Category Archives: Past Programs

“WOW Plants for Maine Gardens” – Wednesday, April 29, 7 pm 

Guest speaker: Lisa Coburn, author of The Maine Garden Journal

If you’ve been gardening for a number of years, you’ve probably tried all the standard, run-of-the-mill plants found in your neighbors’ yards. Avid gardeners want a few plants in their landscape that get special attention. We want something that stops people dead in their tracks and elicits “WOW! What’s that?!” Lisa focuses on almost 80 must-have trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals as well as thugs you really must avoid.


.. be at the “GARDEN PARTY” and Silent Auction at the Old Town Museum at 353 Main Street in Old Town.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

– Find the perfect gift in our silent auction
– Learn about native plants & how you can support native pollinators throughout the season from          Dr. Lois Berg Stack, UMaine Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist.                                       – Coffee, tea and snacks provided
Reservation requested, please call Hirundo Wildlife Refuge 394-2171, by April 27.


… Cross-country Ski Clinic II –                                                                                             Saturday, February 21, 10:00 – 12:00 pm      

Another sunny day!  Maine Master Guide and Ski instructor Karen Francoeur did a splendid job teaching participants with different level of experiences. 

Karen explains the benefits of skins on skies

Karen explains the benefits of skins on skies

Yes, laying in the snow can be fun!

Yes, laying in the snow can be fun!

How to practice balance - no poles needed.

How to practice balance – no poles needed.

Bend and push ... learning about pole placement

Bend and push … learning about pole placement

Participants demonstrating the different aspects of the ski clinic. Much fun was had by all!

Participants demonstrating the different aspects of the ski clinic. Much fun was had by all!

Special Treat - Barrow's Goldeneyes sitting ducks for a portrait!

Special Treat – Barrow’s Goldeneyes sitting ducks for a portrait!

Ground Hog Day Celebration – “Finding Penobscot Phyllis”,                                     Sunday Feb 1, 1- 4 pm

Penobscot Phyllis' stand in

Penobscot Phyllis’ stand in

Under brilliant blue sky and plenty of snow eleven of us set out to find Penobscot Phyllis. We found many deer tracks,  signs of deer nibbles on vegetation. and several mouse tracks crossed our path. But again we struck out on finding Phyllis.

However we found a burrow, large enough to hold a woodchuck but the tracks were unlike hers. They belonged to a fox.

Ready for hot chocolate and chocolate covered raisins, provided by Carol and John Gregory, we ended the afternoon next to crackling fire in the Parker Reed shelter.

Our prediction: It was a sunny day and if Phyllis would have taken a look out of burrow, she would have seen a shadow! We concluded  six more weeks of winter!





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 Francoeur 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.