Ravens, Wolves and People – with John Marzluff – Tuesday, May 18th

On May 18th, Wildlife professor John Marzluff will bring us an exciting program on recent work in Yellowstone National Park which looked at interactions between ravens, wolves, and people.  Ravens are known to scavenge food from wolves and people but the relationship has not been well studied.

In 2019 Matthias Loretto and presenter John Marzluff began tagging ravens in Yellowstone with radio transmitters that are similar to the transmitter in your mobile device.  After tagging and following many ravens they were able to relate raven’s movements to the activities of people and wolves. From this the scientists gained a better understanding of the degree to which ravens rely on people and wolves.  Ravens have extensive knowledge of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.  You will be surprised at the diverse ways they take advantage of human activities within this 6500 square mile area.

For decades, John has done research on corvids- a family of birds that includes ravens, crows, jays, and magpies. His work has benefited birds all over the world, from pinyon jays in Arizona, ravens in Greenland and golden eagles and prairie falcons in Idaho to Washington State’s goshawks and the endangered Hawaiian hawk, one of the rarest birds in the world.

John Marzloff PhD is a professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington. He is the author of several books including, In the Company of Crows and Ravens; Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans; and Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife.

York County Audubon will be presenting this program online on Tuesday, May 18th at 7 p.m.  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_vSf9GtzyRKeP6iijpd_qvg

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

We hope you can join us!

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The Harlequin – Spring 2021

Please click on the link below to view the Spring 2021 issue of our Harlequin newsletter

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A Video of our April Program: Decades of Change in Maine’s Birds

This program was presented on April 20, 2021. Scroll down to the original post on this program for a full description. Note that the recording starts after the introduction, but includes the full program.

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Decades of Change in Maine’s Birds – with Doug Hitchcox – Tuesday, April 20th

If you’ve lived in Maine for a while, you’ve probably noticed that bird populations have changed and continue to do so.  Just a few decades ago, birds such as the Northern Cardinal, the Tufted Titmouse, the Red-Bellied Woodpecker and the Carolina Wren were uncommon sightings here, if seen at all.  Birds such as the Eastern Bluebird were much fewer in number.  In 1949, Robert Palmer’s then definitive Maine Birds described the “Eastern” Cardinal as “a very rare visitant,” with most sightings being “escaped captives.” As for the Tufted Titmouse, he noted there was one specimen in the University of Maine collection from 1890, but no records since.

Bird Atlases are an essential tool for cataloging birds, and have been created for every U.S. state. From 1978-1983, birders created Maine’s first Breeding Bird Atlas, but it is now significantly out of date. Intensive work to create an updated second one is underway. 2021 marks the fourth year (of five) for this second Maine Bird Atlas, a project by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to document the breeding and winter ranges of Maine’s birds.

Northern Parula building a nest – Doug Hitchcox photo

On Tuesday, April 20th at 7 p.m., York County Audubon is pleased to present a zoom program entitled “Decades of Change in Maine’s Birds.”  Presenter Doug Hitchcox is the Outreach Coordinator for the Maine Bird Atlas and Staff Naturalist for Maine Audubon.  He will share an update on the project, focusing on what the goals are for the last two years and especially how you can help! Data collected as part of this project will be invaluable in guiding future species status assessments, priority species’ needs, and identifying and conserving high value wildlife habitats. In order for it to be successful, we need the help of community scientists, like yourselves, to help fill in the gaps before this survey is over.

York County Audubon will be presenting this program online. 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_XGQxm2LyQkOX9PfYsGvkmw

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 our March program on the Birds-of-Paradise Project

This program was presented on March 16th, 2021. Scroll down to the original post on this program for a full description. Note that the recording starts with a few minutes of birding small talk to give viewers a chance to join us.

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The Birds-of-Paradise Project: Natural history media for science and conservation – with Edwin Scholes – Tuesday, March 16th

Red Bird of Paradise – photo by Tim Laman

Among the most amazing creatures in the world, more than 40 species of birds-of-paradise live in New Guinea’s swaths of the Indo-Pacific rainforest region, one of the largest intact tropical forested areas on Earth.

The stars of the show in National Geographic and PBS Nature TV documentaries, the birds-of-paradise have become icons of New Guinea’s rainforests. Their extraordinary beauty is unlike that of any other birds on Earth, but it’s their wide range of bizarre breeding behaviors that captivates audiences—from elaborate dancing and flaring their elegant plumes to shape-shifting displays that make these exotic species seem like avian transformers.

