23 Reasons To Go Outside: Snapshots from a Daily Practice of Nature Observation – with Josh Fecteau – an online program, Tuesday, August 18th at 7 p.m.

Interested in discovering some of the birds, plants and nature that are often hiding in plain sight all around us? Local naturalist Josh Fecteau will share some of the wild treasures he’s found near his home in Kennebunkport, and encourage all of us to go outside to make rewarding discoveries of our own.

Black Trumpet mushrooms

On Tuesday, August 18th, at 7 p.m., York County Audubon will be presenting this program online. The program is available free of charge, but advance registration is required. Please use the link in red below.

Josh Fecteau

Josh grew up along the southern Maine coast. In his early 20’s, he discovered his passion for the natural world. Since then, he has spent countless hours exploring New England, observing and interacting with his surroundings in fresh, exciting ways.

In 2017, he gave free reign to his passion for birds, and ended up setting a Maine Big Year record, observing 317 different bird species in Maine in that calendar year, including quite a few rarities.

Solitary Sandpiper

Another passion is his love of wild native plants, especially edible ones. Over the years, he has presented a variety of workshops and programs on foraging for edible wild plants, providing guidelines and tips for safe, successful and satisfying foraging in your backyard and beyond.

His strong desire to share his love of the natural world with others who are hungry for wild connection inspires his blog, joshfecteau.com, where he is making steady progress toward his goal of providing 237 Reasons to Go Outside.

Red Sand-spurry

There’s no charge to participate, but you need to register in advance to watch this program. To do so, please click on this link and enter your name and email address:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_99GMz9RoS5WBHAVLhst5Fg

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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A video of Laurie Pocher’s Bird Photography program

Thanks so much to Laurie for this great program (which starts about 30 seconds into this video):

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Online via Zoom: Improving Your Bird Photography – with Laurie Pocher – Tuesday, July 21st

Bird photography has never been more popular, and we’d like to offer some help to improve your results and your enjoyment as well!  On Tuesday, July 21st, at 7 p.m., we’ll be presenting our second online Zoom program, this time on Improving Your Bird Photography.  To register for this event, please click on the link in the paragraph in bold font at the bottom of this post.

Great Horned Owlet

Laurie Pocher

If you’ve ever tried to photograph birds, you know it’s often not easy. Your subjects are small, fast, and shy… they move around a lot, they’re most active early and late in the day, they hang out in trees and shrubs… and they fly. It can be difficult at times just to get a clear view of one, never mind capture a photo. It can be frustrating, for sure. But it can also be incredibly rewarding when everything comes together and you nail the shot.

Atlantic Puffin
Female Belted Kingfisher


Laurie Pocher, a member of our YCA Board, is an amateur Nature & Wildlife Photographer, who has been mildly obsessed with birds for 25+ years. In our July program, she’ll offer some tips and suggestions to help you overcome some of the challenges in photographing birds. We’ll discuss camera equipment and settings that can help in different situations, and review composition and editing tips to enhance your bird photos and increase your odds of capturing frame-worthy images. You don’t need an advanced camera to get some great shots.  Your photo skills can be improved, even for shots taken with your phone!

There’s no charge to participate, but you need to register in advance to watch this program.  To do so, please click on this link and enter your name and email address:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ct7kPR1XRBa7HyoL7KmtPw

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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A Video of Michael Boardman’s Alaska Program

On June 16th, Michael Boardman presented a wonderful program on his experiences in Alaska. He had been selected by the US Fish & Wildlife Service to be the Artist-in-Residence at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. While we don’t have a video of that program to share, here’s a link to the program he presented for the Alaska Wilderness League in May, which was virtually the same as the one he presented for York County Audubon. Enjoy!

Note: there are a couple of introductions related to the Alaska Wilderness League at the beginning of the video. Michael’s program starts at the 10:00 minute mark, and you can jump ahead to that if you wish. Just slide your cursor along the “time bar” that runs just above the start/pause button and volume control at the bottom of the screen.

https://p.widencdn.net/8bgjh1/Michael-Boardman-Geography-of-Hope-Event-May-2020

For more information on Michael’s work, please visit http://www.mboardman.com

And also http://www.coyotees.com



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Online via Zoom: An Artist’s View of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge – with Michael Boardman – Tuesday, June 16th

For the past several months, we have had to cancel our programs and workshops to help ensure everyone’s health and safety.  Now, we are very pleased to present our first Zoom Online program on June 16th at 7 p.m. To register for this event, please click on the link in the paragraph in bold font at the bottom of this post.

Michael Boardman is a wildlife artist and member of the Maine Master Naturalist program.  In spring of 2019, he was selected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be the Artist-In-Residence at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He was flown to the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge in June to spend two weeks at the Canning River Bird Camp, assisting the ornithologists there study all the migrating birds breeding on the tundra. In his presentation, Michael will share his unique experience in an extreme environment, with plenty of artwork and stories about how the avian life of the Arctic Refuge connects us all to that endangered landscape.

