Public invited to take part in upcoming birding events

The Aroostook Birders and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s 4-H organizers are hosting birding events this winter and invite the public to take pa
Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 8:33 PM EST
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Bird watching is a perfect activity for those looking for something to do this winter. Kathy McCarty has more on ways bird lovers can get involved, whether they’re senior citizens or youth.

Bird watching is being encouraged this winter, though group outings are being discouraged. The Aroostook Birders are adapting their winter bird count to allow for social distancing.

“I’ve been talking with the coordinator for the National Audubon, Geoff LeBaron. They’re - they’re leaving it up to us to make a decision, and we’ve decided to go ahead with the Christmas Bird Counts, but we can’t have any of the social parts of it. It can be people on their own, and we can talk about it later, maybe via Zoom or emailing the data. But we are gonna do something, for both the Caribou-Limestone count and the Presque Isle count,” says Bill Sheehan, a member of Aroostook Birders.

Enthusiasts can report what they see at their feeders or venture out to witness birds in their natural habitats. The Caribou-Limestone event is slated for December 19th, while Presque Isle’s will be held January 2nd. For children interested in bird watching, the Cooperative Extension is hosting several 4-H sessions for kids ages 9 to 18.

“We meet each month from December through April, and there’ll be like a short 25-minute presentation by me or a co-host, but then the rest of the meeting will just be kinda discussing what people have been seeing on their - either their bird feeders or just, you know, in - in general,” says Zabet Neucollins, Community Education Assistant for 4-H, Hancock County.

The program is loosely structured around Project FeederWatch, a citizen science initiative led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology - an organization Zabet Neucollins has been a part of for years.

Neucollins says, “This year, you know, we can’t really meet in person, in a safe way, so I thought why not have a virtual birding club to just kind of discuss what we’re seeing and encourage people to contribute to Project FeederWatch, and then also to, you know, expand it to the whole state.”

The program is free but registration is required. The even is held the third week of each month. For more information on either activity, visit Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

For the Cooperative Extension program: The club is free to join; registration is required. Register anytime on the 4-H Bird Chats webpage. Online meeting schedule to be determined by Dec. 1. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Zabet NeuCollins, 207.667.8212;

For the Aroostook Birders:

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