Restoring the Great Fish Migrations of Atlantic Rivers with John Waldman – Thursday, May 24th

Professor John Waldman is coming to the Wells Reserve Thursday evening, May 24th, at 7 p.m.. His program: “Restoring the Great Fish Migrations of Atlantic Rivers.” Highly recommended!

Atlantic rivers once “ran silver” with great runs of migrating salmon, shad, alewives and sturgeon, but only a small fraction of these runs flourish today. John Waldman is an aquatic conservation biologist with a singular passion for diadromous fish – fish that spend a part of their lifecycle in fresh water and another part in salt water. He will draw on this most recent book, Running Silver: Restoring Atlantic Rivers and Their Great Fish Migrations to discuss why the runs have been reduced, what we stand to lose, and the actions that are needed to ensure their recovery, including new concepts for replacing hydropower dams with alternative energy sources.

Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt described Running Silver as “a fascinating history of the migratory salmon, shad, herring and other runs that once swarmed the rivers and estuaries of the Atlantic coast. Most important, this book explains what we can do to restore these fisheries to their former abundance. A great read and important blueprint for action.”

The program will start at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve. Doors open at 6:30. Please join us for drinks, conversation and a book signing following the program. This event is free and open to the public. Donations and RSVP’s appreciated.

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Birding Around the World – with Becky Marvil – Tuesday, May 15th

Birding Around the World with one of Maine’s most experienced and enthusiastic birders, Becky Marvil.  In the summer of 2015, Becky, her husband Josh (the pilot), and two other couples spent 30 days traveling around the world in a private plane. Their route took them from the US to Newfoundland, the Azores, Turkey, Oman, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan, Russia, and Alaska.

In addition to sightseeing and learning about different cultures, Becky’s background in biology and ornithology caused her to focus on the birds, photographing and videotaping many species, and learning about their regional family variations AND similarities from one stop to the next.  From the volcanic islands of the Azores to the 106-degree heat of Oman to the chilly, drizzly coast of Alaska, she will show her beautiful photos and reveal stories of bird species from around the globe!

Becky Marvil lives with her family in Yarmouth, Maine. She has a background in Biology, Ornithology, and Computer Science and runs her own computer programming/webpage design business. She has been the Executive Director of the Acadia Birding Festival for 8 years, combining her knowledge of webpage design, organizational skills, and love of birding. She is also the Secretary for the Maine Bird Records Committee, a eBird Hotspot monitor for Maine, and just recently became a regional coordinator for the Maine Breeding and Wintering Bird Atlas. During her free time, she helps with local bird surveys, chases after rarities, and loves to travel and enjoy birds in new locations.

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


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The Harlequin – Spring 2018

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

Harlequin Spring 2018

Great  Egret in breeding plumage

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Web Feet and Slimy Skin – Maine’s Frogs with Kris Hoffman – Tuesday, April 17th

Web Feet and Slimy Skin will be presented by Dr. Kris Hoffmann from the University of Maine,   Kris spoke to us in September about turtles.  Her return promises a fascinating, informative, and funny program – this time on Maine’s fabulous frogs.

Anatomy meets ecology in this hour-long presentation. Join us as we learn why frogs are slimy, how metamorphosis affects more than their legs, where they go in the winter, how they use their eyes to help swallow, what you can do to help their populations, and more. She will describe the biology of these water-loving animals, introduce us to all the frogs in Maine, and discuss their conservation in a presentation sure to entertain!

The program will be at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.  This interesting, educational program is free and open to the public. Come early for refreshments.


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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:

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 (


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