The Outlook in Augusta: a Legislative Update with Eliza Donoghue on Tuesday, November 13th

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

Eliza Donoghue is Maine Audubon’s Senior Policy and Advocacy Specialist, and spends much of her time advocating for these concerns in Augusta.  She joined Maine Audubon in July, 2017, bringing with her extensive experience and familiarity with the Maine State House, the Land Use Planning Commission, the Land for Maine’s Future program, and the extended network of legislators and stakeholders involved with environmental policy in Maine.

A graduate of Vermont Law School, Eliza has also worked with the Conservation Law Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Office of the Maine Attorney General. She is a native Mainer and lives in Brunswick with her family.

The program will be at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.  Free and open to the public.  Come early for social time and refreshments.


Posted in Program

Diving and Birding in the Heart of the Coral Triangle with Monica and Bill Grabin on Tuesday, October 16th

There is an area in the southwest Pacific known as the Coral Triangle.  It encompasses parts of six different island nations, and it has the greatest marine biodiversity of any area on earth.  And at the heart of the Coral Triangle, on the eastern edge of Indonesia, lies an area of West Papua known as Raja Ampat, meaning Four Kings.  Over 1,300 species of fish and 500 species of coral have been documented in this one area, and in 2017, Monica and Bill Grabin had the good fortune to explore it for themselves.

On their fifth trip to Indonesia for scuba diving, they delighted not only in the amazing diversity of fish, molluscs, shellfish, and corals, but also the fantastic birds of the area, including the incomparable Wilson’s Bird of Paradise.  On Tuesday, October 16th, York County Audubon is pleased to have Monica and Bill present a program on some of the wonders they’ve encountered.  Join us for an evening of amazing creatures and experiences, as well as a little background on the sport of SCUBA.

The program will be at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.  Free and open to the public.  Come early for social time and refreshments.

Posted in Program

Our 20th 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 Friday, October 26th

Order pick up will be at the Wells Reserve November 8th and 9th from 2 – 4 p.m., and Nov 10th from 10 a.m. to noon, with easy access and volunteers on hand to help load your car. 

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



Posted in Uncategorized

The Harlequin – Autumn 2018

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

Harlequin Autumn 2018


Posted in Uncategorized

Following Darwin’s Footsteps: Wildlife Watching and Birding the Galapagos – with Sue Keefer and Steve Norris – Tuesday, Sept 18th

After a career running children’s summer camps, then living aboard a sailboat, and working for Vermont State Parks, Sue Keefer and Steve Norris have spent seven summers helping out at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge where you may have encountered them trying to keep invasive plants at bay, mowing, painting, or leading bird, butterfly, tide-pool, history, and photography programs. In the winter of 2017-18, Sue and Steve acted on a long-standing bucket list item. Their love of Ecuador compelled them to visit to the Galapagos Islands – the “Showcase of Evolution”.

Their original plan for a “non-bird-centric” trip soon fell apart as they realized that, although the Galapagos have “only” 178 species of birds, the 29 resident and 22 endemic species are a fascinating study. From the breathtaking nesting colony of Waved Albatross to the inquisitive endemic Mockingbirds, bird life in the Galapagos is quite a treat. Close-up observation and study of Darwin Finches is a real-life exercise in the what’s, why’s, and how’s of evolution! The non-flying fauna is equally interesting with large colonies of sea lions, marine and land iguanas and, of course, giant tortoises. It became readily apparent why the Galapagos are a unique and invaluable natural resource worthy of intense protection.

Darwin’s two month stay in the Galapagos in 1835 led to a new biology based on a unifying theory of evolution.  Sue and Steve’s say their stay on the islands left them feeling rather inadequate in their own “naturalist” skills! Darwin, like most early naturalists, left the island with many sketches and specimens to study; Sue & Steve brought away many photographs and memories of unique living things they observed. We know you will get caught up in the fun and entertaining style of these enthusiastic laid-back educators as they share their observations of the animals, plants, and environment that make the Galapagos special. The program will be at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.  Free and open to the public.  Come early for social time and refreshments.

Posted in Program

Land of the Prikichi: Birds of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao by Dr. Jeffrey Wells – Tuesday, June 26th

**** PLEASE NOTE: The date for this program has been changed from June 19th to June 26th ****

The sunny islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao lie just off the coast of Venezuela with a rich history steeped in both Caribbean and Dutch culture. They are well known as popular winter getaways for scuba divers and beach-loving families from the U.S., yet fewer people know of the fascinating mix of birds that can be enjoyed here at any time of year. North American birders will be intrigued by South American tropical landbirds like the vibrant green Prikichi (Brown-throated Parakeet), the bright orange “oriole on steroids” Troupial, or the shimmering jewel-like Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (photo by Michiel Oversteegen). Honking flocks of pink American Flamingos on vast salt flats are a memory not forgotten.

In migration and winter, the islands are populated with North American waterfowl, shorebirds, swallows, warblers, and other familiar birds.  Therein is a connection.  “Our birds” spend part of their life in faraway places like the Caribbean.  What happens there has equal importance to what happens here.

Jeff Wells is an author of several bird books and he is also the Senior Scientist for the Boreal Songbird Initiative and International Boreal Conservation Campaign which are non-profit organizations working internationally for the conservation of North America’s Boreal forest.

Come hear about the wonderful birding and eclectic ecology of the ABC islands and why they make an ideal, easy-to-get-to location to combine birding with other family vacation pursuits.  The program will be at 7 p.m. in the Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.  Come early for refreshments and social time. This program is free and open to the public.


Posted in Program

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.  At the Annual Meeting on June 26th, the following slate of Officers shall be voted upon by the Membership:  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

Posted in Uncategorized

Learning Bird Language – a Workshop with Dan Gardoqui on Saturday, June 23rd

Slow down and listen to the birds…and they will tell you nature’s secrets. Local tracker, naturalist, and birder Dan Gardoqui of White Pine Programs will give us a peek into the world of Deep Bird Language including tips on how to “re-awaken” this hardwired skill set of awareness. This program will blend field observation and interpretation with some indoor lectures & lessons about the fundamentals and nuances of learning bird language. Participants should dress to be outdoors for a few hours at a time (be prepared for biting insects); bring something to sit on (if you don’t want to sit on the ground); and bring a field notebook, pencil, and binoculars. For adults & interested teens.

York County Audubon hosted Dan’s wonderful Learning Bird Language workshop last summer.  This one is being hosted by the Wells Reserve.  For more information, go to and search for Dan Gardoqui, or find it on their calendar.

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 & mentoring for over 25 years. Dan has a M.S. in Natural Resources, is a Certified Wildlife Tracker, Registered Maine Guide & 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 & management, Dan loves spending time trail running, hunting, playing music & being a dad to his boys.

Posted in Uncategorized

Video of Dr Kurk Dorsey on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

A video of our great March program entitled Of Mallards and Men: The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, presented by UNH’s Dr Kurt Dorsey, is now available and can be watched by clicking on the link below.

Our special thanks to the Wells Reserve for recording and editing the program, and making this video available (and for everything else they do!).

Posted in Program, video

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.

Posted in Program | Tagged