Thursday, February 26, 2015

NEW! American Conservation Film Festival – NORTH

Friday, March 6th – Sunday, March 8th

All film festival screenings are FREE and open to the public.
No preregistration for this event.  Auditorium seating capacity is 75 people! 
Please consult the refuge homepage for a complete film schedule: 
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/parker_river/


The American Conservation Film Festival – NORTH is coming to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.   The festival will take place the weekend of March 6th - 8th at the Refuge’s Visitor Center and Headquarters complex in Newburyport.  A diverse selection of award-winning, conservation-related films from across the world will be presented on the big screen in the Visitor Center auditorium.  The festival will begin on Friday evening and extend through late Sunday afternoon.

Films to be screened during the festival focus on a broad range of local, national and international conservation topics.  
Chasing Ice
 presents dramatic visual evidence of the melting of the far northern glaciers and compellingly focuses attention on climate change and sea level rise.  From Billions to None chronicles the extinction of the passenger pigeon – a wild species once so abundant that it could almost “darken the sky” with its great numbers.  
Flight of the Butterflies
, originally produced as an IMAX film, provides a rare window into the amazing life and transcontinental migration of the monarch butterfly.  

A spellbinding exploration of the biodiversity of an African fig is artfully presented in The Queen of Trees
These and many other films to be screened during the film festival collectively comprise a powerful cinematic journey through many of the important conservation issues and topics of our time.  

A very special festival program will take place on Saturday evening, March 7, with the premiere of a new documentary about legendary conservationist Rachel Carson.  Carson, who worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a time, and had a fondness for Parker River NWR and in 1947 she authored an interpretive publication about Parker River.  The new film – The Power of One Voice: A 50 Year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson – will be introduced by Dr. Patricia DeMarco, former Executive Director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association and a nationally renowned Carson scholar.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bird Sightings for Essex County, MA & Southern NH - February 23, 2015

Bohemian Waxwing by Phil Brown

Union Street, Newburyport:
Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk

New Hampshire Seacoast:
Gadwall, Harlequin Duck, Purple Sandpiper, Glaucous Gull, Thick-billed Murre, Bohemian Waxwing, Horned Lark, Red-winged Blackbird 

Moulton Street, Newburyport:
Cooper's Hawk, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Cardinal, White-throated Sparrow, 
American Goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadee

Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury:
Bald Eagle, Bohemian Waxwing, Common Redpoll, Merlin, Lapland Longspur 

Various Areas in Rye, NH:
Cedar Waxwing, Bohemian Waxwing, Thick-billed Murre, Canada Goose, Common Loon, Bufflehead 

Elm Street, Salisbury:
Bufflehead, Greater Scaup, Green-winged Teal, American Black Duck

Hampton, New Hampshire Harbor:
Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Eider, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Cooper's Hawk, Dunlin, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Pigeon, American Crow, European Starling, Snow Bunting, House Sparrow

Hayes Park, Exeter, NH:
Bald Eagle

River Road, West Newbury:
Red-tailed Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker

Tara Lane, Newton, NH:
Brown Creeper, Pileated Woodpecker 

Newburyport Industrial Park, 
Cedar Waxwing, American Kestrel

Salem Street, Bradford:
Rusty Blackbird, Fox Sparrow

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur, Snowy Owl 

Bear Hill Road, Merrimac:
Eastern Bluebird, Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle

County Road, Ipswich:
Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, European Starling, American Tree Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch 

Various Areas in Nahant:
Iceland Gull

Plum Island Turnpike:
Eastern Meadowlark

High Street, Amesbury:
Bald Eagle

Exeter Wastewater Treatment Plant, Exeter, NH:
Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Greater Scaup, Mallard x American Black Duck, Horned Lark, Snow Bunting, Mallard, Lesser Scaup

Tuxbury Pond, Amesbury:
Eastern Bluebird, Carolina Wren 

Pease Tradeport, Newington, NH:
Cedar Waxwing

Plains Road, Ipswich:
Barred Owl

Hines Bridge, Amesbury:
Bald Eagle, Common Merganser, Great Cormorant, Great Blue Heron 

Broad Street, Merrimac:
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Common Redpoll

