnerable to natural predators, roaming pets, storms and human disturbance.

The Piping Plover Recovery Project, a nearly 30-year collaboration between Maine Audubon, the Service, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and local municipalities, works to educate the public about plover nesting areas to ensure their protection and increase their population.

If you find a plover nest, or would like to volunteer for the Piping Plover Recovery Project, please contact Laura Minich Zitske at lzitske@maineaudubon.org or (207) 233-6811 or MDIFW at (207) 657-2345. If you see one of the plovers with a pink or other colored flag, please report the following information to BahamasPIPL@audubon.org: the date and specific location the bird was observed, band code, latitude and longitude, a photo if possible, and any other noted information.

   ###

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

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.

   ###

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

 

 

 

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
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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.
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