Category Archives: Past Programs

Cross-country Ski Clinic I

Cross-country Ski Clinic I – Sunday, January 25, 1-3 pm

Great Cross Country Ski Clinic under brilliant blue sky. Karen Franceour of Castine Kayak Adventure started the afternoon with an introduction of ski equipment. Thereafter we learned how to fall, get up, the secret of kick and glide, how to manage hills in both directions and finally put it all together in a ski along Pushaw Stream. Thanks Karen for sharing your expertise. There is another opportunity to learn the basics and pick up advice on February 15th, 2:30 -4:30 pm. Pre-registration requested, call 394-2171.


Course Fees:
$20 Donation per person (Non-Member)
20% for Penobscot Valley Ski Club Members $17
50% Discount to Orono Land Trust and Hirundo Wildlife Refuge members $10 (purchase your membership for this benefit!)

Ski Rentals available at:                                                                                                              Maine Bound at UMaine Phone: 207 581-1794  mainebound/outdoor-equipment-rentals
Epic Sports, 6 Central St.  Bangor, ME 04401  Phone: 207-941-5670 

Snowshoeing at the Refuge

Snowshoe through the Refuge – Sunday, January 18, 1 – 3 pm

We managed to get out just before all the snow melted in the afternoon rain!                                 Along the way we saw many piles of squirrel feeding stations and caught a red squirrel red-handedly gnawing away on pine seeds. It ran off only after the delayed alarm call from another squirrel perched up in the nearby pine. This allowed us to discover and watch the eating squirrel for a little bit.

The White Pine trail is aptly named for the many large pine trees that line the trail. Another highlight is the large outcropping of bedrock covered by moss and lichen.

From here we made our way down to the Pushaw Stream trail. Usually one can encounter otter and mink tracks close to the shore but not so today. We followed many deer tracks and enjoyed the serenity of the quiet, almost ice-covered stream. A peaceful afternoon excursion with a workout! Thanks to all of you.

Looking for a Northern Flying Squirrel

Looking for a Northern Flying Squirrel

Bedrock outcropping along White Pine trail

Bedrock outcropping along White Pine trail

Snowshoeing along Pushaw Stream.

Snowshoeing along Pushaw Stream.

Pushaw Stream, quiet and beautiful

Pushaw Stream, quiet and beautiful


Winter Ecology – Sunday, January 11, 1 – 3 pm

Join wildlife ecologist Bucky Owen, as he snowshoes along a section of Hirundo’s seven-mile trail system, speaks about the seasonal animal and plant adaptation, and identifies animal tracks. Meet at the Parker Reed shelter. Bring snowshoes, weather permitting or reserve them with us. Suggested donation $5. Call to register: 394-2171 by Saturday, Jan 10.

We had a great turnout for the Winter Ecology program!  Participants explored shore, coniferous and mixed forest habitats to learn about winter adaptations of small and large mammals, and birds.

Can you find ...

Deer in Maine

Deer bed - imprint left behind by deer.

Over here...

Great find - otter tracks, slide and toilet!

Otter site


Quadcopter Demo

Remote-control Quadcopter Demonstration on Sunday, November 16 ..

was a great success.

Sam Hess, Professor of Physics at UMaine, demonstrated and explained this fascinating technology. We saw the Refuge, and ourselves from above. Take a look at Sam’s previous video of the Refuge:                                                                                Bird’s-eye view of the Refuge

Grant for remote-control quadcopters at UMaine

Sunday, October 26 – Halloween at Hirundo

1 – 4 pm Fall crafts

Join us in the afternoon, 1-4 pm, for fall crafts including preparing and raising a share-crow made from natural materials, mask making, bobbing for apples and testing your strength in the hay bale rolling contest. Suggested donation $5.

... and when evening falls and shadows grow larger, dare to come along on the Haunted Walk, listen to a scary story by the campfire and step into the tent of the Future. 

6 – 7:30 pm – Haunted Walk, Scary Stories and a look into the Future


Saturday, October 18 – 9:00 to 11 am – Guided Walk at the Refuge

Join Gateway Seniors Without Walls for this 2 mile walk along the highest laying (180 feet!) trail at the Refuge.The terrain is nearly level and easy to walk. Fall is the prettiest time of year to explore this beech forest, search for signs of animals and simply enjoy its beauty.

We meet in the parking area at Gate 1, next to Rt. 43. Suggested donation is $5. School-aged children are free.

VISIT our table during the                                  

    2014 University of Maine Homecoming Craft Fair                                         at the New Balance Field House

Craft Fair Hours:    
Saturday, October 18 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday, October 19 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Great Outdoors

Hirundo Wildlife Refuge joins the celebration of the Great Maine Outdoors Weekend by offering three  programs. 

Saturday, September 27, 9 am – 2:30 pm – “Paddle &  Walk”                                               

This program combines paddling canoes along the quiet waters of Pushaw Stream and a hike along the history- rich Wabanaki Trail. Feel free to join Greg Innes for the entire time or for each individual segment. The canoeing trip begins at 9 am at Gate 3 and returns at 12 pm. At this time you can join the group for the short paddle to the landing side near the Wabanaki trail head. We will break for lunch (bring you own) at the Parker Reed shelter. You may join the group at the shelter. The Trail Walk will begin at 1 pm and lasts for 1 hour. Thereafter we will paddle back to Gate 3.                                                                                                                                                           Call 394-2171 for registration and canoe reservation by September 26. You may bring your own boat. Suggested donation $5 for adults. Children are free.

