Saturday, June 3, Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) will host a Bird Walk Art Walk at Erickson Fields Preserve, located at 124 West Street in Rockport. At 8 AM, MCHT Steward and Naturalist, Kirk Gentalen, will lead a group around MCHT’s Teen Ag garden and through the woods to search for migratory songbirds – warblers, thrushes, vireos, sparrows – and discover what other feathered creatures inhabit the preserve. Following the walk will be a meet-and-greet at 10 AM with Carol Dana, a Penobscot Language Master from Indian Island. Carol’s watercolors of indigenous birds will be on display along Erickson Fields’ 1.4-mile walking trail. Each painting is labelled with the phonetic pronunciation of the bird’s name in the native Penobscot language.
In 1981, Carol began working as a research assistant to Dr. Frank T. Seibert who devised a written system for the Penobscot Language and began recording the remaining speakers in the community. Carol assisted Dr. Seibert in the creation of the Penobscot Dictionary. Carol currently works at the Cultural and Historic Preservation Department for the Penobscot Nation where she uses her skills as a language master to teach and continue learning the language teaching methods. She teaches at the Penobscot Nation Daycare center, Boys and Girls Club, and with the elders in the community. In 2010 at the Algonquian Language Conference, Carol was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to the Penobscot Language.
Over the last 23 years, Kirk has worked as a naturalist in 13 states and has led birding trips as far away as Alaska, California, and Georgia. Locally he has led trips for Mid-coast and National Audubon Societies, Down East and Acadia birding festivals as well as “Thursday morning bird walks” on Vinalhaven Island. Kirk Gentalen is Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s steward/naturalist for Vinalhaven Island where he also edits the “Vinalhaven sightings report” summary blog of natural history sightings from around Vinalhaven.
This event is free and open to “early” birds and “late” birds! Attendees may arrive at 8 AM for the bird walk or later at 10 AM for the meet-and-greet with Carol Dana. RSVPs encouraged but not required. Email email@example.com or call the Aldermere Farm office at 207-236-2739.