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Chapter Research Grant - Award Winning Presentation

Luke Douglas, a master’s degree candidate in Forest Resources at the University of Maine, was the 2019 recipient of the chapter’s Inez Boyd Environmental Research Award (IBERA). Luke was scheduled to present the findings of his research project, focusing on rusty blackbird habitat in the industrial forests of northern NH and Maine, at our 2020 Annual Meeting. Since the Annual Meeting had to be canceled due to COVID-19 and the Governor’s stay-at-home order, Luke has produced a video presentation of his first research season. Check it out! Luke’s research advisor is Professor Amber Roth, Ph.D. Watch the Rusty Blackbird Presentation


Penobscot Valley Chapter field trips are fun ways to meet like-minded people, while enjoying the rich natural heritage of our region. We hope you will come outside and join us!

MAINE BIRD ATLAS: BLOCK-BUSTING WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING DATES: TBA through August, based on interest and availability of participants

It’s very difficult to plan field trips for this summer, as health and safety guidelines evolve. We’ve come up with a plan to help members keep in touch with nature and birds, and contribute to an important statewide ornithological study, while maximizing safety. PLEASE NOTE: if your age and/or chronic health conditions put you at higher risk, we will miss you – but the CDC recommends that you remain home as much as possible until the pandemic resolves.

The Idea: You are craving a socially distanced birding experience in a new place. The Maine Bird Atlas (MBA) contains many priority blocks that still need to be completed. If you could combine a safe, fun day of birding with an opportunity to contribute valuable breeding species data for the MBA, that would be a win-win!

The Details: Interested people sign up for the trip(s), and indicate whether they will be birding by themselves or with household members. Trip “leaders” will request your level of birding experience (beginner/intermediate/expert), your home location, and your dates of availability. They will provide you with directions and a specific route to bird on your own, in an MBA priority block near home. You will also receive a list of target birds on that route for you to seek out, trying to get a “Probable” or “Confirmed” breeding code for each species. (You’ll get a detailed description of all breeding codes prior to your trip.)

The Community Element: Once a week, we’ll send all participants in that week’s block-busting adventures a Zoom meeting link, so we can share our tales from the field. If you cannot participate in the trips, or if you just want to hear about what other birders are hearing or seeing, you can request to join the Zoom meetings even if you are not participating in the block-busting trips.

Is This Gonna Work? We have no idea! But it’s worth a try. It’s a difficult year for birders in general, and for the Maine Bird Atlas in particular, since the data collection this summer may fall short with so many contributors remaining in self-quarantine. If you’re willing to give it a go, please contact Sandi Duchesne, 207-827-3782 or, and she’ll get you organized.

Upcoming Events

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Penobscot Valley Audubon Newsletter

The Penobscot Valley Chapter publishes its programs, field trips, and articles quarterly in Natural Selections. It is mailed automatically to Maine Audubon members in the PVC area, and to anyone outside the area who wishes to join the chapter when joining or renewing membership through Maine Audubon. Click here to read the latest newsletter »