Of Mallards and Men: The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 with Kurk Dorsey – Tuesday, March 27th

Of Mallards and Men: The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 by author, birder and UNH History Professor Dr. Kurk Dorsey.  This event will help us celebrate the 100th anniversary of passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act which is the basis for much of the protection afforded wild birds in the US and other nations, but is currently being weakened.  In December, the Interior Department issued a ruling that businesses which accidentally kill non-game migratory birds during their operations are not in violation of the MBTA.

A popular speaker for Seacoast Audubon, Kurk’s expertise in environmental history blended with his underlying sense of humor will educate and entertain as he reveals the surprising story of how the federal government found itself in the business of protecting migratory wildlife. Such colorful characters as President Woodrow Wilson; hunter, taxidermist, zoologist William Hornaday; and naturalist Mabel Osgood Wright played important roles in the drama.  This promises to be an excellent program.  Come early for refreshments and social time.

Please note:  This program is on the fourth Tuesday of March, a week later than our usual schedule.

The program will be at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.  Please join us.  York County Audubon programs are free and open to all


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Wanted: Shorebird Coordinator

Position Announcement: Shorebird Coordinator for Goose Rocks Beach

Piping Plover and chickThe shorebird coordinator will recruit and manage local volunteers who monitor birds on the beach and educate visitors. The coordinator will work with the Town, Maine Audubon, Maine Dept Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and federal agencies to help ensure the success of beach-nesting birds on Goose Rocks Beach. An ideal candidate would be a local person, who can help motivate and create a larger community of shorebird lovers. Dates of employment will be approximately April to September.


  • Be familiar with the area and knowledgeable about shorebirds (basic knowledge OK if willing to learn)
  • Be able to walk the 2 miles of Goose Rocks Beach
  • Enjoy talking with people and be able to educate the public about Piping Plovers and other resident birds
  • Be able to work some weekend and occasional odd (morning, evening hours)
  • Have attention to detail and able to record and share data
  • Be able to recruit and supervise volunteers
  • Living within 20 minutes of Goose Rocks Beach preferred

To Apply

Send resume with cover letter to Annica McQuirk

Download Shorebird Coordinator position description

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The Harlequin – Winter 2018

Please click on the link below to view the Winter 2018 issue of our Harlequin newsletter (with photos in full color!)

Read the feature interview with new Maine Big Year record holder Josh Fecteau, describing some of his adventures and the birds he found, including this Painted Bunting in Palermo, Maine on May 18th.

Harlequin Winter 2018


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YCAS announces the June Ficker Hog Island Scholarship for 2018

Hog lsland chickadee - Christine Caprio    A view of Hog Island

Hog Island on midcoast Maine

YCAS will again be awarding a scholarship for the Educator’s Week program, July 15-20, 2018 on famed Hog Island. Check the Scholarship Programs link under the Community Involvement pull down heading above for more information.  The application deadline is March 15th.

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Winter Wildlife Tracking with Dan Gardoqui – Jan 20th, 2018

The winter landscape is a fabulous time to connect with the lives of our local wildlife. Mammals, birds (even winter insects) leave behind tracks, trails and signs of their presence. Spend the morning with certified wildlife tracker Dan Gardoqui of White Pine Programs, learning to interpret the abundant clues of our wild neighbors.

The workshop will run from 9 till noon on Saturday, January 20th (with Sunday as a fallback date if Saturday’s weather is too poor).  It will be held at the Wells Reserve at 342 Laudholm Farm Road in Wells

Participants should be dressed to be outdoors for the entire 3 hours – regardless of temperature. Dress in layers. Bring snacks and a drink. Program runs regardless of snow cover. For adults & interested teens. Group size is limited to 12 people, and advance registration is required.  Please register by clicking on the link under “What’s Coming Up” on the right side of this page, then scrolling down to find the registration form.The price is $20/ person ($25/person for non-members), payable by cash or check at the workshop.

Note: this workshop will also be presented on Sunday, February 25th, sponsored by the Wells Reserve.  FMI:  https://www.wellsreserve.org/event/2-25-18-winter-wildlife-tracking-with-dan-gardoqui

Dan Gardoqui
Dan Gardoqui

Dan Gardoqui is a co-founder and Executive Director of White Pine Programs, a nature connection nonprofit based in York, Maine. He has been studying naturalist skills, wildlife tracking, bird language, and mentoring for over 25 years. Dan has a M.S. in Natural Resources, is a Certified Wildlife Tracker, Registered Maine Guide, and served as Science Faculty at Granite State College for over a decade. Through wildlife tracking, Dan has contributed to wildlife studies and served as science editor for the bird language book What the Robin Knows. While not navigating the landscape of nonprofit leadership and management, Dan loves spending time trail running, hunting, playing music, and being a dad to his boys.

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Gull ID Workshop with Derek Lovitch – Feb 3rd-4th, 2018


This two-part workshop, on Saturday afternoon, Feb 3rd and Sunday morning, Feb 4th, will get you started on unraveling the mysteries of gull identification. Actually, most gulls are not very difficult to tell apart, though adult and juveniles of most species look very different. We’re going to give ourselves confidence with identifying the easier plumage’s of our common species, and then tackle the more challenging intermediate plumage’s and the less-common species.

Gull in flight. © Marie Jordan
Ring-billed Gull in flight. Photo by Marie Jordan

Part I of the Workshop on Saturday February 3rd will be indoors at the Mather Auditorium of the Wells Reserve at 342 Laudholm Farm Road in Wells will be divided into two sections (you need not be present for both):

1:00 pm-2:30 pm – Beginning Gull Identification. Using Powerpoint and book resources, we’ll start with the basics of gull identification, such as feather topography and aging. We’ll then focus on our most common species: Ring-billed, Herring, Great Black-backed, Laughing, and Bonaparte’s Gulls.

