Video of Lake Baikal program now available

lena-from-wildside-nature-tours Bluethroat-1

For anyone who missed Lena Moser’s wonderful YCA October presentation on her trip to Lake Baikal, it’s now available for your viewing! Special thanks to Saco River Community Television for recording it and making it available in such high quality. And special thanks to Lena for such an exceptional presentation. Just click this link: https://vimeo.com/189813500

Posted in Events, video

Video of Doug Tallamy program

Tallamy - Chickadee Tallamy

For anyone who missed Doug Tallamy’s great program “Bringing Nature Home” at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Juen, a video of it can be viewed here:  https://vimeo.com/174067253

Special thanks to Saco River Community Television for recording it and making it available in such high quality.

Posted in Events, video

The Outlook in Augusta: a Legislative Update with Jennifer Burns Gray – Tuesday, November 15th

What will be happening in the Maine Legislature after the November election?  How will environmental concerns fare in Augusta next year?  What’s the outlook for advancing solar and other alternative energy sources in Maine, and for protecting Maine’s forests, waterways and wildlife?

Jennifer Burns Gray has been Maine Audubon’s staff attorney and advocate since 1997 where she has served on an assortment of commissions and committees.  She has been extensively involved in the legislative process.  She will talk about the upcoming 128th Maine Legislative session and what’s likely to be high on Maine Audubon’s priority list of issues.

Jenn holds a B.A. from Trinity College in CT, where she majored in Political Science with a concentration in American Government. She received her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law in 1996.

York County Audubon programs are held at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve.  There’s no charge and all are welcome!  No reservations required.

JGray headshot

Posted in Uncategorized

Our 18th Annual Bird Seed Sale is coming! Early Bird Pricing through 10/28

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 28th.  Order pick up will be at the Wells Reserve November 10th – 12th, with easy access and volunteers on hand to help load your car.

Access the order form for more information:  seedsale2016

Photograph By Jeffrey Stevensen

Posted in Uncategorized

The Christmas Bird Counts Are Coming

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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 19th, while the Biddeford/Kennebunkport CBC will be on Monday, January 2nd (which will be the legal holiday this year for New Year’s Day).   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 Pat Moynahan at 207-284-5487 or pmmoynahan@maine.rr.com for the Southern York County CBC, or Kathy Donahue at 207-967-4102 or kadona11@roadrunner.com for the Biddeford/Kennebunkport CBC.

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Lake Baikal—Beautiful Birds, Bad Beer, and Buddhist Babushkas – with Lena Moser – Tuesday, October 18th

Lake Baikal, also called the “pearl of Siberia,” is a truly astonishing place.  It is Earth’s deepest lake, holding a fifth of the world’s fresh water.  At 25-30 million years old, it is also one of the most ancient geographical features on the planet.  Perhaps this is why the lake’s water alone is home to 1,500 plant and animal species, 80% of which are found nowhere else on Earth!

Diverse habitats around Lake Baikal—from expansive shorelines and mountain ranges to taiga forests and steppe meadows—attract numerous birds.  Some sought-after species include Siberian Blue Robin, Daurian Jackdaw, Amur Falcon, Siberian Thrush, Booted Eagle, and the endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting and Swan Goose.  Mammals such as Long-tailed Ground Squirrel, Siberian Chipmunk, and the endemic Baikal Seal are also a treat to see.  And, of course, no trip to Siberia is complete without its human highlights, as culture, cuisine, and comedy weave themselves into a rich tapestry of local tradition.

This July, YCA board member Lena Moser co-led a birding tour to Lake Baikal with Wildside Nature Tours.  Join Lena for an entertaining evening of photographs and stories as she recounts her journey to the remarkable region.

York County Audubon programs are held at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve.  There’s no charge and all are welcome!  No reservations required.

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Posted in Events

The Harlequin – Autumn 2016

Please click on the link below to view the Autumn 2016 issue of our Harlequin newsletter (with photos in full color!)

