Category Archives: Past Programs

Family Fun Day – Sunday, August 17, 10 am – 4 pm

  • Electro – fishing demonstration with Rory Saunders and Steve Coghlan
  • Silkscreen your own T-shirt with local artist Kris Sader
  • Catching and Identifying aquatic macro invertebrates
  • Pack a lunch and plan to spend the day. Hirundo Wildlife Refuge will have desserts and drinks at hand.

The event is open to the public and will be held at the Parker Reed shelter accessible through Gate 1, at the Refuge.

Bring your family, pack a lunch and plan to spend the day exploring nature, art and old technology.
Family Day kicks off at 10 a.m. with hands-on silk screening workshop led by local artist Kris Sader. Buy a t-shirt, choose one of her two bird designs and make your beautiful wearable art! All other supplies will be on hand. Silk screening is lots of fun and something you can do at home.

During the activities and demonstration that follow, visitors will learn about the fish species in Pushaw Stream and collection methods, including electrofishing with fish experts Rory Saunders and Steve Coghlan. Meet the local aquatic insects with Greg Innes, enjoy guided walks, test your skill in the obstacle canoe race (canoes & gear provided), and experience paddling a 28-foot war canoe.

Family Day is held bi-annually in August and January/February. It encourages families to explore nature and learn about the local animals and plants in any season. Volunteer presenters, local business support and Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, a non-profit organization, make Family Day possible. Suggested donation $5 dollars for adults, school-aged children are free.

Nearly 30 people joined the presenters to silk screen T-shirts, learn about the local fish population & conservation and water conservation issues.

A big thank you to all that prepared, presented and helped. Family Day is a community affair, we could have not done it without YOU.

 Eavesdropping on local  bats –      

                       Friday August 15, 2014 7:00 – 8:30 pm

How do you listen to a bat? Bat sounds are generally at high frequencies undetectable to humans. Katelin Craven has a way to make bat sounds audible for humans to hear. Her presentation also includes bat ecology, Maine’s bat species, the challenges of white nose syndrome and her bat research in Colorado. Meet at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge’s  Parker Reed shelter. Bring flashlight. Suggested donation $5, children free. To register call, 394-2171 by August 14, 2014.

Katelin Craven untangling a bat

Katelin Craven untangling a bat

Katelin Craven grew up in Austin, TX where Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge inspired a fascination of bats as she observed the world’s largest urban bat colony. She took her desire to study the natural world to Colorado where she earned a master’s degree studying ecology and wildlife biology at the University of Northern Colorado. Her research focus was on the effects of forest management on bat species’ foraging patterns. Now living in Maine, Katelin is busy learning about our local wildlife, co-coordinating FrogWatch USA Lower Penobscot Chapter, and being on the Bangor Land Trust Program Committee.

 

Paddle half-way to the North Pole –                                                                           Sunday, August 3,  2 – 3:30 pm 

Join up with others to see what happens when you cross the 45th parallel at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge.  Along the way, observe birds, forest and wetland plants, mammals and gain insight on the local conservation efforts and learn why the 45th parallel is important. Canoes and equipment are available or bring your own. Please call 207-394-2171 to register by August 2.  Meet us at Gate 3. Suggested donations are $5 for adults, school-aged children are free.

A large group set out to find the 45th parallel paddling up Dead Stream. The unmistakable white round flower

heads of the buttonbush lined the shore. This native wetland shrub provides brood cover for some ducks, the tubular flowers are visited by bees and butterflies (and humans who inhale the fragrance), seeds are food for waterfowl and deer munch on the twigs. Buttonbush is suitable for wetland restoration or riparian zones. Dotting the shore in wet/damp soil, the BRILLIANT scarlet flowers of the cardinal flower are impossible to overlook! Hummingbirds are attracted and suited to feed on the tubular flowers. One rarely sees one violet Pickerelweed flower. This plant forms large colonies rooted in shallow water. It holds stems, leaves and flowers above the water surface. This arrangement allows for greater efficiency at photosynthesis, pollination and seed dispersal. Together with cattails and others, they are categorized as an emergent plant.
Dead Stream narrows and the crowns of silver maple provide shaded areas. We encounter several downed tree in the water. The stream is still navigable thanks to the high water table, unusual this time of year. We reached the 45th parallel safely and collectively decided to try the last leg to the pole at another time. As a mark of accomplishment of the momentous occasion each explorer was marked with purple dots. This purple dot represents the Transitional (Zone) Forest in which Maine is located, between the Boreal Forest to the north and the Mixed Deciduous Forest in the south. We modified the custom of painting the nose of first time visitors to cross the article circle blue, as told to us by Hirundo volunteer, Paul Markson.

On the way

On the way to the 45th parallel

Before ..

Before ..

