More information to follow soon!
Northern Maine Christmas Bird Counts:
Caribou/Limestone area Saturday, December 16th
Presque Isle area Saturday, December 30th
What a great outing to Long Lake last weekend!
Northern Maine is finally getting more seasonable weather after two bonus months of summer.
Until recently, warm temperatures and regular southerly breezes seemed to have substantially stalled the movement of later fall migrants. The makeup of local goose flocks has remained relatively unchanged since mid-October. Only a couple Rough-legged Hawks have been reported. Sparrow migration has been unimpressive and only in the past couple days have finch numbers seemed to tic upward.
Woodland, Aroostook Co., Maine
We had a lovely visit to Mars Hill this weekend.
The weather was great, lunch was fantastic and the birds didn’t disappoint us either! Lots of geese of course! But we also had good looks at Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal and Rock Pigeons hanging out with the geese! 7 species of shorebirds were a surprise with lots of Pectoral Sandpipers and a couple of uncommon Dunlin. 25 species in all :http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39614497
Thanks to all who joined in the fun! We’ll see you again November 4th at Long Lake!
On September 16th, we had a nice turn out for our walk at Christina Reservoir. There were quite a number of interesting sightings, a couple that had us stumped and a few added to the life list of several of our members. We had perfect weather and a great morning. Thanks to all who attended!
Sightings of the day:
Great Blue Heron
Ring Neck Ducks
Blue Wing Teal
Green Wing Teal
Pied Bill Grebes
Ring Billed Gull
Red Eyed Vireo
Black capped Chickadees
Yellow Rumped Warblers
(List Submitted by Diane Shaw. Photo courtesy of Vickie Ketch)
It’s time for a fun fall event with Aroostook Birders!
Aroostook Birders’ Goose Lunch at Mars Hill Pond
Sat. Oct. 7th, 11am to 1pm
Canada Geese migrate through the County each fall, stopping for short stays, and one favorite stopover is the pond in Mars Hill. This year, instead of chasing the geese all over the County as in years past, we will “lunch” with them at the pond. Spotting scopes will be available to look for the occasional rare visitor traveling with them. We will look for Greater white-fronted geese or maybe even a Pink-footed Goose in an activity similar to “Where’s Waldo”.
Light refreshments and drinks will be available. For more information, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
Join us September 16th as we check out the shorebirds at Christina Reservoir in Fort Fairfield! Please see the Events page for all the details. See you there!
Members August Birding Trip to the Coast of Maine!
Aug. 19 morning
Meet at Quoddy Head lighthouse in the morning of Aug. 19 at 7am.
We will then head south on Rt. 191 stopping at parks with trails where we can walk in as far as the group can handle:
A number of the trails are a part of the Cobscook Trails project
(for maps- http://www.cobscooktrails.org/map.html)
1. Quoddy Head State Park (3 easy trails with nice boardwalk through a bog) (http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/doc/parksearch/details.pl?park_id=10)
2. Hamilton Cove (http://www.mainetrailfinder.com/trails/trail/hamilton-cove)
3. Boot Head (has a resident spruce grouse) (http://www.mcht.org/preserves/boot-head)
And then our choice of:
Bog Brook Cove Moose Cove (see http://www.mcht.org/preserves/bog-brook-cove- has an accessible 0.2 mile trail)
Bog Brook Cove Norse Pond
Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land (possibly boreal, maybe just try forest) (see http://www.mainetrailfinder.com/trails/trail/cutler-coast-public-reserved-land)
We can then make our way to Helen’s Restaurant in Machias for a late lunch. We could stop at Moosehorn on the way back north, if people are going that way and time allows.
Email to get your name on the list! See you there!
Coming in May…Please check our Event Calendar to see all the happenings coming up next month. We have a jam packed schedule for you!
May 2nd – 7-8 AM Birding with Aroostook Birders at Mantle Lake Park
May 2nd – 7-9 PM Owl Prowl and Night Sounds – one of our favorite events of the year!
Owl Prowl and Night Sounds with audio enhancement equipment at a mature forest in the
vicinity of Caribou with Bill Sheehan. Please meet the Caribou Wellness & Recreation Center
by 6:45pm, transportation is provided by the Caribou Parks and Recreation Departments 15
passenger van on a first come first serve basis, van will leave sharply at 7 pm. Headlamps and
flashlights are strongly recommended. There will be some walking over relatively flat land that
may have some puddles and mud.
All Events are rain or shine…, please dress appropriately for cold and inclement weather.
Birding outings are sponsored by Cary Medical Center, Aroostook Birders, & the Caribou Parks and Recreation Department.
No Pre-registration is required.
Free bird calls to all participants.
All participants will have names placed in a hat. At the completion of birding outings on May 26 a name will be selected from a hat and one lucky person
will win a free pair of binoculars.
