Associated People Paul Dest
It was a blow, that message last Friday.
- From: Paul Dest
- To: All Staff
- Sent: Fri 2/5/2016 11:05 AM
We have lost a committed conservationist, a lover of birds and of all things wild, a master bird-bander and masterful birder, an excellent teacher and an enthusiastic life-long learner, and one the greatest friends one could ever have.
June lived an extraordinary life — 91 years of active and engaged living. Her presence will continue to be felt here for years to come.
Associated People Paige Rutherford
Wells Reserve, Center for Wildlife, and York County Audubon Society partnered yesterday to offer the third annual Winter Wildlife Day, and 150 people attended! Activities included live animal presentations with non-releasable wildlife ambassadors, tracking walks, face painting, and the creation of plaster track casts, owl window decorations to prevent bird strikes, and binoculars. Snowshoes were available to use on the trails, and hot cocoa greeted visitors when they returned from the outdoors. It was a bustling day with lots of smiling faces!
Here are a few images from the second Winter Wildlife Day, held during school vacation week with help from York County Audubon and the Center for Wildlife. Despite the lack of snow, folks had a good time. The rain showers seemed to arrive when everyone was inside for presentations and the sun came out when it was time for the trail walks.
Associated People Scott Richardson
Yesterday's Lunch 'n Learn in Mather Auditorium drew over 20 people who were interested in learning more about the birds of York County. Marie Jordan of York County Audubon Society shared her vast knowledge of birds, as well as an impressive slideshow of her bird photographs. Following are just a few of the snippets of information that I documented in my notes from the program:
- Pine Siskins come through this area in November and March. They look like house finches, but have yellow on the wings.
- King Eiders can sometimes be seen off Marginal Way in Ogunquit. Harlequin ducks are common in this location in the winter, too.
- Cedar Waxwings and Bohemian Waxwings feast on the fruit from crab apple trees through the winter months.
- Saco Heath is a great place to find Prairie Warblers in the spring.
- At Kennebunk Plains, birders often see Upland Sandpipers, Grasshopper Sparrows, and Vesper Sparrows.
- Many birds have expanded their range into Maine. Birds like the Red-bellied Woodpecker and the Carolina Wren were not here 30 years ago.
- It is very important to manage fields for Bobolinks and Meadowlarks, waiting until after their nesting season to mow.
- Marie shared a statistic she had heard--that roughly one million birds in Minnesota are killed by cats each year. She encouraged all of us to keep our cats indoors for the sake of songbirds.
- Mockingbirds have their own song! In addition to all of the mimicking they do, they also have their very own "harsh sounding" song.
- When someone asks Marie what her favorite bird is she replies, "The bird I am looking at this minute!" She has too many favorites to name just one.
After the indoor presentation, the group ventured outside on a bird walk with Scott Richardson. Soon after leaving the auditorium, a Sharp Shinned Hawk flew overhead and Scott explained the flight patterns and wing differences of the area's most common raptors.
Following is the list of birds either seen or heard along the walk:
- Song Sparrow
- Sharp-shinned Hawk
- Blue Jay
- Red-tailed Hawk
- American Crow
- Yellow-rumped Warbler
- American Black Duck
- Surf Scoter
- White-winged Scoter
- Northern Gannet
- Double-crested Cormorant
- Bonaparte's Gull
- Common Loon
- Ring-billed Gull
- Tree Swallow
It was standing room only at the first live animal presentation during last Thursday's Winter Wildlife Day. Here's a look around the auditorium, where the Center for Wildlife, York County Audubon, and the Wells Reserve teamed up for a successful event.
It's a 20-year tradition: In each season of every year since 1989, birders from the York County Audubon Society have scoured the forests and fields, marshes and beach of the Wells Reserve, intent on counting all the birds they can see or hear in 3 hours. Teams spread out to cover four routes, never knowing what they'll encounter.
At yesterday's post-survey compilation, it was clear that the Muskie and Pilger trails were the hot spot. That's where most of the 127 warblers of 15 species were found.
Survey coordinator Joanne Stevens and data handler Nancy McReel have shared the full results from one of the birdiest quarterly surveys the Audubon team has done—75 species.…
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