1. As the green season unfolds and the first flowers of spring open, you can also witness the
populations of birds around us shift and change. Some species head north to Canada after spending the white season in Maine, and almost daily, others arrive from the south.
That's why one spring bird walk isn't enough. We'll meet on five Thursdays: May 4, 11, 18, 25, and June 1 to witness the changes among our local winged ones. While you're welcome to attend any number of the bird walks, attending more than one will afford you with opportunities to practice your identification skills and add new species as the season progresses.
2. You can enjoy the springtime beauty of Laurel Hill Cemetery. This site's paved paths, native and planted trees, and view of the Saco River make for an ideal birding destination. We often stop to point out a favorite tree or answer a nature question prompted by the lovely landscape. We also usually walk to the river overlook, where the tidal waters attract birds we might not otherwise notice.
3. You can wake up with the birds! These walks will start at 7:00 a.m., in the parking lot behind the chapel at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Many folks have asked why we begin so early. Well, we start early because the birds start early! Many birds tend to be busiest and most vocal early in the day, which helps bird observers see and hear more birds. As a reminder, be sure to bring binoculars, if you have them, and wear appropriate outerwear because it can be chilly at the start!
4. You can share your time with other people who love birds or are bird-curious. We often start our walks by sharing our names and a recent bird sighting, and folks often chat for a minute or two between bird observations, so this is a nice chance to meet people. Beginners and experienced birders alike are welcome to attend. As always, this event is free and open to the public.
5. You can learn from local birder and naturalist Josh Fecteau who will once again guide these walks. Josh is passionate about birds and hopes you'll catch the birding bug, too! Josh is also available after each walk for an informal Q & A session for any bird or nature questions we haven't answered during the walk.
7. You can expect to see (and hear!) Chipping Sparrows, Eastern Bluebirds, Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and Eastern Phoebes, to name a few, and with luck, also have opportunities to glimpse a variety of other songbirds, like vireos, tanagers, orioles, and warblers! Speaking of warblers, you can also check out Josh's website at joshfecteau.com where his latest blog series “Reasons for Gratitude” is currently focused on these gems with wings.
We often observe Yellow Warblers at the river overlook.
Chipping Sparrows may be the most common cemetery bird!
Scarlet Tanager is a prized find in the tops of trees.