New group to manage Down East birding festival

Posted April 20, 2009, at 8:04 p.m.

TRESCOTT, Maine — The Down East Spring Birding Festival, now under the administration of the Cobscook Community Learning Center, is accepting registrations for the event on May 22-25.

Now in its sixth year, the festival was organized by the Cobscook Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and shifted to the Learning Center this year.

Guided bird walks, boat rides and presentations will be available for advanced, intermediate and beginning birders. More than 200 different bird species have been spotted during the festival’s first five years.

Participants can sign up for the whole festival for $60. Day passes are available for $15, or $25 for a family.

Some events, such as boat trips and meals, cost extra, while events at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge are free and open to the public, though registration is still required.

The festival begins at noon Friday, May 22, at the refuge in Baring. Kicking off the festival on Friday afternoon will be “Birding by Ear,” a presentation by Bob Duchesne, a trustee and frequent field trip leader for the Maine Audubon Society. Immediately after the presentation, Duchesne and others will lead hikes in the refuge to give birders an opportunity to practice identifying birds by their calls.

The festival will have its headquarters for the first two days at the refuge and for the second two days at the Cobscook Community Learning Center. Guided bird walks also will take place in Eastport, Perry, Calais, Baring, Topsfield, Edmunds, Lubec, Trescott and Grand Lake Stream.

The Down East Spring Birding Festival is also known for its boat trips, including the Bold Coast Charter Co. cruises to nearby Machias Seal Island to view Atlantic puffins and other pelagic seabirds. If the weather permits a landing on the island, participants will be able to spend time inside blinds from which they can watch and photograph the puffins.

Additional opportunities to get out on the water will include a cruise aboard the two-masted schooner Sylvina Beal, a sea kayak trip on Cobscook Bay and other excursions.

For information or to register, visit the festival Web site at www.downeastbirdfest.org or call the Learning Center at 733-2233. Early registration is recommended.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/04/20/news/new-group-to-manage-down-east-birding-festival/ printed on December 26, 2014