Sunday, January 12, 2014

Newburyport Birders' Update January 8, 2014

Happy New Year, Birders, 

I'm certain you've heard Snowy Owls are being seen at so many locations - participants on our outings have had 
tremendous looks at these awesome Arctic breeders.  This breeding season was successful; lots of prey items for 
the owls - lemmings.  The year's young that were raised on lemmings are now in our area. 

    
Lemming on the breeding grounds 

The invasion of Snowy Owls is well explained with an illustrated map by the eBird staff at the Cornell Lab:
http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/gotsnowies2013/                               


Enjoy this Snowy Owl video [filmed several years ago] by Shawn Carey 
of Migration Productions: 
http://shawncarey.zenfolio.com/p414081867/h199a36f8#h199a36f8 

To see more of Shawn's talented works, go to www.migrationproductions.com. 


EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS 

Snowy Owl Conservation - Presentation by Norman Smith
DATE: Saturday, January 25, 2014
TIME:1:30 pm
LOCATION: Parker River National Wildlife Refuge's Visitor Center Auditorium at Headquarters
As birders and nature photographers already know, this is turning out to be a banner year
for Snowy Owls on the Refuge. These magnificent birds come here in winter.  Why is their 
seasonal occurrence so variable from year to year?  These compelling questions and many more will 
be addressed by Massachusetts' Snowy Owl expert Norman Smith as he presents a narrated slide 
presentation.  He’ll share what he has learned during the decades of working with Snowy Owls. 

Arrive early as Norm always draws a crowd... 


5th Annual Cape Ann Winter Birding Weekend
DATE: January 31 – February 2, 2014
 


 
The Harlequin Ducks have returned to Halibut Point and are awaiting the arrival of our hearty 
participants.  This year’s program includes bus tours of Cape Ann’s birding hot spots led by some 
of the state’s best birders - Ipswich's Jim Berry and I will be guiding one of those tours!  

There are lots of activities: an entertaining slide show on Winter Birds of Cape Ann by Jim Berry; Eyes on Owls 
- an opportunity to get up close and personal with these spectacular, fascinating creatures with Mark and 
Marcia Wilson; and a Sunday morning boat trip on the Seven Seas Whalewatch boat Privateer IV which will 
be skippered by Jay Frontierro. 

As in past years, the venue is the Elks Club at Bass Rocks in Gloucester where you can bird in comfort from the 
picture windows, enjoy a variety of exhibits, try out the best birding optics on the planet, or just step outside 
and scan the Atlantic ocean with expert birders. For a detailed schedule, information and registration, go to: 
www.capeannchamber.com - click on EVENTS and SIGNATURE EVENTS, then on the Harlequin Duck icon. 
Register on-line now 
because space is limited.
 



BALD EAGLE ON THE MERRIMACK - ONE DAY COURSES OFFERED BY TWO OF OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY COLLEGES 
BALD EAGLES AND THE LOWER MERRIMACK RIVER DATE; Saturday, February 8, 2014
TIME; 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm
INSTRUCTOR: Sue McGrath 
For more information and to register, please contact North Shore Community College at 978-236-1200.
The Bald Eagle is one of our national symbols. Each winter, Bald Eagles from northern New England move south to the lower Merrimack 
River which provides perfect, winter habitat for these majestic birds. These spectacular birds soar high over the water and then stoop to 
secure prey with their sharp talons. We'll visit Bald Eagle habitat along the lower Merrimack River. Dress in layers for outdoor weather, 
including waterproof boots, wool socks, hat and gloves. This program will be conducted outside along the river’s edge. 


 

The Merrimack River and Bald Eagles     
DATE: Sunday, February 9, 2014 
TIME: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm 
INSTRUCTOR: Sue McGrath 
For more information and to register contact Northern Essex Community College at 978- 659-1237                                   
The Bald Eagle is one of our national symbols.  Each winter Bald Eagles from northern New England move south to the lower Merrimack River which provides 
perfect winter habitat for these majestic birds. In this outdoor class you will learn about field marks, bill size & shape, cere & talons, eyes and their hunting 
style, flight speed and altitude, and their plumage and more.  Class will take place along the Merrimack River’s edge and we will be walking on snow and 
unimproved trails.  Dress in layers for outdoor weather including waterproof boots, wool socks, hat & gloves. If you have binoculars, bring them.

Good birding in 2014, 
Sue

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