Events & Programs

  • March
  • Maine’s Wild Mushrooms
    • Wednesday, Mar 11, 2020 7:00pm – 8:00pm
    • (snow date 3/18 - Please check our web page, western.maineaudubon.org, or our Facebook page for information in case of snow)
    • Location: UMF, Roberts Learning Center, Classroom 23
    • Greg Marley

    From mid-summer through the fall and the first hard freeze, Maine’s forests and fields are a kaleidoscope of mushrooms of every color and shape. We are drawn to their variety of forms and the mystery of edibility and toxicity. The woods are awash in foragers and those drawn by their simple beauty. Yet the mushrooms we see are just the tip of the mycological iceberg. With every step we take along a woodland path and into the deep duff of the forest floor, we tread upon miles of fungal hyphae, interwoven in a complex network we call mycelium. This talk will delve into the role of fungi in forest health and complex interconnected web of life beneath our feet. We will celebrate great edible and medicinal mushrooms and underscore the cautionary tale of poisonous mushrooms. And we will return time and again to the lifeblood of mycelium in every shovelful of soil. Come out in the early spring and enjoy a talk focused in the season ahead.

    Greg A Marley Bio Greg Marley has been collecting, studying, eating, growing and teaching mushrooms for more than 45 years. Marley shares his love affair with mushrooms through walks, talks and classes held across New England. The founder of Mushrooms for Health, he oversees a small company providing medicinal mushroom education and products made with Maine medicinal mushrooms. Marley is the author of Mushrooms for Health; Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi, (Downeast Books , 2009) and the award winning Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares; The Love Lore and Mystic of Mushrooms, (Chelsea Green, 2010). As a volunteer mushroom identification consultant to Poison Control Centers across New England, he provides expertise in mushroom poisoning cases. He lives and mushrooms with his family along the coast of Maine. Greg Marley, LCSW mushroom@midcoast.com

  • April
  • Nightjars in Maine
    • Wednesday, Apr 8, 2020 7:00pm – 8:00pm
    • (Snow date is April 15 - Please check our web page, western.maineaudubon.org, or our Facebook page for information in case of snow))
    • Location: C23 - Roberts Learning Center - UMF
    • Logan Parker

    Logan Parker is an assistant ecologist and founder of the Maine Nightjar Monitoring Project. This statewide citizen science project is collecting observations of whip-poor-wills, nighthawks, and other nocturnal birds, some of which are facing widespread declines.

    Attendees will learn about the natural history of Maine’s nightjars, cryptic and nocturnal birds that are more likely to be heard than seen, and the efforts involved in monitoring these fascinating birds throughout the state, from Eliot to Calais, Kennebunk to Baxter State Park. The project is currently recruiting volunteers to adopt monitoring routes or simply make observations of nightjars in your own backyard.

    Logan Parker is an assistant ecologist residing with his wife in their off- grid cabin in the woods of Central Maine. Logan, a life-long Mainer, earned his Master’s Degree from Unity College where he studied Sustainable Natural Resource Management with a focus on biodiversity conservation. He is a birder, naturalist, writer, and wildlife photographer. Logan is also currently working to support the 2nd generation of the Maine Bird Atlas as a Special Species and Habitat Technician, conducting nocturnal, alpine, and winter bird surveys. He is also an ecologist for the Maine Natural History Observatory.

  • May
  • Annual Warbler Walk
    • Saturday, May 9, 2020 7:00am – 9:00am
    • Location: Whistle Stop Trail

    Rain or Shine!
    Call if you don’t have binoculars to use.

  • What’s Happening To Our Birds?
    • Wednesday, May 13, 2020 7:00pm – 8:00pm
    • Location: C23 - Roberts Learning Center - UMF
    • Sally Stockwell, Maine Audubon

    The numbers are staggering. A recent article in the journal Science documents declines among 64% of all eastern forest bird species—a loss of 167 million birds—and among 50% of all boreal forest species—a loss of 501 million birds— in North America alone. That means nearly one in four of all eastern forest birds and one in three of all boreal forest birds that were coloring the forest with their flashy feathers and cheerful songs in 1970 are no longer with us.

    There are many reasons for these declines. Some of the more persistent are habitat loss on both breeding and wintering grounds, loss or degradation of migratory stopovers, decline or contamination of insect food from overuse of pesticides, collisions with windows and other human structures, and predation from cats. Individuals can take simple steps to steward birds and habitat, and every little bit helps. Maine
    can do more than a little bit; in fact, we can play an outsized role in helping to stem the decline.

    Our state has the largest remaining block of forest in the eastern U.S. and these forests are vital to the breeding success of millions of forest songbirds every year. We are the “baby bird factory” for the entire Atlantic Flyway. Because of that, much of northern and western Maine has been designated as a globally significant Important Bird Area by National Audubon and BirdLife International. We have both an opportunity and a
    responsibility to help these declining birds.

    Come learn more about how the data were gathered, who’s at risk and why, and what you can do to help stem the declines. All landowners in the region with grasslands or forestlands can help change that by creating or improving habitat for birds in Maine. Your efforts to care for your woods, fields and waters can make a big difference!

    Sally Stockwell is a wildlife ecologist with experience in conservation of nongame, rare, and endangered species in freshwater wetlands, coastal beaches and marshes, and northern forests. She has additional experience as an interpretive naturalist, environmental education instructor, and outdoor adventure leader. Sally holds a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology and an M.S. in wildlife management from the University of Maine and a B.S. in biology from The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington. In 2008, Sally was the recipient of the UMaine Department of Wildlife Ecology Award for Professional Excellence for long-term career service to wildlife conservation. Sally serves on numerous state committees and has been actively involved in town planning, open space planning.