Our Smallest Raptor: the Northern Saw-whet Owl – with Zoe Korpi – Tuesday, March 22nd

With a size comparable to a soda can, the Northern Saw-whet owl is the smallest raptor in eastern North America. Due to the secretive nature of this species, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that its migratory behavior was widely accepted. Much of what we know about this species today is thanks to extensive banding efforts. Project Owlnet is one such effort striving to better understand this illusive migrant through a growing network of banding stations using standardized methodologies across North America. While our knowledge of this species has grown, many mysteries remain. Zoe Korpi delves into the research unraveling the secrets of these owls and speaks on her own experience banding these birds at birding stations in Pennsylvania and Maine.

On Tuesday, March 22nd, at 7 p.m., York County Audubon is pleased to host this program presented by Zoe Korpi, a graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in the Environment and Natural Resources program at the Ohio State University with a focus in wildlife science. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in biology from the Pennsylvania State University and started her work with Project Owlnet and Northern Saw-whet Owls during her time at Penn State as an intern and then as a volunteer and bander through the years. Zoe has a strong interest in understanding how human activities impact and threaten the survival of bird species and how those threats can be mitigated. Her current research focuses on understanding the lake crossing behavior of small migratory songbirds using the Motus Wildlife Tracking System to evaluate the potential impact of offshore wind energy on their movements across Lake Erie.

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_tJ3jpuyeQJ6IANUn3fYclQ

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

We hope you can join us!

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2022 Hog Island Scholarships Announced!

YCA and MYBC are pleased to be offering scholarships for week long summer programs on famed Hog Island. Three scholarships are being offered: one for Educator’s Week (July 17-22), one for Coastal Maine Bird Studies (June 19th – 24th) and one for Mountains to Sea Birding for Teens (June 26th-July 1st).

Full details are available on the Scholarships page of our website. All applications are due by March 15th.

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Winter Wildlife Tracking with Dan Gardoqui – Saturday, Feb 5th and Feb 19th

Please note:  The Feb 5th date for this workshop has been fully booked, so we have added a second date on February 19th.

Can you tell the tracks of an otter from a fisher? Ever trailed a porcupine to its den? Join certified tracker and Maine Guide Dan Gardoqui of Lead with Nature for a winter wildlife tracking adventure. Dan has been sharing his skills and passion for wildlife and wild places for over 25 years. Open to all curious adults (& interested teens 14+). We’ll spend half a day seeking out, interpreting and following the tracks, trails and signs of our wild neighbors of the Wells Reserve. Bring your own food/snacks and dress warmly.

Dan Gardoqui has been studying naturalist skills, wildlife tracking, bird language, and mentoring for nearly 30 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. Through wildlife tracking, Dan has contributed to wildlife studies and served as science editor for the bird language book What the Robin Knows. Dan co-founded and led the nature connection nonprofit, White Pine Programs for 20 years. He currently runs Lead with Nature, where he helps leaders find success and meaning through nature-based consulting services & adventures. FMI: www.leadwithnature.com/

Group size is limited to 15 people, and advance registration is required.  This program is co-sponsored by YCA and the Wells Reserve.  The price is $20/person ($25/person for non-members).  Members of either YCA or the Wells Reserve qualify the members rate.  To reserve your space, please email suzanne@wellsnerr.org or call (207) 646-1555 x116.

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.

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Tree Walk in Kennebunk’s Hope Cemetery with Eileen Willard, January 29th

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 “TREE WALK WAITING LIST” AS THE SUBJECT. Please include the best phone # we can use to reach you.

NOTE: The date for this walk was originally the 22nd, but it has been changed to the 29th

Would you like to know more about our local trees, and improve your tree identification skills?  York County Audubon is pleased to sponsor a tree walk at Kennebunk’s Hope Cemetery led by Eileen Willard, an Instructor in Dendrology at the University of New Hampshire.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 29th, we will investigate the native trees and shrubs along the trails and look at some of the older ornamental trees in the Cemetery.  How do they all survive the winter?  What are some of the ecological strategies?  Can you really identify trees without leaves?

Sturdy hiking boots are recommended as the footing is somewhat uneven.  If there are icy conditions, please wear micro spikes on your boots or use hiking poles to avoid slipping. If it snows, snow shoes will be ideal.  Dress warmly for a 2 hour walk!

Park in the Kennebunk Free Library/Unitarian Church parking lot, which is where we will meet.  We will limit participants to 12 adults including students 12 and older.  This event is free of charge, but advance registration is required.  To register, please click on this event under Calendar/What’s Coming Up on the right-hand side of this page, then scroll down and fill in the form. Once your reservation has been approved, you’ll receive a confirmation email. In the event of a storm, the walk will be postponed to the following day, Sunday, January 30th.  Please check our website, yorkcountyaudubon.org for confirmation of a postponement.

FMI on the Cemetery:  https://hopecemeterykennebunk.com/

Posted in Workshop

Snowy Owl: A Visual Natural History – with Paul Bannick – Tuesday, February 15th

“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

Snowy Owls lay eggs over many days, usually with a day or more between each, resulting in youngsters of various ages, a hedge when food is unpredictable. Paul Bannick photo

On Tuesday, February 15th at 7 p.m., York County Audubon is honored to again host award winning author and photographer Paul Bannick. Please join Paul for an intimate visual exploration of the life history of the Snowy Owl, based upon his 2020 book, Snowy Owl: A Visual Natural History”. Through dozens of never-before-published images of the “Arctic Owl”, Paul will help us understand how they survive, breed and live alongside other wildlife on the Arctic tundra and in wintering areas further south. He will also look at how they compare to other North American Owls and what we can do to help them thrive. Paul’s startling photographs illustrate behaviors, such as courtship displays, that are heretofore only available as illustrations elsewhere. These images are complemented by decades of first-hand experience with these birds during all seasons of the year and reflect the latest science.

