2018 TALKS and WORKSHOPS
Close Encounters of the Bird Kind
with Laura Erickson - Thursday 7:00pm
Laura served as a federal- and state-licensed wildlife rehabilitator for over a decade, and became fascinated with how wild birds deal with temporary captivity. Pileated Woodpeckers use their tongues to probe crevices—the young one Laura raised spent a lot of time probing her ear with his tongue. Soras hugged the edges of her living room, hiding between draperies or furniture and the wall and never coming out into the open. Warblers had to be kept in the dark during migration—if someone turned a light on in a room with warblers, they’d immediately take off, flying directly toward it, providing some insight into their high mortality at lighted buildings during nocturnal migration. Laura has hilarious, heartbreaking, and uplifting stories about these encounters.
eBird: The Future of Birding
with Marshall Iliff - Friday 7:00pm
For the birder, eBird provides almost everything a birder would need. Record your sightings, store them and tap into them anytime, organize your photos and audio recordings, and even get feedback from experts to help improve your bird ID skills. Sightings from across the eBird community create real-time range maps, birdfinding resources, Rare Bird Alerts, and even customized tools to help find more of the birds *you* are interested in. Best of all, these data feed scientific products to inform conservation, making "Big Data Ornithology" a new reality. As these data have grown, they have begun to feed other resources. The Macaulay Library collects high quality images and sounds and with data collection via eBird that resources has exploded in volume and breadth. Merlin provides free, in-your-pocket tools to identify birds and is using eBird to bring a location-aware field guide to all corners of the globe. Further opportunities for the eBird platform to buttress other initiatives and engage new communities abound. We are in the Information Age, and we'll explore some of the ways bird information will continue to evolve and bring new possibilities not just for the birder, but for science and conservation.
Birding: Medicine for the Soul
with Raymond VanBuskirk - Saturday 5:30pm
We can probably all agree that the natural world brings depth and meaning to our lives; it offers deep connection to our natural heritage and escape from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. Arguably one of the most enjoyable aspects of birding is discovering and sharing the diversity of the birding experience with others. As the birding world continues to expand so does the list of reasons why people do it. One of Raymond's favorite questions to ask people is, "What has birding done for you?" People's answers are vastly different, but the number of people who have said, "Birding saved my life", struck Raymond deep and close to home. This is powerful stuff. Birding saves lives. Join Raymond as he shares his experience of growing up as a young birder. He will recount tragedy, grief, and the healing powers of nature, and why this is reason enough to do everything we can to protect it.
eBird Workshop (by the Expert)
with Marshall Iliff - Thursday 10:30-noon
Join Marshall Iliff, a Project Leader for eBird, as he tells us how to best use eBird. 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. eBird is free and open to everyone, from casual birders to scientists and conservationists. The eBird database already has more than 10,000 species reported and over 500 million records entered around the world! Even if you are already an eBird user, there is always more to learn from the expert.
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.
Birding with a Purpose: Maine Bird Atlas and How YOU can Help
Glen Mittelhauser - Friday 10:30-11:30am
It's time for the second Maine Bird Atlas (www.maine.gov/birdatlas): a five-year effort to document the abundance and distribution of all breeding and wintering birds across the entire state of Maine! To be successful, we need people across the state to volunteer. Join Glen Mittelhauser, Director of Maine Natural History Observatory and coordinator of the Maine Bird Atlas, to learn about the history of the Maine Bird Atlas and how you can participate. Glen will describe some of the resources available on the website and how to report observations. The Maine Bird Atlas will be a fun new way to go birding in Maine, share sightings and contribute to a better understanding of Maine's birds.
Seabird ID Workshop
Louis Bevier - Friday 4:30-5:30pm
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.
Fins and Feathers
Dwayne Shaw - Sunday 10:30-11:30am
DSF Executive Director, Dwayne Shaw, will explore the relationship between birds and the fish of Maine that have faced steep population declines in recent decades. Dwayne will discuss how we can enhance food stocks for birds through the restoration of our rivers.