For the Sake of the Birds

Change is in the air! The days are getting longer, the snow is leaving for another year, and the temperature is rising. Best of all, early arrivals signal the coming of spring and the beginning of migration. It’s the time of the year for which we have been eagerly waiting.

As we enjoy another season of being out delighting in the sights and sounds of spring and the beauty of Maine, we are encouraged to take stock of our accomplishments and the challenges that face us. During school vacation week, YCAS co-sponsored a Winter Wildlife Day with the Wells Reserve and the Center for Wildlife at Laudholm Farm. A capacity crowd of children, parents, and grandparents learned about birds and wildlife in a shared family experience that was engaging and fun as well as educational. This event was a collaborative effort of the three sponsor organizations and their volunteers and demonstrated the kinds of things we can accomplish when we pool our energy, creativity, and resources.

Looking ahead, we have our Birding Challenge scheduled for May 13-14. For the last ten years the Birding Challenge has been the primary fund raiser that enables YCAS to offer educational experiences, support seabird restoration efforts at Stratton Island, and contribute to conservation efforts and preservation of habitat through local land trusts in York County. As we view the political landscape both in Maine and nationally, it becomes clear that much still needs to be done in order to conserve the natural resources we treasure. Increasingly, they are under development pressure which could compromise or destroy them.

So it is important that each and every one of us consider how we can take part in the vital work of conserving the environment. Participating in the Birding Challenge as part of a field team or feeder watcher, making a financial contribution, or soliciting contributions from others are all ways to make a difference. Or maybe your passion is working with children and giving them an opportunity to learn about the birds, wildlife, and

plants of southern Maine. Perhaps you know of a recreation program or summer camp that would benefit from a Piping Plover Program made by one of our volunteers or a civic organization that would like a presentation about local birds. People love and value the things that they know and understand. That is why we put such emphasis on educating citizens about the habitats and species that depend on the beautiful place that we call home: York County.

We are doing important work. We would like to do more. But to do more we need you. Will you help?

Bill Case receiving Birding Challenge check from Pat Moynahan for the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust bird feeders.

About Harlequin

Harlequin is a pseudonym for content not attributed to a specific author. It echoes the name of the YCAS newsletter, The Harlequin. Watch for Harlequin Ducks along the rocky portions of the York County coast in winter. ¶ The avatar is by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, who sketched and painted the species during the Harriman Alaska Expedition. ¶ "When we got before the glacier, I saw my first pair of harlequins... the glass showed them plainly to be a ♂ + ♀ histrionicus." — L.A. Fuertes, June 7, 1899
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