We’re taking part in a COVID-safe version of this famous birding competition, run by NJ Audubon, on May 9, 2020. A team representing Maine Audubon will spend 24 hours finding as many different bird species we can, trying to beat teams from all over the Eastern Seaboard.
The event will be a showcase for the diverse birdlife and habitat in Maine, as well as an opportunity to raise funds for Maine Audubon’s conservation and education work.
Team Maine Audubon is comprised of:
- Doug Hitchcox, covering parts of the Lakes Region from his home in the Sebago Lake area;
- Linda Woodard and Turk Duddy, covering southern beaches and coastal plains from their home in the Kennebunk area;
- Bob Duchesne, covering semi-boreal habitat areas from his home east of the Old Town area;
- Nick Lund, covering coastal areas of Scarborough Marsh.
Final total: 139 species. Very, very respectable finish for a team in Maine where we have yet to welcome many spring migrants. The list includes a few uncommon birds like Western Tanager and Little Egret, an endangered species (Piping Plover), and a recovered endangered species (Bald Eagle).
And a final wrap-up from Bob Duchesne:
May 9, 9 p.m.
The sun has set and the team has finally headed home after 20 hours of birding. Unbelievably impressive day, spotting at least 139 species of birds up here in Maine in the rain, snow, and high winds. And remember, that’s staying within a ten-mile radius of four locations. Think about how many birds that means there are in Maine–either living here, here seasonally, or passing through. We’ve got rich, valuable habitat that needs our protection.
Congratulations to Doug, Nick, Linda, Turk, Bob, and Sandi, and thank you so much to everyone who supported our efforts today. You can still make a donation to support Maine Audubon!
May 9, 4:00 p.m.
Live update with Doug and Nick as the species count tops 125! The sun is finally out in Southern Maine and the birders spot a kestrel and turkey vulture during the course of this broadcast!
May 9, 3:30 p.m.
Still snowing. But Bob and Sandi are still going strong, heading back to Sunkhaze Meadows.
May 9, 1:00 p.m.
The team is at 116 species! If you have an eBird account you can find the bird list there. If not, here’s a list of species seen so far.
May 9, 11:00 a.m. live update with Linda Woodard. Linda and Turk saw Piping Plovers at Goose Rocks Beach — an endangered species! The team has now seen 106 species, the snow looks like it’s stopped, so it promises to be a good afternoon.
May 9, 10:00 a.m. update with Bob Duchesne
May 9, 9:30 a.m.
Bob Duchesne is finally somewhere with a cell phone signal so sent in this update:
May 9, 9 a.m.
The count is at 98 species as the checklists come in! Thank you all for your support.
Live update with Nick on a snowy, windy Pine Point Beach
May 9, 8:00 a.m. Live with Doug:
Nick’s at Pine Point, Doug has moved from Capisic Pond to Evergreen Cemetery and is heading to Gilsland Farm to look for the Little Egret. Bob Duchesne was at Sunkhaze Meadows early this morning and is on the move again.
May 9, 7:30 a.m. Live with Nick:
May 9, 7 a.m.
The team is cold and wet but spirits are still high because they love birding! Bob Duchesne is seeing lots of birds. Total is at about 40.
Duchesne report — for those birders who know the four-letter codes — includes BAOW, WISN, WTSP, EAPH, WHIP, WIWR, RCKI, AMBI, RUGR, PUFI.
Nick spotted a Virginia Rail on the Eastern Trail.
Update from Doug!
Update from Linda!
May 9, 5:00 a.m.
It’s 5:00 and Bob Duchesne, driving assistance from his wife Sandi, has already been out and about:
May 9, 12:01 am
And they’re off! It’s windy, raining, and cold. And there’s a wind advisory, gale warning, and coastal flood advisory. Great.
Team members will be reporting their progress throughout the 24-hour period, sending videos and updates. Follow along here and on Facebook during the day. We’ll have live updates on Facebook on the hour from 7 to 11 a.m. and an update at 4 p.m., plus updates here as we get them from the team.
In the meantime, check out these great scouting videos from team member Bob Duchesne.
In this hilarious and informative video, he’s scouting for owls: