Can you feel it in the air? Spring is here, and soon the birds will follow. It’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to be spending your spring to see as many birds as you can.
Maine Audubon is involved with all kinds of birding festivals, bird walks, and other events to celebrate the return of spring. Below is a list of places where you can join us.
May 17 – 19 — Wings, Waves, and Woods, Deer Isle. “Wings Waves & Woods” is Deer Isle and Stonington’s Migratory Birding Weekend. Local birders lead conservancy and beach walks, plus there are TWO boat rides to see puffins, sea birds and eagles. Good chance for Purple Sandpipers, Great Cormorants, and pelagic specialties. Island artisans and artists offer birding and nature-related originals. More info here.
May 24 – 26 — L.L. Bean and Maine Audubon Birding Festival, Freeport. The premier birding festival in southern Maine kicks off during peak spring migration. This festival has something for everyone from families looking for a fun adventure to serious birders looking to add to their life lists. Activities include a keynote speech from Laura Erickson of For The Birds radio, a nature comics workshop with Rosemary Mosco of Birdandmoon.com, field trips to Monhegan Island and sites all around Freeport, and many other events. Register here.
May 24 – 27 — Down East Spring Birding Festival, Cobscook Bay, Whiting. Hikes, Puffin trips, Sightseeing Boat Trips, Sunset Cruises, Expert Lectures. The Annual Down East Spring Birding Festival provides a unique experience in “the real Maine” where birders can observe a great variety of birds in diverse natural environments. The festival offers birders various self-guided explorations as well as professionally guided hikes, boat tours, and presentations led by area experts. Register here.
May 30 – June 2 — Acadia Birding Festival, Bar Harbor. Perhaps the most famous birding festival on the East Coast marks its 21st year on Mount Desert Island. Once again, some of the best guides in America will lead dozens of trips in and around Acadia National Park. Among the keynote speakers is Maine Audubon’s own Staff Naturalist Doug Hitchcox, which is enough reason to sign up if you ask us! Registration and more info here.
June 7 – 9 — Rangeley Birding Festival, Rangeley. Maine Audubon is very excited to help launch the inaugural festival in western Maine. The Rangeley Lakes area is one of the most incredible and under appreciated parts of the state, giving participants the opportunity to find several rare and uncommon species, including Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, and Black-backed Woodpecker. Also, sought-after warblers like Cape May and Blackburnian will be seen on their breeding grounds, permitting attendees to see behaviors not seen during migration. Register here.
Bird Walks / Trips
May 7 – 17 (weekdays only) — Warblers Walks at Evergreen Cemetery and Capisic Pond, Portland. Maine Audubon Staff Naturalist Doug Hitchcox, the hardest working birder in Maine, will be out every morning in mid-May to help birders through spring migration. Monday through Thursday he’ll start back by the ponds at Evergreen Cemetery in Portland at 7am, and Fridays at Capisic Pond off Macy Street at the same time. More information here.
Fridays between April 26 – May 31 — Guided Nature Walks at Fields Pond, Holden. Join Maine Audubon’s David Lamon on Friday morning’s this spring for an easy walk along the Sanctuary trails at Fields Pond. We’ll be sure to see plenty of birds, so bring your binoculars and dress to be comfortable outdoors. We’ll meet at the kiosk in front of the Nature Center. Walks typically last 1&1/2 hours. Free for Members. Register here.
Saturday May 11 — International Migratory Bird Day at Fields Pond, Holden. Come celebrate IMBD with your friends at Fields Pond! There’ll be bird walks, tastings of bird-friendly coffee, kids activities, and great sales in the nature store, all running between 8:30 am and 1 pm. Come on by!
May 15 – September 17 — Weekly Wednesday Bird Walks at Scarborough Marsh, Scarborough. Join Noah Gibb at 7am every Wednesday morning for a walk around one of Maine’s most incredible bird hotspots. Register here.
Wednesday May 15 — Bird Walk at Martin’s Point HealthCare, Portland. Join Maine Audubon’s Nick Lund for a mid-day walk around the campus of Martin’s Point HealthCare. Walk is free, 1-2pm, at 331 Veranda Street in Portland.
Wednesday May 15 — Evening Walk at Kennebunk Plains. Join us for an evening walk around Kennebunk Plains listening for singing crepuscular birds. Our main target will be Eastern Whip-poor-wills but may also find American Woodcocks, Common Nighthawks, or Barred Owls. Bring a flashlight and dress warm. Register.
Monday May 20 — Bird Walk at Fort Williams. Join us for a bird walk around the picturesque Fort Williams Park during the peak of spring migration. This coastal park is a great spot to see migrating songbirds as they make landfall after their nocturnal migrations, as well as a great diversity of seabirds just offshore. Register.
Friday June 7 — Seabirds of Matinicus Rock. Matinicus Rock is one of Maine’s most important seabird nesting colonies. Here, Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Common Murres, Black Guillemots, Arctic and Common Terns, and Laughing Gulls all gather to nest. Motoring out of New Harbor aboard the Hardy III, we could see a good array of pelagic species, including Wilson’s Storm-petrels, Northern Gannets, Common Murres, phalaropes, Great and Sooty Shearwaters, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and jaegers. Register here.
Maine Audubon Chapter Walks / Field Trips
Downeast Audubon, Mt. Desert Island area — May and June are busy months for Midcoast, who have more than a dozen birding trips on the calendar. Destinations include Acadia National Park, Blue Hill Mountain, and many other gems of the region. Look here for dates and info.
Fundy Audubon, Washington County — None scheduled at this time.
Merrymeeting Audubon, Brunswick area — The Merrymeeting Chapter has a full slate of birding events in April and May, including Field Trips to Bath, Brunswick, Dresden, Lisbon, Falmouth, Harpswell, and Augusta. Please visit their events page for a full schedule.
Mid-Coast Audubon, Knox, Lincoln, Waldo counties — Mid-Coast Audubon has four birding field trips on the calendar for May and June: May 11 at Pemiquid Point; May 16 at Evergreen Cemetery in Portland; May 25 to Monhegan Island; and June 1 to Kennebunk Plains and Sanford Sewage Lagoon. Read more here.
Penobscot Valley Audubon, Bangor area — There are lots of opportunities to see birds with the excellent birders of the Penobscot Valley this May, who are offering walks in Bangor, Brewer, Orono, Holden (at Fields Pond Audubon Sanctuary), and Bradley. See here for details.
Western Maine Audubon, Farmington area — Please join the Western Maine Chapter for their Spring Warbler Walk on May 11 from 7-9am at the Whistle Stop Trail in Farmington. Info here.
York County Audubon, York County — Please join YCAS for morning bird walks every other Saturday starting on June 1. These walks are FREE and open to the public, and meet at Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm at 7:30am. More information here.