.. and after

.. and after

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Cardinal flower

Cardinal flower among Royal Fern

Pickerelweed and buttonbush

Pickerelweed and buttonbush

Paddling Excursion - Saturday, July 19, 9 am - 10:30 am

Join Holly Twining and Gudrun Keszöcze, naturalist with Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, as they take you on a tour of Fields Pond. Loons, osprey, and eagles should make an appearance as well as other birds and critters.Location: Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden. Cost: $5. $5 rental canoe with life jacket and paddles. Children under 10 years old free. Please call 989-2591 to register.

Guided Afternoon Paddle - Sunday, July 20,  2 – 3:30 pm 

Afternoon paddle along Pushaw Stream at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge. During the relaxing paddle through the Hirundo’s unique ecosystem, you will learn about the great diversity of bird, aquatic plant communities, conservation issues and efforts, and observe animals. Canoes & equipment are available or bring your own boat. Reservations and cancellations requested by Saturday July 19, call 207-2171. Suggested donations are $5 for adults, school-aged children are free.

Birding and Wildlife Viewing by Canoe – Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Join Danielle D’Auria, biologist with Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, on a paddle to the heart of the refuge in search of secretive marsh birds, playful otters, and elusive moose. The out-and-back paddle is about 6 miles and should take 3-4 hours. Bring your own kayak or canoe, paddles, PFD, sunscreen, bug juice, water, and snacks. Contact Danielle to pre-register: ddauria@roadrunner.com, 745-0676.

Old trees line the high banks along Sunkhaze Stream casting tall shadow in the still water.

Old trees line the high banks along Sunkhaze Stream casting tall shadow in the still water.

Paddle enthusiasts enjoy the first day of summer on Sunkhaze Stream.

Paddle enthusiasts enjoy the first day of summer on Sunkhaze Stream.

Danielle D'Auria led the group

Danielle D’Auria led the group

Some animals are everywhere!

Some animals are everywhere!

 

 

 

 

“Useful plants underfoot” – Edible and Medicinal Plant Walk –                                   Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 1 pm

Learn how to identify, collect and use some of the plants around you, with Hirundo Naturalist Gudrun Keszöcze. Meet at the Parker Reed shelter. Please call 207-394-2171 for reservation by June 28, 2014. Suggested donation $5, school-aged children are free.

Group of several Broad-leaved plantain (Plantago major) plants

Group of several Broad-leaved plantain (Plantago major) plants

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) flowers come out before leaves.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) flowers come out before leaves.

Poisonous plant identification is important. This is Poison Ivy !

Poisonous plant identification is important. This is Poison Ivy !

 

 

Full Moon Paddle –

Friday June 13, 2014 at 7 pm

Enjoy the sounds and serenity of the evening. In our last full moon paddle we had an unexpected close encounter with one of the resident beavers. A lone loon has found its way into Pushaw Stream. Perhaps we will get a look at this magnificent bird. Call to reserve one of Hirundo’s canoes 207-394-2171, by June 12, or bring your own boat. Bring a flashlight. Meet at Gate 3. Suggested donation $5 per adult, school-aged children are free.

Orono Bog Boardwalk benefit yard sale –                   Saturday, June 14, 2014 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 11th annual Orono Bog Boardwalk Yard Sale will be held 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 14, with rain date Sunday, June 15, at 139 Main St. All proceeds benefit maintenance of the boardwalk. If anyone has items to donate, please contact Jim Bird at 866-2578.

Father’s Day Paddle -

Sunday June 15, 2014 at 2 pm

Are you looking for a special adventure for Dad? Sign up for our annual Father’s Day Paddle to celebrate this special person in your life. Call to reserve one of Hirundo’s canoes, 207-394-2171, by June 14, or bring your own boat.  Meet at Gate 3. Suggested donation $5 per adult, school-aged children are free.

Birding by Canoe – Saturday May 31, 2014  8:00 – 9:30 am

Hirundo Wildlife Refuge and Maine Audubon offer a morning paddle along Floodplain forests and sedge meadows bordering Pushaw and Dead Streams. Recent sightings included Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Kingbird, American Loon and the sound of Bittern, among others. Canoes and equipment available or bring your own.  Meet at Gate 3 (35 Hudson Road, Alton, ME). Suggested donation $5 per adult, school-aged children are free.

Canoes and equipment available or bring your own.  Meet at Gate 3 (35 Hudson Road, Alton, ME). Suggested donation $5 per adult, school-aged children are free.

Please call 394-2171 for reservation by May 30, 2014

Local Bats – Thursday June 5, 2014 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Katelin Craven untangling a bat

Katelin Craven untangling a bat

Katelin Craven will talk about bat ecology, introduce the Maine species, discuss her bat research in Colorado and address the challenges of white nose syndrome. Meet at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge’s  Parker Reed shelter. Bring flashlight. Suggested donation $5, children free. To register call, 394-2171 by June 4, 2014.