Wildlife artist Michael Boardman in his North Yarmouth studio  (Press Herald photo by Gregory Rec)

Michael is known for his watercolor bird portraits and nature journal sketches. Numerous artist residencies have allowed him to connect art and science, including Acadia National Park, Hog Island Audubon Camp, Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, and most recently Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska in June of 2019.  He is also the owner and artist of Coyote Graphics, creating nature based garments from his artwork. (www.coyotees.com)

Michael will discuss his time in the Arctic Refuge, share stories and images, and answer your questions. We hope you can join us!

There’s no charge, but you need to register in advance to watch this program.  To do so, please click on this link and enter your name and email address:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqc–vpjMtHNPW9-I9zEoPyvCYaARYqZpl
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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Annual Election of Officers and Directors

The Nominating Committee has presented a slate of Officers and Directors to the YCA Board, and that slate has been approved by the Directors:  Bill Grabin, President, Joyce Toth, Vice President, Kathy Donahue, Treasurer, and Monica Grabin, Secretary, as well as the following slate of Directors: Mary Bateman, David Doubleday, Doug Hitchcox, Ken Janes, Marion Sprague, Seth Davis, Eileen Willard, Marian Zimmerman, Laurie Pocher

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An Artist’s View of Glacier Bay National Park – with Michael Boardman – Tuesday, May 19th

Due to concerns about the coronavirus, we have cancelled this May 19th program. However, an online program has been scheduled for June 16th; please go to the post for that event to register for it. Thanks for your understanding, and take care.

In 2015, local wildlife artist Michael Boardman spent 2 weeks as the artist in residence in Glacier Bay Alaska. He spent time studying the wildlife and unique geology of the park with scientists and wildlife biologists.  On Tues, May 19th he will give a presentation on the park, its wildlife and the experience of creating art in such an inspiring environment.

Michael is known for his watercolor bird portraits and nature journal sketches. He has connected his art to wildlife science through artist residencies at Acadia National Park, Hog Island Audubon Camp, Glacier Bay National Park, and most recently Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska in June of 2019. He is also the owner and artist of Coyote Graphics, creating nature based garments from his artwork.

This program will be held in the Mather Auditorium of the Wells Reserve at Laudholm. This program is free and open to the public, and starts at 7 p.m. Come early for social time and refreshments.

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Reptiles with Ed LeClair – Tuesday, April 21st – CANCELLED

Due to concerns about the coronavirus, we have cancelled our April 21st program. Thanks for your understanding, and take care.

Every spring, as temperatures warm and rain arrives, amphibians begin their eons-old tradition of migrating from upland habitats to wetlands to breed. These migration events, when timed correctly with the weather, can have thousands of amphibians within a mile of a pool hopping and crawling in synchrony towards their goal. However, their journey is increasingly impeded by a new barrier – roads. Amphibian populations have anecdotally been in decline because of vehicle impacts, and until recently were left relatively unnoticed. Now, citizens throughout New England are participating in their own spring-time tradition of standing guard on roads during the rainy nights of spring to assist amphibians in crossing while collecting valuable data for future conservation efforts. This talk will cover the history and goals of the Big Night project, how to participate, and the special role Unity College plays in the event. 

Bio: Greg LeClair is a master’s student at the University of Maine where he studies environmental DNA (eDNA) applications in turtle conservation. He graduated from Unity College in 2018 with a BS in Wildlife Biology, where he participated in herpetological research projects on snakes, salamanders, frogs, and turtles with Dr. Matthew Chatfield. Greg is the project creator of The Big Night: Maine Amphibian Migration Monitoring and hosts a YouTube show about wildlife conservation, GregmentsBio. His research projects focus on applied threatened species conservation with a strong taste for reptiles and amphibians.

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Sanford Sewer Ponds closed

FYI, the Sanford Lagoons/Sanford Sewer District has closed its facilities to visitors for the time being. The Lagoons are a wonderful spot for birding, and we have greatly appreciated their efforts to accommodate visitors for many years! We support their efforts and look forward to returning when it is safe to do so.

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Botswana Safari: A Wildlife Lover’s Dream Come True – with Suzanne Kahn – Tuesday, March 24th – CANCELLED

Due to concerns about the coronavirus, we have cancelled our March 24th program. Thanks for your understanding, and take care.

Explore the wonders of elephants, leopards, giraffes, and more on a photographic journey through northern Botswana.

In March of 2019, Education Director Suzanne Kahn traveled to Botswana for an eight-day safari. She visited three different regions: the Okavango Delta, the Savute Channel, and Hunda Island. Come explore this remote and wildlife-rich area of Africa with Suzanne as she shares her photos and stories from this once in a lifetime adventure.

Suzanne is the Education Director at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.  She has lived in Maine since 1996. Prior to the Reserve, she worked in Portland as the Science Coordinator at the Children’s Museum of Maine. Suzanne also led families and school groups on hikes and cruises at Acadia National Park as an interpretation/environmental education park ranger with the National Park Service. For a couple of winter seasons, Suzanne traveled cross-country to work at an environmental education center on Puget Sound in Washington.

Suzanne received her Master’s degree from Audubon Expedition Institute’s Ecological Teaching and Learning Program at Lesley University. Her undergraduate work was in environmental science and biology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

This program will be held in the Mather Auditorium of the Wells Reserve at Laudholm. This program is free and open to the public, and starts at 7 p.m.  Come early for social time and refreshments.

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