“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.
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:
“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:
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:
For many years, our former Board member, Marie Jordan, an avid birder and photographer, has produced a calendar and offered it for sale, with her graciously donating the calendars to YCA to support our educational programs. We’ve always presented them at our fall program meetings, but this year that’s not possible, of course, so we’re making them available by mail.
It’s a desk calendar in a 4” by 6” plastic case that opens into a stand to display each month. Each page features a great photo she took this year of a Maine bird. The cost is $10 plus mailing costs. They’re wonderful anywhere in the house, and also make great gifts! And York County Audubon tremendously appreciates your support for our programs.
To place an order, please make out a check payable to York
County Audubon, write Calendar in the memo line, and mail it to Marie Jordan,
32 Crestview Drive, South Portland, ME 04106.
Be sure to include the address or addresses that the calendar(s) should
be sent to. If you have any questions,
please feel free to contact Marie at email@example.com.
The costs including postage and handling are:
1 calendar – $10 plus $4 postage and handling
2 calendars (mailed to one address) – $20 plus $6 postage
3 calendars (mailed to one address) – $30 plus $8.50 postage
4 calendars (mailed to one address) – $35 plus 8.50 postage
Have you ever wondered why a narwhal has a tusk? How sperm whales
catch squid in the deep dark ocean? Which whale has the biggest tail,
lives the longest, and holds the world migration record? Did you know
that whale “waste” results in great plant plankton blooms in the ocean
that produce the oxygen we breath, slow climate change and help create
more productive fisheries?
On Tuesday, November 17th, York County Audubon is
delighted to host an online Zoom program featuring Maine marine mammal
naturalist and conservationist Zack Klyver. He will give a presentation
based on a book he is writing titled The Narwhal’s Tusk: the ten most remarkable marine mammal adaptations.
Over millions of years of evolution, marine mammal physiology has
evolved to take full advantage of the world’s oceans. Marine mammals
occupy all oceans and major rivers of the world.
Sound and hearing are incredibly important to marine mammals as sound
travels through ocean water four to five times more quickly than air. We
will explore the magnificent sound production system called
echolocation in Sperm Whales – the largest of the toothed whales and the
icon of Moby Dick.
Zack will draw on his personal travels from around the world, including
the Arctic and Antarctica, and his encounter with the oldest known
living blue whale in the world. Learn all about the narwhal’s tusk, how
deep marine mammals dive, how long they live, and other examples of
astounding adaptations. Recent scientific discoveries have also expanded
our knowledge around the important role marine mammals play in oxygen
production, carbon sequestration, and the regulation of global climate.
Zack was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1968 and grew up in a commercial
fishing family in Eastport, Maine, the eastern most city in the United
States. He is a graduate of College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor,
Maine, and has worked for thirty years as a whale watch naturalist
guiding whale and seabird watching tours on the Gulf of Maine and around
the world. During that time, he led over 3,000 trips with 600,000
On Tuesday, November 17th at 7 p.m., we’re delighted to have
Zack present this program. 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:
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 30th. The instructions for ordering are on the order form which you can access via the link in red below.
Order pick up (and additional opportunity for purchases) will
be at the Wells Reserve on Friday, November 13th from 1 – 4 p.m., and
Saturday, Nov 14th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with easy access and
volunteers on hand to help load your car.