Events & Programs
- SNOWY OWLS ON SARGENT MOUNTAIN
Snowy Owls typically inhabit Acadia’s highest peaks in winter. They can be observed or photographed above tree line under more natural conditions, away from buildings and other structures. Multiple sightings of owls are often possible. Gordon Russell and Jane Rosinski will lead a snowshoe hike up Sargent Mountain, the second highest peak in Acadia, in search of Snowy Owls and scenic winter vistas. This is a rigorous snowshoe outing, two miles from the parking lot to the summit, including 0.8 miles up a steep slope until you get above the tree line. Participants should be reasonably fit and experienced on snowshoes; poles are recommended. Meet at Fields Pond Audubon Center at 8:30 a.m. to carpool to the Parkman Mountain parking pulloff area on Routes 3/198 in Mt. Desert, or arrange to meet us there. Limited to 12 people. Call 989-2591 to pre-register.
Weather contingency date: Sunday, February 24
- ACADIA IN WINTER
Acadia National Park is truly a four-season delight, yet many Mainers have never experienced Acadia during the quieter winter months. For anyone with an interest in birding, this is a magical time of year. Most of our breeding songbirds will not return until April or May, but they have been replaced by a wide variety of Canada-breeding species that spend their winters here, both on land and on the water. Trip leaders Bob and Sandi Duchesne have been birding Acadia and Mt. Desert Island in winter for over four decades, and they look forward to sharing some of their favorite spots and species with you. This trip is suitable for all levels of birding experience; we will walk for short distances at a number of stops, but no extensive hiking is involved. Bring a brown-bag lunch and snacks, binoculars, a spotting scope if you have one (leaders will share theirs), and a camera if you want to capture the amazing scenery. Meet in the parking lot behind Wendy’s just off I-95 Exit 193 (Stillwater Avenue) in Old Town at 6:30 a.m., or at Fields Pond Audubon Center at 7:00 a.m. to form carpools; if you live closer to MDI, we can arrange to meet you en route. Please call 989-2591 to pre-register, let us know where you will meet us to carpool, and provide contact information. Sandi will call or e-mail you on Friday night prior to 9 p.m. if this trip has to cancel for bad weather.
- FIELDS POND BOOK GROUP – WINTER 2019
March 14, 2019 discussion: Beehler, Bruce M. North on the Wing: Travels with the Songbird Migration of Spring. 2018. 256pp
In late March 2015, ornithologist Beehler set off on a solo four-month trek to track songbird migration and the northward progress of spring through America. Traveling via car, canoe, and bike and on foot, Beehler followed woodland warblers and other Neotropical songbird species from the southern border of Texas, where the birds first arrive after their winter sojourns in South America and the Caribbean, northward through the Mississippi drainage to its headwaters in Minnesota and onward to their nesting grounds in the north woods of Ontario. Beehler describes both the epic migration of songbirds across the country and the gradual dawning of springtime through the U.S. heartland and also tells the stories of the people and institutions dedicated to studying and conserving the critical habitats and processes of spring songbird migration. Inspired in part by Edwin Way Teale’s landmark 1951 book North with the Spring, this book is a fascinating first-hand account of a once-in-a-lifetime journey. It engages readers in the wonders of spring migration and serves as a call for the need to conserve, restore, and expand bird habitats to preserve them for future generations of both birds and humans.
The Fields Pond Book Group meets monthly on Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m. at the Orono Public Library, facilitated by professional librarian Joyce Rumery.
- PIPING PLOVER RECOVERY: A MAINE AUDUBON SUCCESS STORY
Are you ready for some good news about wildlife habitat protection in Maine? 2018 marked a record year for nesting pairs of piping plovers on southern Maine beaches, as well as for the number of surviving fledglings . Maine Audubon conservation biologist Laura Minich Zitske is the Director of the Maine Coastal Birds project, which focuses on protection for the federally-endangered piping plover and least tern. These birds face danger from people, off-road vehicles, and unleashed dogs (in addition to all of their natural predators) because they nest in the open on sandy beaches – prime summer-tourist recreation spots. Laura will describe the highs and lows she has experienced over a decade of hard work to protect these birds, and the important role that the Endangered Species act has played in helping wildlife biologists rescue the piping plover from the edge of extinction – although there is still much work to be done.