Sunday, September 28, 1 – 2 pm “Turtles of Maine”

Turtles on a stick by J. Adamson

Turtles on a stick by J. Adamson


Jean Adamson, turtle rehabilitator, will share her knowledge and admiration   for these shy and often elusive reptiles. She will discuss the species of turtles in Maine, turtle biology, dangers facing turtles, and conservation efforts. Jean has a degree in natural resources with a major in natural history and was a founding member of Turtle Homes, a turtle conservation effort. Meet at the Parker Reed shelter in Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, Gate 1.

Call 394-2171 for registration and canoe reservation by September 27. Suggested donation $5 for adults. Children are free.


Sunday, September 28, 2:30 pm – Guided Paddle                                                           “Searching for turtles”

Do you want to see a turtle in the wild. Join us after Jean’s presentation for a paddle along Pushaw Stream. Depending on group size we might travel in 28 foot canoes.

Call 394-2171 for registration and canoe reservation by September 27. You may bring your own boat. Suggested donation $5 for adults. Children are free.

Maine’s Moose – an Update – Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 7 p.m

The program takes place at the Old Town Museum, 353 Main St. in Old Town. Lee Kantar will discuss the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s current research on adult female and calf survival that started this past year with the capture and GPS radio collaring of 60 moose.  His topics will include winter and summer moose capture work, recovery and necropsy of moose mortalities, the role of winter tick and parasites on Maine’s moose as well as the monitoring of adult cows and calves during this past summer. The event is co-sponsored by Hirundo Wildlife Refuge and the Old Town Museum. For reservations, call 394-2171.

Lee Kantar is a Wildlife Biologist and works currently as the Moose Project Leader for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He oversees the management of Maine’s moose population, conducts and oversees aerial survey work as well as biological data collection and analysis, formulation of annual season recommendations, and monitoring disease issues. Lee serves as spokesperson on moose issues.

Natural Dyeing Workshop – Saturday, September 13

Join Kim Robichaud, recent Maine Master Naturalist graduate, to learn how to extract colours  from local plant materials. The program will include a nature walk, lunch (BYO), and wild harvesting of a small amount of dye materials.

“I have three favorite processes that I am using in my work right now. I would like to share all three with you:         1) Plant Pounding 2) Steam extraction 3) Hot water immersion bath

While you are welcome to bring dyeables from home (natural fibers only, synthetics don’t bind with the dye), you should know, that everything but silk needs to be pre-mordanted in alum and washing soda. I will purchase yardage ahead of time and do this process at the cost of $5 per yard. I encourage you to bring fresh or frozen flowers for experimentation such as goldenrod, black-eyed susans, tansy, etc.. The more choices we have for experimentation the better.

Limited group size – registration and cancellation requested by September 10, 2014, call 394-2171. Fee: $10                                                                                                                                           Meet at the Parker Reed shelter in Hirundo Wildlife Refuge (Gate 1).

Spiders  -  Sunday, September 14, 1 – 2:30 pm

Let Donne Sinderson, a Maine Master Naturalist graduate,  introduce you to the fascinating world of the leggy, misunderstood beings, the Spiders. Did you know that spider silk has different strength depending on the purpose it serves, or that a spider can change its colour from yellow to white with purple spots and back? Meet at the Parker Reed shelter, accessible by Gate 1, in Hirundo Wildlife Refuge. Call for reservation by September 13, 207-394-2171. Suggested donation $5 per adult, school-aged children are free.

Spider web with dew drops by luc.viatour

Spider web with dew drops by luc.viatour


“ Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web
in the early morning covered with dew drops.
And every dew drop contains the reflection
of all the other dew drops.”
— Alan Watts , Following The Middle Way


Autumn Equinox Paddle – Sunday, September 21 at 2 pm

Autumn equinox officially occurs on September 23 but we will be slightly ahead of schedule. Enjoy brilliant reds and yellows dotting the shore line. Bring a friend and binoculars.

We meet at Gate 3 (35 Hudson Road in Alton. Call 207-394-2171 by September 20 to register and to reserve a boat, or bring your own canoe or kayak. Suggested donation $5 per adult, school-aged children are free.


See us at the Orono Festival Day –                                                                                        September 6 from 9 am – 4 pm

Check out the scheduled activities –>  Orono Festival Day

Sunday, September 7 – Canoeing x 2!

Grandparents Day Paddle at 2 pm

Celebrate Grandparenthood, share your hidden paddling talent with your grandchildren or learn a new skill together. Pushaw Stream has quiet, flat water easy to paddle with a stunning scenery, some leaves are already brilliant red. Watch the Osprey and Kingfisher dive for fish and the muskrat move smoothly through the water. It will be a GRAND afternoon. Please call 394-2171 for reservations by September 6 or BYOB. Suggested donations for adults $5, school-aged children free. Meet at Gate 3

Last Full-moon Supermoon Paddle from  6 – 8 pm

Supermoon ?! Celebrate with us this last ‘Supermoon’ this summer. Peak at a very close moon rising above the wetlands and relax after a busy day of work on the quiet waters of Pushaw Stream. We meet at Gate 3. Bring a flashlight, water and a snack. Call 207-394-2171 to reserve your space and canoe by September 6, or bring your own. Suggested donation $5 per adult, school-aged children are free.

Local Supermoon, 2014

Local Supermoon, 2014

Image credit: Stefano Sciarpetti

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.