Katelin Craven grew up in Austin, TX where Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge inspired a fascination of bats as she observed the world’s largest urban bat colony. She took her desire to study the natural world to Colorado where she earned a master’s degree studying ecology and wildlife biology at the University of Northern Colorado. Her research focus was on the effects of forest management on bat species’ foraging patterns. Now living in Maine, Katelin is busy learning about our local wildlife, co-coordinating FrogWatch USA Lower Penobscot Chapter, and being on the Bangor Land Trust Program Committee.

Full Moon Paddle – Wednesday May 14, 2014   7:00 – 8:30 pm

Have you ever paddled in the dark, listened to the sounds of the night? If not, sign up for on one of our monthly Full Moon Paddles. It is a special time of day, beaver, river otter, muskrats and nighthawks become active and the moon beams cast a white glow on water and the forest. Try it out! Bring a flashlight. Canoes and PFD availble or bring your own. Meet at Gate 3 (35 Hudson Road, Alton, ME)

Suggested donation $5 per adult, school-aged children are free.

 

FrogWatch USA Monitor Training –                                                                                         Sunday May 18, 2014 1:00-5:00 pm

Do you like frogs? Want to Take Care of them and Help them?
Hirundo Wildlife Refuge is looking for volunteers to form the Lower Penobscot FrogWatch USA Chapter. Join us and become a frog monitor and citizen scientist with FrogWatch USA. The training is FREE! The training will be on April 26, Saturday from 1:00-5:00 pm for volunteer monitor training at the Parker Reed shelter located at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, Old Town, Maine.
To sign up: email katelin.craven@gmail.com or web@hirundomaine.org, or call 394-2171. Trainers: Katelin Craven and Gudrun Keszöcze. Sponsored by Hirundo Wildlife Refuge and FrogWatchUSA.

Woodcock Walk  - Friday May 9, 2014 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Listen to this sound of spring and watch the woodcock’s dazzling aerial courtship display.                                     Meet at the Parker Reed shelter in the Refuge. Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather. Rubber boats or waterproof shoes recommended. Please call to register by May, 207-394-2171. Dan McAuley is the Research Wildlife Biologist and Station Leader at the US Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center field station in Orono. He has been conducting research on the American Woodcock for 30 years. His current research includes studies on adaptive habitat management and habitat use of the American woodcock in the Northeast and survival of American woodcock during fall migration using radio telemetry.

Annual Spring Spruce Up – Trail Day – Saturday May 10, 2014    Join us from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm or from 1:00 pm – 4 :00 pm

Bring a friend, lunch, clippers, pruners and/or lopping shears if you have them, and dress for the weather. Enjoy the day at Hirundo with other outdoor enthusiasts and get exercise! We meet at the Parker Reed Shelter in the Refuge, accessible through Gate 1.

Mothers on the Water – Sunday May 11, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Celebrating Mothers on May 11 with a women only canoe trip.This guided trip explores Pushaw Stream and includes a stop a Pushaw Dam. Bring lunch, water and sunscreen. Might this be the perfect gift for the mother in your life? Please reserve your space by May 9th, call 394-2171. No boating experience necessary. Use one of Refuge’s canoe or bring your own boat. Suggested donation $5.

Beyond the Backyard – Introduction to Birding I & II

Beyond the Backyard – Introduction to Birding

Paul Markson birding along Hemlock Trail

Paul Markson birding along Hemlock Trail

Have you ever wondered how to identify a bird you have just seen? Do birding field guides confuse rather than inform you? Are you curious about the fascinating world of birding but are unsure where to begin? Would you just like to know the difference in the terms “bird watcher” and “birder”?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, please join us on April  26 at 9:00 am. Local bird guide and Hirundo volunteer Paul Markson will call on his 30+ years of bird watching experience to explain these and other subjects. Topics will include local bird habitats, how to easily identify a bird, demystifying field guides, understanding binoculars, birdings “dos-and-don’ts” and etiquette, and many other bird-related subjects.

This year, by popular request, extra attention will be given to bird identification. There for, the class will be taught in two sessions over two consecutive Saturday mornings. To get the most out of this informative course, please plan to attend BOTH sessions.

While this class is geared towards beginning birders, anyone attending will likely learn something new or helpful. After this course, you will be ready to travel confidently into the field, and go beyond the backyard.
Registration requested by April 17, 2014; please call Hirundo at 207-394-2171. Cancellation of program will be posted on web@hirundomaine.org and on phone. Age recommendation is 12 years and above. Suggested donation is $5 for adults, school-aged children are free. Meet at the Parker Reed shelter.