Limited binocular and bird books; availability to participants on a first-come first-serve basis for each of the outings.
Outings are open to all age.
For additional information please contact the Caribou Parks & Recreation Department @ 493-4224
Annual Waterfowl Walk – Fort Fairfield
The Aroostook Birders kick off the spring bird watching season Saturday April 22nd with the annual Waterfowl Walk in Fort Fairfield. We will meet at the Aroostook River boat launch just downstream of the Aroostook River bridge on Riverside Ave at 8 AM. We’ll spend a leisurely morning (carpooling) to visit several ducky locations along the Aroostook River and parks in town. Come celebrate Earth Day and learn about the migrating ducks and geese and other early spring migrant birds! Ends at 11 AM.
Rain or shine. Dress appropriately, bring binoculars, field guides, snacks and drinks. Short bathroom break midway through the morning.
Annual Business Meeting, Slideshow and Potluck –
April 5th – 6-8 pm
Location: Department of Environmental Protection Office
1235 Central Drive, Presque Isle, ME 04769
Please join us on February 15th, 6:30-8:00 pm for a spectacular presentation of Birds of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, shared by Judith Roe.
Location: “Alumni Room” in the Campus Center at the UMPI campus, 2nd floor
Please join us for movie night!
Please join us for movie night from 6:30 – 8:00 pm on January 19th, 2017.
Location: Department of Environmental Protection 1235 Central Dr, Presque Isle, ME 04769
We will be viewing the documentary “The Messenger” that explores the secrets of songbirds and their recent decline. There will be popcorn, coffee and hot cocoa!
It’s time for our 117th Annual Christmas Bird Count! Will you join us?
The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) season is upon us and Aroostook Birders club has already begun preparations to host counts here in northern Maine. The CBC is an annual survey of wintering birds conducted by groups of citizen volunteers which comb the countryside within a “count circle” looking for any birds that can be found.
Almost a world-wide event now, the annual Christmas Bird Count enlists thousands of volunteers across the entire western hemisphere to try to tally all birds in dozens of countries. Here in the US, it’s been a citizen science tradition of hundreds of Audubon chapters and groups nationwide for over a century. As one of the longest running biological surveys, the extensive record of data provides valuable insights into how bird populations and their habitats are doing, and what needs to be done to protect them. Learn more about it here: http://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count
Locally, two CBC’s the Caribou/Limestone count and the Presque Isle count are planned.
The Presque Isle Christmas Bird Count has a long history, going back to the 1930’s. The count is centered in downtown Presque Isle and covers parts of Chapman, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Mapleton, Presque Isle and Westfield. This year the count date will be December 31st.
Run officially for the first time in 2011, the Caribou/Limestone Christmas Bird Count includes much of the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge and parts of Caribou including in-town, Connor, Fort Fairfield, Limestone (downtown), New Sweden and Woodland. This count (now Maine’s northern-most) will be held on December 17th.
It’s looking like a good year for irruptive species (https://vimeo.com/90747832) and we’re hearing news of lots of Northern Cardinals in the count areas this year. Between the two counts, over 80 species have been found, including such rare birds as Iceland Gulls, Snowy and Northern Hawk Owls, Rusty Blackbird and Hoary Redpolls! Hopefully new exciting discoveries will be made this season and hopefully you all will participate and encourage your neighbors and friends to join in as well. We welcome birders of all levels of expertise and (if you’d rather stay indoors where it’s nice and warm) we appreciate any feeder counts that can be made in the circles.
Caribou/Limestone Saturday Dec 17th with 18th as snowday. Contact Bill (email@example.com or 227-7301) for coverage assignments or meet at the Caribou Tim Horton’s on Bennett Drive @ 630 AM.
Presque Isle CBC Saturday Dec 31st with Jan 1 as a snowday. Again, contact Bill for assignments or meet at Presque Isle Tim Horton’s on Main Street at 6:30 AM.
Please join us!
Northern Maine Bird Update!
Yesterday afternoon was glorious (from a northern-Maine-in-November perspective) and I spent it birding until dark (4 PM). Its been a while since I’ve done this.
The usual goose roost ponds were surprisingly full of birds for so late in the season and I encountered large feeding flocks in several fields.
The outing to Long Lake was a great success!
New faces and a few VERY friendly feathered friends joined us for the day! The group spotted 24 species, including a couple that were added during a later afternoon trip a few of our members took to Pelletier Island.
On Sunday, Connie McClellan followed along the same route and reported that the town office spot was full of geese and golden eyes, and hundreds of Black-backed gulls.
Sighting List for November 5th:
3 pine grosbeaks
It’s time for a fun fall event with Aroostook Birders!
