Fall Migrant Songbird Workshop: Saturday, September 12, 2020, 7 a.m.–11 a.m.
INSTRUCTOR: DEREK LOVITCH
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 on avian research and education projects in nine states from New Jersey to Hawaii and from Florida to Michigan. He also spent three summers as a tour guide on Alaska’s Pribilof Islands; he served as tour director in 2003 and organized and conducted the first comprehensive Fall Avian Survey in the island’s history. Derek and his wife, Jeannette, have settled down in Pownal, 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 as they are returning to the tropics. As we approach the peak of fall warbler migration, we’ll not just learn how to identify these charismatic birds, but learn about their mind-boggling migration as well. We are going to dispel the myth of the “confusing fall warbler,” but we will go well beyond that. Instead of just “what” these birds are, we’ll also learn about “how” these birds got here, “why” they are here, and what they do when they are here.
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 predicted 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 Capisic Pond Park in Portland, at the main entrance on Macy Street off of Capisic St. We may then caravan to other nearby locations, depending on the day’s birding.
UPDATED: While we have not yet canceled any trips, we will continue to evaluate trip cancellations as state and CDC guidance is updated over the coming weeks. We will notify all participants immediately if we decide to cancel a trip.
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. However, if, due to state and/or federal COVID-19 policies, a lockdown is still in effect, we will refund 100% or offer credit on future trip.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What about transportation?
Participants are responsible for their own transportation.
What should I wear?
The most recommended piece of gear is a pair of sturdy waterproof footwear, with mud likely during outings. We also like to layer, which usually means a base layer of synthetic, fast-wicking material, a warm fleece or soft shell, and a down jacket for cool mornings. Other suggested items are found below.
– 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?
Trips will indeed be rain or shine.
What equipment do you recommend I bring?
– Camera (if you would like)
– Waterproof footwear or shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or muddy