A Snowy Owl prepares to launch into flight from a piece of driftwood just after sunrise. Paul Bannick photo

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_dqvUlolbSfSdEEWAudBBgw

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

We hope you can join us!

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Birding & Owling Parker River National Wildlife Refuge – Saturday, February 5th

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 “PARKER RIVER WAITING LIST” AS THE SUBJECT. Please include the best phone # we can use to reach you.

Registration:  This trip will be limited to 5 cars for ease of movement while on the preserve. Attendance will be on a first come, first serve basis. To register, please click on this event under Calendar/What’s Coming Up on the right-hand side of this page, then scroll down and fill in the form. When registering below, please select “1” space per car.  Then please use the comments box to state the number of people you expect to have in your car. Once your reservation has been approved, you’ll receive a confirmation email.

Join us as we head to Newburyport, Massachusetts to explore Plum Island/ Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Feb 5 from 12-4pm. The sanctuary offers many habitats for native birds, from beaches and sand dunes to salt marshes and maritime forests. In the wintertime, you can expect to see a variety of ducks, cormorants, grebes, and  raptors including our target birds: Snowy and Short-Eared Owls. Check out some of the recent sightings: http://www.bartonstreet.com/tom/birds/guide/plumislandstatus2021.html.

Short-eared Owl – photo by Laurie Pocher

LOGISTICS: Plum Island is about 8 miles long and we’ll be driving from one end to the other, making several stops to bird different habitats along the way. Due to ongoing COVID concerns, you’ll be driving in your own car from location to location. Dress in WARM layers and wear comfortable WARM/WATERPROOF walking shoes. It can get very windy and there will likely be snow or ice on the ground. Be sure to bring a hat, gloves, and toe/hand warmers if necessary. Don’t forget your binoculars, camera, spotting scope, notebook and/or field guide. There are restrooms throughout the refuge, but no food or water available for purchase, so bring a thermos or water bottle and some snacks. Masks/face coverings will be required for the entirety of the outing.

MEET UP DETAILS: We will meet inside the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Lot #1, the first parking lot on the left after the entrance gate. Enter the lot and turn left, look for us near the rest rooms. See map here:  https://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Region_5/NWRS/North_Zone/Parker_River_Complex/Parker_River/ParkerRiverMap.pdf

SNOW DATE: In the event of inclement weather, or if PRNWR limits access due to unsafe road conditions, we will inform all attendees the morning of the event by 9am. The snow date for this event is Sunday Feb 13.

COST: While there is no cost to attend the outing, PRNWR does charge an entrance fee of $5 for motor vehicles. Entry is free for annual pass holders, holders of a Federal Duck Stamp, or any of three Department of Interior passes (America the Beautiful, Senior, and Access passes).

DIRECTIONS FROM MAINE: Route 95 South to MA-113 E/Storey Ave in Newburyport (Exit 86). Continue on Rt 113 for approximately 7 miles. Along the way you will pass the Parker River NWR Visitor Center on your right and the Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education center on your left, both of which are ~2.4 miles before the refuge. Keep going past these two centers and turn right onto Sunset Drive (just before the Plum Island Grille). Continue straight through the entrance gate and turn left into Lot #1.

For GPS navigation, please use Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Refuge Road, Newbury MA or navigate to the Visitor Center at 6 Plum Island Turnpike and continue 2.4 miles past it to Sunset Drive as described above.

GPS coordinates: 42.79080, -70.80996

Posted in Uncategorized

Birding Backpacks

York County Audubon is very pleased to announce that it has donated two birding backpacks to the Kennebunk Free Library. They are available for borrowing by KFL cardholders, as well as by cardholders of the Wells, Kennebunkport and Arundel libraries. Please read the KFL press release below for additional information.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Harlequin – Autumn 2021

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

http://www.yorkcountyaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Harlequin-Autumn-2021.pdf

Posted in Uncategorized

A Video of our November program: Partnering With Beavers to Heal the Planet – with Ben Goldfarb

This program was presented on November 16, 2021. Please click on the link below to watch the program. You can also scroll down to the original post on this program for a full description.

Posted in Uncategorized, video

Partnering With Beavers to Heal the Planet – with Ben Goldfarb – Tuesday, November 16th

The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans and other birds lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of “Beaver Believers”—including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens—recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier, for humans and non-humans than those without them.

Ben Goldfarb is an award-winning environmental journalist and an excellent speaker. His recent book Eager: The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America’s lakes and rivers.

In this very enjoyable talk, Ben will illustrate the history of this world-changing species and demonstrate how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, and climate change. His discussion will reveal the benefits to birds and wildlife that are possible when we coexist with this important if sometimes challenging species.

Goldfarb is the winner of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and Eager was named one of the best books of 2018 by the Washington Post.  His writing has appeared in numerous publications including The Atlantic, Science, National Geographic, The New York Times, Audubon Magazine and many others.

The program will begin at 7 p.m.  There’s no charge to participate, but advance registration is required. To do so, please click on this link and enter your name and email address:

LINK TO REGISTER

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. We hope you can join us!

Posted in Zoom