Edwin Scholes is the founder and leader of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Birds-of-Paradise Project, and has been studying and documenting them since his first trip to New Guinea in 1999. It was in 1997 as an undergraduate biology student that Ed first saw the BBC documentary film “Attenborough in Paradise.” That film, which was the result of Sir David Attenborough’s lifelong passion for the birds-of-paradise, was the first to capture these birds’ wonder and beauty in any depth.  The film inspired Edwin to devote his career to their study and protection.

On Tuesday, March 16th, at 7 p.m., York County Audubon will be delighted to host Ed Scholes to tell us about these amazing creatures, and the efforts to preserve their threatened habitat.   FMI:  www.birdsofparadiseproject.org

York County Audubon will be presenting this program online. 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_Jtyi8u8uRRy5aESZyx_4ZA

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 our February Program: The Amazing Winter Crow Roost

This program was presented on Feb 16th, 2021. Scroll down to the original post on this program for a full description.

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The Amazing Winter Crow Roost – with Bob Fox and Dana Duxbury-Fox – Tuesday, Feb 16th

Photo by Craig Gibson

“It blows your mind. Thousands of them. They just keep rolling in.”  It’s a spectacular display of sight and sound, a massive swarm of as many as 20,000 crows, a sky blotted black by their numbers, a crescendo of cawing that slowly fades to an eerie silence, night closing in.

As it has for at least 30 years, this flock of mostly American crows arrives in Lawrence, Mass. in November, and carries out some of the primordial behaviors that still puzzle the amateur birders and professional ornithologists who study what many of them believe are the world’s most clever and social birds.

Photo by Craig Gibson

What brings these thousands of crows – a mix of residents and seasonal migrants from as far as the St. John’s River in Canada — to places like Lawrence for the winter from November to March?  Why do they stage so massively in the evenings, then fly off together in the dark to roost elsewhere, then scatter in the morning to forage for food as far as 50 miles away, then return to stage and roost for another night?  [Preceding description by Keith Eddings, The Eagle-Tribune]

On Tuesday, February 16th at 7 p.m., York County Audubon will be delighted to host Dana Duxbury-Fox and Bob Fox, who will share a wealth of information about crows. The Foxes are hardly amateurs. The couple from North Andover have birded worldwide through more than half a century, logging over 6,500 of the world’s 10,000 or so species.  In 2013, Bob co-authored “The Birds of New Hampshire,” a 473-page illustrated book that chronicles all 427 species living in that state.  He helped found Manomet Bird Observatory. Dana has spent 70+ summers in New Hampshire, where she became fascinated by loons. She has long been active in chronicling and protecting bird life.  FMI:  www.wintercrowroost.com

York County Audubon will be presenting this program online. 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_QQf_HF6ZTW2rjfvry-v9rw

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 Year in the Life of North American Owls – with Paul Bannick – Tuesday, January 19th

“If your average picture is worth a thousand words, a Paul Bannick wildlife photograph is worth 20,000. Having worked with wildlife photographers for articles in Audubon, Smithsonian, Sierra, National Wildlife and other magazines for 45 years, I have yet to encounter one who better captures the magic and beauty of the natural world.”  Ted Williams, former Editor of Audubon Magazine

On Tuesday, January 19th at 7 p.m., York County Audubon is honored to host award winning author and photographer Paul Bannick.  His online Zoom program will feature video, sound and stories from the field, and images from his book, Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls.  His dramatic images follow the owls through the course of one year in their distinct habitats, showing their courtship, mating and nesting in spring, fledging and feeding their young in summer, dispersal and gaining independence in fall, and, finally, winter’s migrations and competitions for food.

Paul’s work can be found prominently in many bird guides, including those from Audubon, Peterson, and The Smithsonian, and has been featured in The New York Times, Audubon, Sunset, Nature’s Best Photography Magazine, and National Geographic online.  After a successful career in the software industry, he chose to pursue his passion for wildlife conservation, and now works with Conservation Northwest, a Seattle based non-profit dedicated to protecting, connecting and restoring wildlands and wildlife from the coast of Washington to the Rockies of British Columbia.   FMI:  http://paulbannick.com/ and on Facebook under Paul Bannick Photography.

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_N-kbcTtzQIOSWua4YG3RdA

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

We hope you can join us!

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The Birds of Maine – by Peter Vickery

There’s a spectacular new comprehensive book: The Birds of Maine by Peter Vickery. And, fittingly, a wonderful program just presented the story of the creation of this book. If you’re interested in the birds (and birders) of Maine, take a look:

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