Tag Archives: programs

Birds on Tap! A new speaking series from Freeport Wild Bird Supply begin 4/14 with Erynn Call at Rising Tide Brewing Co.

Call poster

OK, so that was kind of a long title, so I think you get the idea. And we are excited about this!

Freeport Wild Bird Supply (FWBS) is excited to introduce a new series of talks that will feature speakers in the field of ornithology and conservation. But, these are not just ordinary presentations. Each one will be held at one of our favorite local breweries allowing guests to sample beers while learning about bird research that is being conducted in our region. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to further the work of the featured speaker.

“It is our hope that these programs, with a casual atmosphere, will help bridge the gap between ornithologists, bird watchers, and the general public,” said Derek Lovitch, FWBS co-owner. “Building on our successful series of book signings at the Maine Beer Company, Dr. Noah Perlut of the University of New England, approached us to expand our series to include academic and more scientific presentations. We can think of no better partner than one of our favorite brewers, Rising Tide Brewing Company.” “By hosting these events in Portland, we are equidistant between Bowdoin College and the University of New England, within walking distance of the University of Southern Maine’s Portland campus, and of course are right in the heart of the Portland population. This central location should provide easy access for students, birders, and the general public from a wide area,” added Jeannette Lovitch.

The series kicks off on April 14th at Rising Tide Brewing Company (103 Fox Street, Portland) with Erynn Call. In her talk titled From Recreation to Conservation – Taking birding to the next level, Call will highlight The Maine River Bird Network, a statewide citizen science initiative aimed at better understanding the links between rivers and birds and the role of birds as ecological indicators. River features such as water flow, presence of dams, and land cover may be altered by climate change, river restoration, and urbanization. The project has made progress in shedding light on relations between river features and bird abundance. This knowledge improves the value of birds as measures of change within river ecosystems.

Call discovered her passion for birds while growing up in northeast Michigan and developed a keen interest in avian ecology while studying at Michigan State University. Research on reproduction, movement, and survival of Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey, and Bobwhite quail led her to Michigan, Kansas, and Missouri. After working as a wading bird ecologist with the South Florida Water Management District Everglades Research Division and as a wildlife biologist in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she decided to pursue a doctorate degree at the University of Maine – Orono. The statewide citizen science initiative – Maine River Bird Network – was formed from these efforts and continue as part of her new position as the Raptor Specialist in the Wildlife Research and Assessment Section Bird Group of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

“Ms. Call was the perfect guest to kick off the series,” according to Mr. Lovitch, “as her work collected data from ‘citizen scientist’ bird watchers in order to analyze river health, dam removal, and other pertinent current events in Maine’s ecology.”

“We’re pleased to work with our friends at Freeport Wild Bird Supply to support the Maine Birder Band and their conservation efforts.” adds Stasia Brewczynski, tasting room manager at Rising Tide.

The event is free – non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks will be provided free of charge. For every beer purchased, Rising Tide will donate $1 directly to Maine Birder Band, a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fund which supports efforts to protect Maine’s birds, bird habitat, and access for birders, earmarked for the Maine River Bird Network.

Fall Plans

Seriously, it’s already the end of August?  Where the heck did the summer go?  It feels like shorebird season just started, and now here I am checking the radar nightly as fall songbird migration heats up.  Goldfinches are eating seed heads in the perennial gardens, hummingbirds are molting and tanking up (many males have already departed), and biting insects are at a minimum.  As much as I love late August – and autumn is my favorite season – it’s always a little bittersweet to let summer slip away.

In most years, by the end of August I have combed through flocks of roosting peeps at Biddeford Pool or strained to see distant mudflats at Pine Point at least a dozen times.  I can’t believe Sunday was actually my first visit to Biddeford Pool on a high tide all summer!  This week isn’t helping either, with a visit to Massachusetts these past two days and some New Hampshire birding with a friend tomorrow.  In other words, I have been busy – wicked busy even!  This is by no means a complaint, however, just a statement – and an excuse as to why I never did find a Red-necked Stint for Maine this summer.

What is normally a “slower” season for me was anything but, and now, with September right around the corner, I am about to get even busier!  I have a trip to the Upper Midwest in October to speak at the Iowa Ornithologists Union Fall Meeting and the UrbanEcologyCenter in Milwaukee with some birding and visiting with friends in between.  I’ll be talking to New Hampshire Audubon in October as well, and I will be helping out Leica Sports Optics at the Cape Cod Birding Festival next month.

In between, I hope to spend as much time as possible at SandyPoint.  Keep an eye on the store’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/freeportwildbird) for my Morning Flight counts.  I’ll post the occasional significant flight report and corresponding radar analysis here, but most counts will just get posted directly to the FB page (as a “public” business page, it functions as a regular website; no need to “be on” FB to view).

SandyPoint at sunrise is probably my favorite place to be in the fall, but MonheganIsland is a very close second.  Actually, it’s probably a tie.  I wish I could be at both almost every morning all season long!  And speaking of Monhegan, I still have spaces on my “MonhegZEN Birding Fall Migration Weekend” tour, September 27through 30th.  It’s a “per diem” tour, so you can join me for anywhere between one and four days of birding at this amazing place.

In preparation of what is likely to be a whirlwind fall for me, I have updated our website with all of my events, programs, and tours on a newly-expanded “Tours, Events, Workshops, and Programs” page at http://www.freeportwildbirdsupply.com.  There you’ll find more information about the MonhegZEN Birding Weekend tour, and all of my programs for the coming months.  We’ve also started to finalize plans for an exciting 2014, including everything from our “Woodcocks Gone Wild” evening walk to a two-week tour to the Russian Far East.  More Monhegan, our now-annual trip with the Schooner Lewis R. French, and much, much more is now posted, with details rapidly being filled in.

So whether it’s in Iowa, the parking lot at SandyPoint, or on MonheganIsland, I hope to see you this fall.  And if you happen to have a cup of bird-friendly coffee handy, I will probably need it!