Aroostook Birders’ Goose Lunch at Collins Pond in Caribou
Sat. Oct. 8th, 11am to 1pm
Canada Geese migrate through the County each fall, stopping for short stays, and one favorite stopover is Collins Pond in Caribou. Small flocks stay in the area feeding in harvested fields each morning. At lunchtime they all visit Collins Pond before returning to the fields in the afternoon, providing a rare spectacle for the area.
This year, instead of chasing the geese all over the County as in years past, we will “lunch” with them at the Collins Pond shelter. Spotting scopes will be available to look for the occasional rare visitor traveling with them. We will look for Greater white-fronted geese or maybe even a Pink-footed Goose in an activity similar to “Where’s Waldo”.
Light refreshments and drinks will be available. For more information, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
August 6 @ 7:00 am – 10:30 am
Aroostook Birders will visit the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in Limestone. We will bird the new Beaver Pond Trail and if we have time, also check the Chapman Pit trails off the Sawyer Road. With breeding season winding down, we can expect to see lots of young birds and busy adults. The earliest migrants are already moving so some surprises are likely. We will walk a mile or so, so wear comfortable footwear. Start at 7 AM and will be done by 10:30. Meet at the Refuge headquarters off the East Gate Road in Limestone. Rain or shine!
Aroostook Birders will be joining in a conservation and education event in Houlton this Saturday. Come out and see us!
This upcoming exhibit at the University of Maine, Fort Kent may interest you!
FORT KENT, Maine – The University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Blake Library welcomes “Canada Geese: A Closer Look” by New England photographer Rachel Krebs. The exhibit will be on display in June and July, 2016.
Rachel captured these images while living in eastern Massachusetts. The photo collection includes a moving series of Canada geese mates. Other images highlight their powerful wings and beautiful black-and-white markings.
Also included are photos of goslings that display their remarkable bonds with one another and their mother. Rachel hopes that viewers will walk away with an appreciation of these often misunderstood birds.
The exhibit may be viewed during regular Blake Library hours. For more information, please contact Gallery Curator Sofia Birden at (207) 834-7527 or email@example.com.
Our walk through Aroostook State Park last weekend was great! It’s a nice location, filled with wildlife and a well kept park to visit.
We parked outside the gate around 6:45 Saturday morning and were joined by several of our members. We took off on foot to explore on a cool, misty morning. The trees are all leafed out obscuring our view, but we could hear birds surrounding us on all sides! Throughout the morning, we heard a lot more than we spotted. With the help of our walk leader, Judy Roe, the keen ears of Shawn Morneault and the handy Sibley’s app on my phone, we identified quite a variety of species by sound! It was a great learning experience as we worked together to identify the unique and beautiful bird songs we heard. I even added a few species to my life list, including the gorgeous Scarlet Tanager, Northern Parula and the Wood Thrush.
Here is a list of what we heard and saw: Bald eagle, Grey catbird, Eastern phoebe (on nest!), Canada goose,American redstart, Northern parula, Scarlet tanager, Blackburnian warbler, Black and white warbler, Black throated green warbler, Black throated blue warbler, Veery, Wood thrush, Hermit thrush, Ovenbird, Mallard, Rose breasted grosbeak, Red breasted nuthatch, Black capped chickadee, Common Raven, American Crow, American Goldfinch, Northern Flicker, Yellow bellied sapsucker, Eastern wood pewee, Red eyed vireo, Blue headed vireo, Tree swallow, Winter wren, American Robin, Chipping sparrow, Song sparrow, Common Grackle, Purple finch. Scott heard a loon.
We hope to see you in Hodgdon next Saturday for our paddling trip! Check out the event calendar for details and location.
Two great events coming up! We hope to see you there!
***Saturday, JUNE 4th at 7 a.m***
Join us for an early morning bird walk at Aroostook State Park. The fee for entrance is $3.00 per adult 12-64 of age, $1.00 for folks between the ages of 5-11, all others are free. We will split into groups, depending on the attendance, and search for returning migrants in the various habitats of the park. Warblers should be in abundance unless it is pouring rain!
***June 11th, Paddling at Hodgdon Deadwater, 8am – Noon***
Please join us for a leisurely paddle along the deadwater in Hodgdon, Maine. This location in the Gordon Manuel Wildlife Management Area is summer home to a number of species of waterfowl. There is an established pair of Bald Eagles whose nest can be seen from the water. We hope there will be eaglets to view this trip!
Bring your canoe or kayak, drinking water, bug spray and sunscreen! We will meet in the parking lot next to Libby’s Dairy Bar right at the dam. Libby’s is also a great place for drinks, snacks or lunch.
For more information, please email us.
****THE PERHAM BOG/SALMON BROOK LAKE WALK IS ON AS SCHEDULED!***
We may have a wet start to the morning, but it’s supposed to clear off. Please come dressed appropriately for the weather!