Beverly/Salem Bridge Area, Beverly/Salem:
Bald Eagle, Snowy Owl

Carriage Town Marketplace,  Amesbury:
Cedar Waxwing, Bohemian Waxwing, Red-winged Blackbird

Various Areas in East Gloucester:
Gadwall, Greater Scaup, King Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Ruddy Duck, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Sanderling, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Iceland Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Thick-billed Murre, Mallard, Scaup species, Common Eider, Surf Scoter, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Iceland Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Pigeon, American Crow  

Various Areas in Hamilton:
Hermit Thrush, Carolina Wren

Elk's Club, Gloucester:
Black Guillemot

Newburyport Birders' Bald Eagle Programs - February 27 and March 1

Adult Bald Eagle by Phil Brown


Bald Eagle Adventures Along the Merrimack River
Date:  Friday, February 27, 2015     
Time: 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Fee: $20.
Meeting Location: Cashman Park Boat Ramp at the end of Sally Snyder Way off Merrimac Street in Newburyport
In winter, Bald Eagles move south to the swift-moving Merrimack River which provides ideal, winter habitat for these majestic birds. We’ll search along the river’s edge and protected islands for our national symbol.  Some carpooling 
may be required.

Breakfast & Bald Eagles
Date: Sunday, March 1, 2015
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Fee: $30.
Meeting Location: Riverside Cafe in the Towle Building at 260 Merrimack St., Newburyport
Registration for this program is requiredPlease contact Sue at newburyportbirders@comcast.net
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. Join Newburyport Birders for a classic breakfast while we discuss the Merrimack River's protected islands and the field marks of the Bald Eagle. We'll begin our search for our national symbol on foot; then we'll carpool to several sites along the river. Dress in layers and wear warm, waterproof boots. These breakfast programs have proven to be popular; so don’t delay; reserve your place today by contacting Sue promptly...

With best wishes,
Sue

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sunday Morning with Bald Eagles 2/22 - CANCELLED

The Sunday Morning with Bald Eagles tour scheduled for February 22nd has been cancelled due to weather.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

NorthEast Hawk Migration Conference

Red-shouldered Hawk by Margo Goetschkes
NorthEast Hawk Migration Conference
Saturday, April 4, 2015 
in Holyoke, MA 

The Northeast Hawk Watch will hold its 10th Northeast Hawk Migration Conference in Holyoke, Mass. on Saturday, April 4, 2015. Anyone with an interest in hawks or birds is encouraged to attend.

The program will include presentations on 
·     Telemetry Tracking of Nestling Broad-winged Hawks·     Increased Red-shouldered Hawk Breeding Populations in CT·     An Innovative Kestrel Nest Box Project (with video) ·     Falcons on FIRE (Fire Island Raptor Enumerators): 33 Years of Falcons on the Barrier Beach (including video) ·     Identifying Red-shouldered Hawks·     Epic Journeys: A video on the migration of three iconic shorebird species·     A Live Birds of Prey Program·     And More

The conference will be held at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Advanced registration is only $40 for NEHW members and $45 for non-members. For complete information on the conference, including a registration form, an updated list of presentations, information on the speakers, directions, accommodations, and more, visit www.battaly.com/nehw/conference
 
The first forty registrants will receive a free one-page hawk calendar at the conference!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Endangered Species Director Tom French to Speak on Blanding's Turtles in Byfield

Emydoidea blandingiiHolbrookV1P03A.jpg



Tom French, Director of Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP).  will be the keynote speaker at the annual Parker River Clean Water Association (PRCWA) meeting.

DATE:Sunday, March 1, 2015
TIME: 1:00pm 
Location: Newbury library on Lunt Street in Byfield 
Rte. 95 exit 55 Central Street west, one block and turn left on Lunt Street.  The library is at the end of Lunt Street on the left side. 

Refreshments will be served. The public is invited.

Tom will speak on the mission of NHESP and PRCWA's program of "headstarting" Endangered Blanding's turtles.  Head starting gives turtles a boost up. Teachers in local school classes have agreed to "headstart" Blanding's hatchlings, improving their chances of survival and not becoming trail snacks for predators before they reach maturity.  When a species such as the Blanding's is endangered, the loss of hatchlings is especially damaging to the animals' long-term survival.  Head starting is an effort to boost the population to a healthy level.  The positive results with other headstarted turtle species demonstrate the program's success.

