TALKS and WORKSHOPS
The Perils and Pitfalls of Birding
with Bill Thompson III - Thursday 7:00pm
A humorous narrative about the many mistakes, accidents, and embarrassing situations Bill Thompson III, has experienced in his 30+ years as a bird watcher. He urges the audience to avoid these same perils and pitfalls and even offers tips for how to do so. This light-hearted talk pokes fun at how we bird watchers have our own language, dress code, and food preferences. It's guaranteed to generate laughs or Bill will clean the binoculars of everyone present.
Bird Migration: patterns, strategies, & changes as revealed by eBird
with Marshall Iliff - Friday 7:00pm
The seasonal movement of birds north and south is one of the most captivating of nature's miracles, and is as varied and complex as the birds themselves. Some species flood southward like a sheet of water while others make dramatic jumps literally overnight or attempt perilous multi-day water crossings. Some migration is wonderfully obvious to the birdwatcher, as we can literally watch the birds stream south, while other migratory events are noticeable only by the sudden appearance of birds the next morning. In this talk we'll review the wonderful variety in bird migration and try to better understand the journeys that the birds we love are making, and why. For fun, we'll also look at where migration goes wrong, and some of what we understand about bird vagrancy, its mechanisms, and its significance. As eBird project leader, Marshall will discuss all this through the lens of eBird--a global data resource that is changing the way we look at bird occurrence patterns worldwide. Scientific results and maps directly from eBird will show how this resource can be used by anyone to ask and answer questions about avian patterns, including scientists doing cutting edge work and important conservation. Every person with even a casual interest in nature can mark the passing of the seasons by the juncos at their feeder or Barn Swallows in their barn, and now, through eBird, those observations can contribute to the big picture to help us understand our world even better.
Point and Shoot for Wildlife
Indoor Workshop followed by Outdoor Photography with Stephen Ingraham - Thursday 1:00pm
If you have ever dreamed of bringing back frame filling photographs and videos of the birds and animals you see in the field, but hesitated to invest in, or carry, the substantial gear normally required, Stephen Ingraham of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics will present a compact, efficient, and cost effective solution. A Point-and-Shoot digital camera behind the eyepiece of a high-quality spotting scope mounted on a light-weight tripod will capture images and video that will definitely surprise you. It is not difficult, and the results are more than satisfying. Add one of today's advanced P&S super-zooms for closer and more mobile wildlife and you will be well equipped for whatever you encounter. Come see how it is done. Why leave the birds and wildlife in the field when you can bring them back in living color (and even full stereo sound) to enjoy in your home (and to show off to friends!)? We cover camera choice, spotting scope choice, adapter options, and basic technique, plus you get to see a variety of samples to delight :) and inspire you.
Birding By Ear
with Bob Duchesne - Thursday 4:30-5:30pm
Kick off the festival with this special workshop to help you learn all those confusing songs eminating from the forest. It can be frustrating when you can't see those birds singing high in the trees or just out of sight in the dense thicket. Just six simple tips will help you organize what you are hearing and demystify birding-by-ear. The program trains you to take advantage of bird song information you already know. The presentation will focus on bird sounds that are commonly heard in Maine, but the principles are useful anywhere.
A Songbird SuperHighway: Assessing the Effects of Wind Energy Development in the Gulf of Maine
with Adrienne Leppold & Rebecca Holberton - Friday afternoon
Holberton and Leppold will give an overview of some of the current research underway as part of the large, collaborative Northeast Regional Migration Monitoring Network. Information they share regarding bird migration in the region will be presented in the context of existing and emerging challenges facing our migrants, with an emphasis on assessing potential impacts of land-based and offshore wind energy development.
Adrienne Leppold is a doctoral candidate at UMaine and co-director of the Northeast Regional Migration Monitoring Network. She is a master bander and, before coming to Maine, operated one of the largest and longest-running banding stations in the country. Following multiple seasons working as part of Maine Coastal Islands NWR seabird restoration team, she turned her focus back on to landbird migration. Her doctoral research investigates patterns of songbird migration in the Gulf of Maine, specifically, the environmental, physiological, and behavioral aspects of different migration strategies as they relate to regional weather patterns and geographic characteristics.
Rebecca L. Holberton is a Professor in the School of Biology and Ecology, director of the Laboratory of Avian Biology, and co-director of the Northeast Regional Migration Monitoring Network. She received her doctorate in biology in 1991 at the State University of New York, working on the behavior, ecology, and physiology of migratory birds. Holberton has studied a wide variety of bird species across diverse systems from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Her work focuses on understanding how events that occur during one stage of the annual cycle can be ‘carried-over’ into subsequent stages and ultimately affect fitness. Identifying the nature of these seasonal interactions is critical to our understanding of population regulation in migratory birds.
Seabird ID workshop
with Louis Bevier - Friday afternoon
Ever get frustrated trying to identify those fast moving, far away pelagic seabirds on a rocking boat? Join Louis Bevier to learn techniques on how to improve your skills so you too can be the first to spot and id a jaegar, or shearwater, maybe even a fulmar, and tell the difference between razorbills and murres, and Wilson's and Leach's Storm-petrel as they dance across the water. If you are scheduled to be aboard the pelagic seabird boat trip Saturday morning, this talk is sure to make your experience that much more enjoyable. Whether you are a beginner, or already experienced seabirder, you're sure to take home some new information from Louis, whose id skills are exceptional.
eBird: Introduction and Tutorial
with Marshall Iliff - Friday afternoon
The eBird website (ebird.org) is an increasingly popular website for birders to keep their personal records, access information about recent sightings, plan birding trips, and ask questions about bird occurrence. Come learn why so many people love eBird and how you can start using it too, or use it more effectively, to get the most out of it. Free and open to everyone, from casual birders to scientists and conservationists, the eBird database includes more than 110 million observations and collects millions more each month. As eBird project leader, Marshall will give a hands-on tour of the site and its functionality, with ample time for a Q&A.
Ten Tips for Better Bird ID
with Bill Thompson III - Saturday afternoon
Based on material written for Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Bird ID Challenges (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005) this talk provides some excellent tips, tricks, and concepts for improving one’s identification skills.
How to Bird Maine - The Owner's Manual
with Bob Duchesne - Saturday afternoon
Maine is the size of the rest of New England combined, with mountains and forests and coastlines that dwarf everything else in the northeast. Here is the road map for understanding how and where to bird the state, presented by the developer of the Maine Birding Trail. A multitude of birding hot spots revealed.
A Bird in the Hand: A comparison of birding apps for smart phones
with David Sarkozi - Saturday afternoon
Confused about all the birding apps folks talk about? Join David to learn about a variety of smart phone birding apps and how best to use them to enhance your birding. From various field guides (Sibley, Peterson, and iBird Pro) to data entry apps (BirdLog, Birdwatcher's Diary, and My Bird Observations) to sound apps (BirdTunes and Larkwire), David will teach you some amazing things your phone can do!
Friends of Maine's Seabird Islands
with Stephanie Martin - Sunday afternoon
Join us for a lively presentation and discussion lead by the Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands (FOMSI). FOMSI will give an overview of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, touching on the history of establishment, types of habitat and wildlife, the Refuge’s seabird management programs, and recent research efforts to document seabird foraging areas in the Gulf of Maine, as well as the use of the islands by migrating songbirds. Additionally, we will discuss how the Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands works to support the work of the Refuge in their new Rockland headquarters.