Spring Songbirds Workshop
Portland, 7–11 a.m.
|Derek Lovitch has made a career out of his lifelong passion for birds. After graduating with a degree in environmental policy from Rutgers University, he worked in avian research and education projects in nine states, from New Jersey to Hawaii, Florida to Michigan. He also spent three summers as a tour guide on Alaska’s Pribilof Islands, serving as tour director in 2003 and conducting the first comprehensive Fall Avian Survey in the islands’ history.
Derek and his wife, Jeannette, live in Durham, where they own and operate Freeport Wild Bird Supply, a retail store that caters to birders of all levels. The store serves as a vehicle for Derek to continue sharing his enthusiasm for birding, birds, and bird conservation.
This half-day workshop will focus on the migrant songbirds, especially warblers, that are passing through Maine’s most famous migrant trap, Portland’s Evergreen Cemetery. At the peak of warbler migration, we’ll learn how to identify these charismatic birds, and we’ll discuss their mind-boggling migration and what they’re up to in Maine.
Whether it’s the kind of migration day that legends are made of or a slow day (every day of migration is different), we’ll take advantage of whatever species are present to truly get to know them. Sure, we’ll work on “the list,” but our focus will be on preparing for your next birding outing, giving you the tools to identify birds on your own, maximize your time in the field by predicting where and when to be birding based on NEXRAD radar, geography, habitat, and much more. Of course, if there are too many warblers around, we might just have to simply enjoy them!
We’ll meet at the main entrance on Stevens Ave. to Evergreen Cemetery at 7 a.m. (or as soon as the front gate is opened), near the first building on the right. From there, we’ll caravan to the best birding location, returning to the entrance around 11. If the birding is slow, we’ll relocate in the mid-morning to another nearby park. (No public bathroom facilities).
Frequently Asked Questions
What about transportation?
Participants are responsible for their own transportation, and carpooling from our first site will be highly encouraged.
What should I wear?
- Sturdy waterproof footwear with mud likely during outings.
- A base layer of synthetic, fast-wicking material
- A warm fleece or soft shell
- A down jacket for cool mornings
- Insect and tick repellant
- Waterproof outerwear
Should I be concerned about ticks?
Yes. All outdoor activities in New England carry the risk of picking up these nasty hitchhikers. Please use bug repellent that you can apply to your skin, or even better, permethrin, which you apply to clothes you plan on wearing in the field. Also, give yourself an extensive review when you get home at night to check for ticks.
What happens if the weather doesn’t cooperate?
The trip will only be canceled if road conditions are unsafe or expected to become unsafe before the conclusion of the tour.
What equipment do you recommend I bring?
- Binoculars and spotting scope if you have one
- Waterproof footwear or shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or muddy
The payment is 50% refundable in the event you have to cancel, as long as the cancellation is made 21 days before the trip. After that time, your payment is non-refundable. Alternately, 100% of your payment will be refunded if a replacement can be found prior to the trip.
his workshop needs a minimum of three participants. In the event the minimum is not met, we may cancel or offer to move you to a different workshop.
Please refer to the CDC website for the latest guidance on COVID-19 and travel.