Coming up Saturday, May 14th from 7-11am
Perham Bog/Salmon Brook Lake Birding Hike, meet at Perham Town Office for a 3-mile
roundtrip excursion along the railroad trail and boardwalk in this interesting ecological
reserve. Birders should bring proper clothing, snacks and water for this “rain or shine” event.
FMI, contact Bill Sheehan 227-7301 or Aroostook Birders website.
May 11 Collins Pond 7-8 am sponsored by Caribou Parks and Recreation
Bird watching at Collins Pond with Bill Sheehan. Please meet at the Collins Pond covered
picnic table shelter on lower Roberts Street promptly at 7am. Be prepared to do some light
walking and warbler exploration around the perimeter of the pond.
The Aroostook Birders Annual Waterfowl Walk held in Fort Fairfield last Saturday was a huge success!
We had several members and one new family to our group on hand for the outing. It was a bit chilly and quite windy, at times, but the birds didn’t disappoint! A few of us were even able to log new Life List sightings with the Northern Shoveler, Long-tailed Duck and Black Scoter. That was a treat! If you missed it, here is our recap for the day.
Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, American Bittern, Canada Goose, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal (American), Mallard, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Long-tailed Duck, Black Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Bonaparte’s Gull, Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon), Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, American Robin, Black-capped Chickadee, American Crow, Common Raven, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch
——— STATISTICS ———
Species seen – 46
Families w/seen species – 21
We’d like to invite you to come out and show your support for our local outdoor partners and hear Bill Sheehan as he speaks representing Aroostook Birders at the International Appalachian Trail meeting in Presque Isle May 6-8, 2016.
“We are looking forward to a fun filled weekend with our IAT friends and colleagues in Presque Isle Maine! In addition to our annual meeting of the members and the board, there will be plenty of opportunity to socialize and take in a variety of topics including:
- Sun Edison Wind Farm Tour/Geology at Mars Hill Mountain
- Alaska to Maine – Snowmobile Ride of the Millennium (after dinner presentation – open to the public)
- History & Geology of the IAT, with website, maps & guide information
- Update on Trail Relocation
- UMPI Outing Club
- Beyond Limits
- Aroostook Birders
- Driving the Solar System
- Native American & First Nations Culture
- Acadian History & Culture
- Paul Cyr Photography
- Interhemispheric Aspects of Climate Change
- Matt “Gator” Miller, 2015 AT Thru-Hiker & IAT-ME Hiker (after dinner presentation – open to the public)
- Stars Over Presque Isle
- Haystack Mtn. Geology Field Trip & Ashland Logging Museum Visit
*** Agenda/Registration Form ***
We hope you can join us! To register, mail registration form and payment to Maine Chapter IAT, PO Box 916, Gardiner, ME 04345 or make a payment online by going to the IAT website annual meeting page. Please forward registration information to firstname.lastname@example.org . Registration and payment is due by April 29, 2016.”
For all who may be interested, our friends at the Francis Malcolm Science Center are hosting a fun event next Saturday!
Saturday, April 23 – Waterfowl Walk, 8-11 am
Aroostook Birders Annual Slide Show and Pot Luck was a huge success! We enjoyed great food, great bird photos and great fun. We missed our members who weren’t able to make it out and hope to see you at one of the events we have coming up shortly.
CARIBOU, MAINE — On Saturday, December 19th, area birders will continue a long-standing holiday tradition — the Caribou Audubon Christmas Bird Count. This count will be followed by the Presque Isle Area Audubon Christmas Bird Count on January 1st. We need all hands on deck!
Organizers say they welcome volunteers to help with counting birds. According to club president and count coordinator, Bill Sheehan, all with an interest are invited to join in for all or part of the day, and new birders can usually be paired with an experienced volunteer to help with identification and rules.
“We hope beginning birders and more experienced folks who have never participated in a Christmas Bird Count will come out to give it a try,” says Sheehan. “It couples outdoor activity with a chance to learn about our local birdlife. Plus, you’re contributing to monitoring efforts and the conservation of birds.”
Count rules are simple. Field volunteers cover assigned areas and count all wild birds seen, with feeder watchers recording birds visiting home feeders in the 24-hour period. At the end of the day, counters meet up, compare notes and compile a master list.
Bill notes following the 2014 counts: “Two weeks ago in Caribou, we had 40 different species for the day, 10 higher than that area’s previous record with a good mix of waterfowl, fruit eaters, boreal birds and southern species such as cardinals and white-breasted nuthatches. I didn’t expect it, but we had a record breaking count.”
To participate in the Caribou or Presque Isle area Audubon Christmas Bird Count, contact Bill.j.Sheehan@gmail.com. For further information and updates, check back at the Aroostook Birders’ website, visit us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @AroostookBirder.