Emydoidea blandingii 

NHESP was created in 1983 with the goal of protecting and conserving rare and threatened species in Massachusetts.  The Program works to identify what State species are rare and need to be protected.  The program's biggest success so far is bald eagles.  When the program started in 1983, the state didn't have any bald eagle nests, but there are now 40 protected pairs across the Commonwealth.

Tom has served as Director of NHESP since 1984.  He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and has a Ph.D. in Ecology and Systematics from Indiana State University.  He was formerly a zoologist with The Nature Conservancy and an instructor-naturalist and field biologist with the National Audubon Society.  He has served on numerous committees of scientific societies and conservation organizations, and endangered species recovery teams.  He has written many papers on small mammals, birds and herptiles, and works frequently with the media to foster greater public interest in conservation.

Organizing the annual Massachusetts bald eagle count, rappelling down a Boston high rise to band peregrine chicks, or studying a dead whale on the beach, are just a few of the tasks in Tom's life.  He is an interesting and dynamic speaker who is passionately committed to the work of NHESP.  He is sure to be enjoyed by all.

CEDAR WAXWINGS - LOOK AT EVERY BIRD IN THE FLOCK

Cedar Waxwing by Nathan Dubrow

Bohemian Waxwing by Phil Brown

Cedar Waxwings are popular songbirds with nomadic habits. Often found in large, active flocks, these sleek, fastidious songbirds are found throughout North America.  Their range varies depending on the season and available food supplies.

Red Feather Tips: The tips of the secondary feathers on adult Cedar Waxwings have a bright red, waxy coating that's prominent on their gray wings.

Tail Tip: The tip of the tail has a wide, bright yellow band. While this tip can wear thin in worn plumage, it is always visible.  Both males and females look similar as adults, female birds may have a shorter crest and are slightly smaller.

Mask: The black “bandit” mask is a key facial feature. The mask covers the dark eyes, forehead and lores in an elongated triangular shape and is ringed with a thin, uneven white border.

Crest: These songbirds have a distinct crest that can be held erect or flattened against the head. The crest is the same tan color as the head.

Bill:  It's thick and relatively short with a slightly curved culmen.  There's a small hook at the tip to help the bird rip into fruit which is a major component of its diet.

Chin: It's black and lacks a defined border. The edge of the chin color is blurred into the tan of the throat and breast. The amount of black can vary.

Upperparts: The upperparts, including the nape, back, wings and tail, are buff-tan to gray in color with more tan closer to the head and more gray on the tail. Adult birds have no spots, mottling or streaks.

Undertail Coverts: They're white and contrast with the yellow, lower abdomen.

Lower Abdomen: The abdomen and flanks are distinctly yellow, though the degree of yellow can vary and is often slightly brighter on males.

Legs and Feet: They're dark gray or black.

I hope you pick out a Bohemian Waxwing or two in the flock...

Bird Sightings for Essex County, MA & Southern NH - February 5, 2015

Snow Bunting by Nathan Dubrow

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Gray Catbird, Snowy Owl, Chipping Sparrow, Barred Owl, American Black Duck, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, American Tree Sparrow, Common Redpoll, Snow Bunting

Ring's Island, Salisbury:
Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Belted Kingfisher, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Scaup species, Long-tailed Duck, Snow Bunting

Various Areas on Cape Ann:
Pacific Loon, Thick-billed Murre, Common Eider, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Harlequin Duck, Purple Sandpiper,
Dovekie, Iceland Gull

Exeter Water Treatment Plant, Exeter, NH:
Purple Finch

Various Areas in Haverhill:
Dark-eyed Junco, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Northern Cardinal, American Robin, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse, American Tree Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Red-bellied Woodpecker

