Conserving Reptiles and Amphibians – A Maine Focus with Greg LeClair – Oct 20th

Gregory LeClair is a wildlife biologist with a contagious passion for amphibians and reptiles that he has honed from early in his life. In our October Zoom program, he will share his enthusiasm, concerns, and insight into diverse topics including amphibian extinction, the exotic pet trade, habitat destruction, the impact of human attitudes on wildlife conservation, and more. He’ll offer backyard landscaping recommendations, and offer other ways we can become involved in protecting these threatened species. Adults will love this fascinating program. It would also be appropriate for middle school or high school students who are curious about working with wildlife.

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 which features videos that detail the science behind these issues. His research projects focus on applied threatened species conservation with a strong taste for reptiles and amphibians.

On Tuesday, October 20th at 7 p.m., we’re delighted to have Greg present this program. 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_K_JjaindRiue2KNQoFQxXA

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

We hope you can join us!

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Seabird sentinels in the Gulf of Maine: What they can tell us about the state of our oceans – with Dr. Don Lyons – Sept 15th

By the middle of the 20th century, the populations of many species of seabirds in the Gulf of Maine had been decimated.  Puffins had last nested on Eastern Egg Rock in 1885 and terns in 1936.  In 1973, National Audubon started a program to reintroduce and establish the Maine breeding grounds for these species, led by seabird visionary Steve Kress.  In 2019, forty-five years later, Steve retired and turned over the program to new leadership.

The program has proved exceptionally successful. The population of Atlantic Puffins has grown to more than 1,000 nesting pairs on five coastal Maine islands, and nesting colonies have been restored for over 40,000 other seabirds.  Furthermore, the restoration techniques developed in Maine have now been used to bring back more than 50 species of seabirds around the world, many critically endangered. But the work is far from done, as these populations continue to face dramatic new challenges.

Common Tern – photo by Jean Hall

On Tuesday, September 15th, at 7 p.m., we’re delighted to welcome Dr. Donald Lyons, who now leads Audubon’s seabird programs in Maine.  He’ll share the latest information on the health of our seabird populations, and the outlook going forward. We can now study puffins, terns, and other species to better understand the Gulf of Maine, the looming effects of climate change, and how to manage fisheries for ecosystem health and sustainable economies.

Dr. Donald Lyons

Atlantic Puffin – photo by Derrick Jackson

Dr. Lyons is a Director of Conservation Science for the National Audubon Society, and has spent his career in work directly aligned with Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program, including the last 20 years at Oregon State University.

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_pnBG6K83SKiQABEvKfIcIg

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

We hope you can join us!

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A Video of Josh Fecteau’s program: 23 Reasons to Go Outside

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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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