3:00 pm-4:30 pm – Advanced Gull Identification. Now comfortable with the basics, we’ll move on to the uncommon species: Lesser Black-backed, Iceland, Glaucous, and Black-legged Kittiwake. Next up will be the rarities: Little, Black-headed, and yes, even “Thayer’s.” We’ll touch upon “Megas” such as Mew, Slaty-backed, and Sabine’s, and we’ll discuss hybrids. Finally, we’ll apply what we have learned to tackle and understand some identification quandaries, such as the famous “Westbrook Gull” before we finish up with some photo quizzes to test our new-found knowledge.

Part II: Sunday, February 4th (8:00am – 12:00pm):

We’ll meet in Portland (Back Cove parking lot on Preble Street Ext, opposite the Hannaford’s) to carpool around the area to apply what we have learned. We’ll spend some time with our most common species: Herring, Ring-billed, and Great Black-backed, and then seek out Iceland and Glaucous, and perhaps we’ll find something even better!

We hope that you will join Derek for this workshop to foster appreciation for this fascinating group of birds. Derek (with his wife Jeannette) owns and operates Wild Bird Supply in Freeport. He’s the author of “How to Be a Better Birder” and is well respected as one of the premiere birders in Maine and beyond.

York County Audubon is sponsoring this Workshop. We are asking for a $10.00 fee to participate, payable by cash or check at the Saturday session. Space is limited, and advance registration (via this website) is required.

Please register by clicking on the link under “What’s Coming Up” on the right side of this page, then scrolling down to find the registration form. Weather dates or Workshop updates will be posted on the York County Audubon website and Derek’s Web Page (freeportwildbirdsupply.com/birdingtoursinMaine.asp).


Posted in Workshop

Feral Newfoundland with Deborah Gordon – Tuesday, November 14th

Join artist, musician, and photographer Deborah Gordon as she reveals secrets and hidden natural wonders of Newfoundland and Labrador. Learn about the less frequented outposts, national and provincial parks, World Heritage Sites, and the infectious humor and uplifting spirit that comprises the culture and people of Canada’s most eastern province.

Newfoundland and Labrador are surprisingly accessible, and you will learn the options and necessary preparations for travel and accommodations, seasonal activities, literature and history resources as Deborah is excited to share her expertise on this region. Her captivating, in-depth slide show of the wildlife, landscape, architecture, and mystery of this dauntingly exquisite, un-pretentious place will interest all.

Deborah Gordon spends her summers on the Great Northern Peninsula, where she immerses herself in the color, light, and space that is quintessentially Newfoundland.  Deborah loves capturing on camera all that leaves her breathless.

The program will be at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.  Please join us.  York County Audubon programs are free and open to all

FMI:  http://www.deborahgordondesign.com/


Posted in Program

Video of Turtles with Kris Hoffmann

A video of our September program on turtles, presented by Kris Hoffman, is now available and can be watched by clicking on the link below.

Our special thanks to Saco River Community Television for recording and editing the program, and making this video available.

Posted in Program, video

The Christmas Bird Counts Are Coming

    Harlequins DH 5196837123_369eef562e_z crop

Beginning on Christmas Day in 1900, the   Audubon Society has been sponsoring Christmas Bird Counts (CBC’s) to help monitor the health and status of bird populations throughout North America.  In that first year, there were 25 count circles with a total of 27 birders.  Now, there are over 2300 count circles each year with over 70,000 birders participating, with the locations stretching from Alaska to South America.

Each year, York County Audubon sponsors two counts.  The Southern York County circle extends from Kittery to Ogunquit, while the Biddeford/Kennebunkport count circle reaches from Kennebunk to Saco.  Each count territory is a geographic circle, carved out into six or more territories.  Each territory has a team that scours it during “count day” looking for all bird species, and recording the numbers seen of each.  It can, at times, be a bit more art than science, as we attempt to count – but not double count – the birds we find. We also have supporters who monitor their home feeders during the day and contribute their totals.  To avoid double counting, we ask them only to report the greatest number of each species that they see at any one time during the day.

At the end of the day (at 5 p.m.), we meet to compile the counts and share highlights.  Once compiled, the counts are forwarded to National Audubon for their master compilation.  Both locally and nationally, the totals are reviewed to assess trends in the populations of all species.  While the totals can vary fairly dramatically year to year due to the weather that happens to grace us on count day, the bigger picture over time can be very informative.

This year, the Southern York County CBC will be held on Monday, December 18th, while the Biddeford/Kennebunkport CBC will be on Saturday, December 30th.   The Southern YC compilation will be held in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve, while the Bidd/Kport compilation will held at the Church on the Cape in Cape Porpoise.  If you might like to find out about participating in one or both, please contact Monica Grabin at 207-985-3342 or grabin@roadrunner.com for the Southern York County CBC, or Kathy Donahue at 207-967-4102 or kadona11@roadrunner.com for the Biddeford/Kennebunkport CBC.

Posted in Events

Our 19th Annual Bird Seed Sale is coming!

Keep your feathered friends happy this winter by treating them to tasty and fresh, premium quality bird food and help support two of your favorite environmental organizations at the same time.  Profits from our annual sale support the educational programs of both York County Audubon and the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.  A wide variety of types of seed and suet is available, with great pricing, especially if you order early.

Early bird pricing is available if you place your order by 4 p.m. on October 27th

Order pick up will be at the Wells Reserve November 9th – 11th, with easy access and volunteers on hand to help load your car. 

For more information, please access the order form via this link:



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