Orchard Street, Byfield:
Red-winged Blackbird

Jefferson Street, Newburyport:
Bald Eagle, Common Merganser, Common Goldeneye

Salisbury Marshes:
Gadwall, Snowy Owl, Northern Harrier

Newburyport Harbor:
Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Dunlin

Rabbit Road, Salisbury:
Eastern Bluebird, Hairy Woodpecker, Red-tailed Hawk

Various Areas in Marblehead:
Common Redpoll, Cooper's Hawk, Pine Siskin, House Finch, Dark-eyed Juncos, American Goldfinch

Old Merrill Street, Salisbury:
Bald Eagle, Carolina Wren, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper's Hawk

Hay Street, Newbury:
Common Redpoll

Salem Street, Bradford:
Pine Siskin, Rusty Blackbird

Atlantic Avenue, Gloucester:
King Eider

Various Areas in Boxford:
Barred Owl, Peregrine Falcon

Meaders Lane, Salisbury:
American Tree Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Gray Catbird, Carolina Wren, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, American Goldfinch, Cooper's Hawk, American Robin, House Sparrow, House Finch, European Starling

New Hampshire Seacoast:
Thick-billed Murre, Purple Sandpiper, Sanderling, Razorbill, Horned Lark, Gadwall, Greater Scaup, American Wigeon, Swamp Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Common Loon, American Wigeon, Hooded Merganser, Snowy Owl, Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Glaucous Gull, Horned Lark, Red-winged Blackbird, Pine Siskin, Sanderling, Snow Bunting

Centennial Park, North Hampton, NH:
Horned Lark

Great Neck, Ipswich:
Bald Eagle

Salisbury, MA to Rye, NH:
Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Mallard, Common Eider, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Bald Eagle, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Snowy Owl, Downy Woodpecker, Merlin, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Sparrow


Powow River, Amesbury:

Bald Eagle, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser

Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury:
Bald Eagle, Snow Bunting

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, Newbury:
Red-tailed Hawk, Snow Bunting

Route 110, Salisbury:
Eastern Bluebird

Hanover Street, Newbury:
Eastern Bluebird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Junco, American Goldfinch, House Finch,  Blue Jay,  White-throated Sparrow, House Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Mourning Dove, American Robin, American Crow, Wild Turkey, Carolina Wren

Parker River, Newbury:
Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk, Carolina Wren

All About Bald Eagles

Bald Eagle by Phil Brown


Here are some Bald Eagle programs for later in the month:


Sunday Afternoon With Bald Eagles
Date: Sunday, February 22, 2015
Time: 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Fee: $20.
Meeting Location: Newburyport's Cashman Park Boat Launch at the end of Sally Snyder Way which is off Merrimac Street
Join us as we search for Bald Eagles, our national symbol. Each winter, Bald Eagles from northern New England move south to the
lower Merrimack River which provides perfect, winter habitat for these majestic birds. We'll discuss the field marks, bill size and shape,
cere and talons, eyes and their hunting style, flight speed and altitude, their plumage and more. We'll be along the Merrimack River's
edge, and we'll be walking on snow and unimproved trails. Dress in layers for outdoor weather including waterproof boots, wool socks,
hat and gloves. If you have binoculars, please bring them. Bring along friends and introduce them to the joys of birding.  Some carpooling
may be required.

Bald Eagle Adventures Along the Merrimack River
Date:  Friday, February 27, 2015       
Time: 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Fee: $20.
Meeting Location: Cashman Park Boat Ramp at the end of Sally Snyder Way off Merrimac Street in Newburyport
In winter, Bald Eagles move south to the swift-moving Merrimack River which provides ideal, winter habitat for these majestic birds. We’ll
search along the river’s edge and protected islands for our national symbol.  Some carpooling may be required.

Breakfast & Bald Eagles
Date: Sunday, March 1, 2015
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Fee: $30.
Meeting Location: Riverside Cafe in the Towle Building at 260 Merrimack St., Newburyport
Registration for this program is requiredPlease contact Sue at newburyportbirders@comcast.net
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. Join Newburyport Birders for a classic breakfast while we discuss the Merrimack River's protected islands and the field marks of the Bald
Eagle. We'll begin our search for our national symbol on foot; then we'll carpool to several sites along the river. Dress in layers and wear warm, waterproof boots. These breakfast programs have proven to be popular; so don’t delay; reserve your place today by contacting Sue promptly...

With best wishes,
Sue