Tallamy - Prothonotary      Tallamy

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Posted in Harlequin newsletter

Myths and Truths about Bats – Bat Conservation and Biology – Tuesday, September 20th

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There are more than 1,300 known species of bats, comprising nearly a quarter of all mammal species on earth.  These unique creatures are at the center of some of today’s most pressing ecological issues, yet are still held in fear by some, and misunderstood by many. Old wives’ tales and folklore, such as that bats suck blood, get into your hair, or they are blind, are in need of an update.  Our September program:  Myths and Truths about Bats – Bat Conservation and Biology presented by David Bates.

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David Yates is the Mammal Program Director at the Biodiversity Research Institute in Portland.  Since its inception, David Yates has been a wildlife biologist at BRI, doing research on our bats and other mammals.  He will share his extensive knowledge of bats’ role in the ecosystem, their habits, and the latest science about their health and future, as well as answer all your bat-ty questions.  Join York County Audubon in learning about these fascinating and important members of our wildlife community.

York County Audubon programs are held at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve.  There’s no charge and all are welcome!  No reservations required.

Posted in Events

Hawk ID Workshop – Sunday, Sept 25th on Mt. A! (rain date: Sept 26th)

SORRY, BUT THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN FULLY BOOKED.  IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITING LIST, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO ycas@yorkcountyaudubon.org WITH “WORKSHOP WAITING LIST” AS THE SUBJECT

Late September is the time to be looking for migrating hawks!   YCA is collaborating with the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region to present a workshop on Sunday, September 25th (with a rain date of Monday, September 26th) in the Learning Lodge atop beautiful Mount Agamenticus, an excellent spot to see the Fall raptor migration. The workshop will run from 9:00 a.m. till 11.  Then we’ll eat our bag lunches and step outside and see what the winds bring in and if the Broad-wings are kettling. It should be an exciting day.

The workshop leader is Katrina Fenton, a biologist and naturalist who has worked as a counter for raptor migration projects in Maine and New Hampshire.  She will teach us about hawk migration and identification, as well as current ebird and hawk data.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. There is a $10 registration fee, payable at the door.  Please bring lunch and snacks, as well as binoculars and a scope if you have one.  Please register by signing up on this website by clicking on the event link in the Calendar column to the right, and then scrolling down to the fields for making a reservation.   Hope you can join us.

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Posted in Workshop

Shorebird Workshop with Louis Bevier – Saturday, July 30th

THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN FULLY BOOKED.  IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITING LIST, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO ycas@yorkcountyaudubon.org WITH “WORKSHOP WAITING LIST” AS THE SUBJECT

York County Audubon continues our Workshop series by offering a Shorebird Identification Workshop presented by noted Maine Birder, Louis Bevier. Shorebirds herald the changing seasons by staging and feeding in mixed flocks on our beaches and resting on historical roosting area.  Fortunes Rock Beach and Hills Beach are two of these noted areas. Louis will discuss the beautiful plumage variation of these long-distance migrant flocks.  We will begin to identify specific species within the flocks by size, shape and feeding strategy. Louis will also identify species migratory travel dates from ebird data. Sounds of individual species will also be discussed and listened for on our beach walks.

This workshop will be led by well known Maine birder Louis Bevier.  Since the 1960’s, birds have drawn him to explore most of North and South America, leading to months at sea off Alaska and California, backcountry surveys in the high Sierra, plant and bird expeditions to several countries, and many other adventures.  He has worked as a tour guide for Field Guides, as an editor for The Birds of North America series, as Associate Editor for the journal North American Birds, and serves on the Maine Bird Records Committee.

The workshop will be held at the University of New England (room and parking area to be announced) on Saturday, July 30, 2016 with a rain date of Sunday, July 31st. We will meet at the UNE parking area at 8:00 a.m., carpool to Fortunes Rocks for our first beach walk, and return to UNE for Louis’ presentation at 10:00. A second walk will follow at Hills Beach. Beach shoes are appropriate although we should not get wet as High Tide is 8:40.  Please bring your lunch.

This workshop is proudly sponsored by York County Audubon.  The cost is $10/person, payable by check or cash at the workshop.  But space is limited and advance reservations are required. Please register by signing up on this website by clicking on the event link in the Calendar column to the right, and then scrolling down to the fields for making a reservation.   Hope you can join us.

oystercatcher KJ   Common Tern with fish

American Oystercatcher – photo by Ken Janes. Common Tern with fish – photo by Marie Jordan.

Posted in Uncategorized