2017 TALKS and WORKSHOPS
Mom's Big Year
with Nancy McAllister - Thursday 7:00pm
Join Nancy McAllister on her journey through a ‘Mom’s Big Year’ of birding the U.S. Nancy traveled to hotspots from coast-to-coast to see as many birds as possible throughout 2016. She encountered beautiful birds and fascinating people along the way. A Big Year is no small feat for a mom managing all the duties that go along with three young children, a husband and two unexpected new jobs! Returning to her life-long passion for nature and travel proved to be both exhausting and exhilarating. Nancy used the Big Year to begin her journey of healing after a family tragedy and has many wonderful and heartwarming stories to share from her Big Year adventures. Hear more about how Nancy juggled life, work, and family, and used her birding adventures to heal, renew, and rediscover herself. Nancy’s adventures are sure to inspire! Come and hear about how fueling your passion for nature can change your life too! www.momsbigyear.com
Small-headed Flycatcher, Seen Yesterday. He didn't leave his name.
with Pete Dunne - Friday 7:00pm
Pete Dunne's classic birding whodunneit about the alleged rediscovery of a bird independently discovered by both John James Audubon and Alexander Wilson that was a source of acrimony between these pillars of American ornithology. Holding listeners in a state of uncertainty right to the tale's end, Small-headed Flycatcher engages and entertains birding and nonbirding audiences alike. Ted Floyd, Editor of Birding calls the story: "fantastical...and some of the best and purest, American nature writing I can think of."
Birding Planet Earth: Why Global Perspective Matters
with Luke Seitz
The world is increasingly interconnected: we know this as humans, of course, with our ever-expanding technology and infrastructure. Less obvious are the ways in which the world's birds are related, how each individual and each species works as part of a whole, one strand in a beautifully complex web. This talk aims to first explore our planet's wonderful biodiversity with stunning photography and videography, and then explain the importance of keeping a global perspective at the forefront of our minds as birders and conservationists.
Luke started traveling as a young birder, heading to Ecuador for the first time when he was fourteen. Since then, he has focused much of his time and effort on gaining birding experience worldwide, spending months traveling through South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Prepare to be transported to various corners of the globe in search of just some of the countless amazing avian phenomena: from an army antswarm deep in the Amazonian rainforest to a flock of migrant Bar-tailed Godwits recently arrived in New Zealand, from dazzling Asian pittas to endlessly gliding albatross.
It is easy to appreciate the beauty in all of our world's birdlife,
but these examples are also meant to convey an important message:
only by thoroughly understanding the connections and complexities
of the entire global ecosystem can we successfully conserve the birds
we all care about. We'll only get there from the bottom up: each and
every birder can inform our global understanding through local knowledge,
little bits and pieces that make up the whole. Each and every birder
can make a difference.
Birding By Ear
with Don Freiday - 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. In many habitats, expert birders detect and identify 80% or more of the birds they encounter by ear. To some birders, this may seem mysterious, magical or even sketchy, but it is none of the above. Indeed, when it comes to scientific bird surveys, the ear is king! Learn the basics and some nifty tricks to improve your ear-birding skills with Don Freiday, who has been learning bird sounds for over 40 years, and continues to learn each time afield.
eBird: Introduction and Tutorial
with Doug Hitchcox - Friday 11:00-noon
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.
Break into Birding with Pete Dunne
with Pete Dunne - Friday 1:30pm
This short, synoptic overview of birding is designed to offer beginning birders a concise, practical but comprehensive summary of the basics of bird watching-all you need to know to get out and enjoy the birds that enliven our lives. Specific subjects to be covered include binocular purchase and use; getting the most out of field guides; bird identification dos and don'ts; field trip etiquit and learning to love the Taxonomic Order (the organization of birds in your field guide and regional check list). Also discussed will be birding destinations, seasonality and travel tips. Course has both an indoor and outdoor segment. Bring your binoculars and field guide.
Seabird ID Workshop
Ever get frustrated trying to identify those fast moving, far away pelagic seabirds on a rocking boat? Join us 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 about identifying pelagic species.
The Art of Pishing with Pete Dunne
This workshop strives to impart the arcane are of pishing (def: mimicking the scolding calls of birds to entice them to approach you). Join the man who literally wrote the book on the subject and learn how to wheeze, whistle shhhsh, chip and warble you way to spiritual enlightenment and a few had to get birds. It's hygenic, hysterical and guarantees nothing but an enjoyable session.
Photography with Kevin Loughlin
(Classroom & Field Trip)
with Kevin Loughlin (Wildside Nature Tours)
Sat 2:00-4:00pm & Sun 7:00-10:00am
Part 1: Classroom Photo Workshop
Do you enjoy taking photos of birds and the natural world? Are you often disappointed with how your photos turn out, but can't figure out what went wrong? Join professional nature photographer and tour leader, Kevin Loughlin, for a fun and informative "Basics of Digital Nature Photography Workshop." Learn simple techniques to improve your photography. Explore the major elements that make a photograph a wall-hanger rather than a trash liner. Discover helpful tricks, through classroom instruction and a presentation that will excite and inspire any budding photographer!
Part 2: Field Photography Trip to Thuya Garden
"Hands-on" is the best way to learn. Practice, practice, practice is how you get better! This fun field trip with professional nature photographer and tour leader, Kevin Loughlin, will expand upon what was learned in the previous day's classroom session and allow budding photographers to practice professional techniques in the local hotspots. Kevin will be available to participants, sharing his knowledge and offering immediate feedback to questions and needs to help boost your skills to the next level! (NOTE: Requires previous day classroom attendance)
Avian Piscivores and the Rivers That Once Fed Them: How YOU can help
This is a special talk by the Fisheries Restoration Biologists of the Downeast Salmon Federation. Keystone species such as river herring, sea - run smelt and tomcod are critical components of the diets of many birds and other wildlife at various times of year. Restoration of these fish and the rivers where they spawn present a tremendous opportunity to rebuild multiple ecosystems and avian communities. The Downeast Salmon Federation is a leader in sea - run fish restoration in Maine - they will discuss various ways that birders can become involved in ecosystem restoration.