Posted in

by Seth Benz

For the past four years, Laura Sebastianelli has been coming to Schoodic Institute during the month of June from her home in Virginia.  Her mission is to record the songs and calls of the birds of the Schoodic Peninsula, part of a larger project to build a bird vocalization library for Acadia National Park.

Laura had arranged for housing in one of Schoodic Institute’s private suites. During previous June trips, campus lodging was merely a place to catch some sleep in between recording stints at odd hours of night and day, sometimes far afield. This year, however, upon arrival Laura had to quarantine for 14 days, in compliance with the state’s emergency COVID-19 order.

The quarantine forced her to stay on the immediate campus, something she had not done before in terms of getting field recordings.  She wondered whether she had made a mistake in coming to Maine. The thought of losing half of the precious field season weighed heavily on her mind.  But she soon discovered that the campus was full of bird life.  In fact, with campus devoid of the typical numbers of seasonal staff and visitors, human sounds were quite mute. Birds song and calls were heightened and plentiful.

Over the length of the quarantine, during short daily campus forays and the occasional walk along the Sundew Trail, Laura amassed an impressive bird checklist of 44 birds in 14 days.  Here is her list:

Broad-winged Hawk – Buteo platypterus
Nashville Warbler – Leiothlypis ruficapilla
Common Nighthawk – Chordeiles minor
Common Loon – Gavia immer
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
Blackburnian Warbler – Setophaga fusca
Swainson’s Thrush – Catharus ustulatus
Olive-sided Flycatcher – Contopus cooperi
Cedar Waxwing – Bombycilla cedrorum
Common Grackle – Quiscalus quiscula
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Merlin – Falco columbarius
Red-eyed Vireo – Vireo olivaceus
Red-breasted Nuthatch – Sitta canadensis
Black-and-white Warbler – Mniotilta varia
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
Common Eider – Somateria mollissima
Black Guillemot – Cepphus grylle
Herring Gull – Larus argentatus
Double-crested Cormorant – Phalacrocorax auritus
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Common Raven – Corvus corax
Magnolia Warbler – Setophaga magnolia
Eastern Bluebird – Sialia sialis
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Hairy Woodpecker – Dryobates villosus
Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus
Blue-headed Vireo – Vireo solitarius
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos
Black-capped Chickadee – Poecile atricapillus
Golden-crowned Kinglet – Regulus satrapa
Winter Wren – Troglodytes hiemalis
Hermit Thrush – Catharus guttatus
American Robin – Turdus migratorius
Purple Finch – Haemorhous purpureus
Red Crossbill – Loxia curvirostra
American Goldfinch – Spinus tristis
Chipping Sparrow – Spizella passerina
Dark-eyed Junco – Junco hyemalis
White-throated Sparrow – Zonotrichia albicollis
American Redstart – Setophaga ruticilla
Northern Parula – Setophaga americana
Black-throated Green Warbler – Setophaga virens


Learn more about Laura’s work and the Sounds of Schoodic.
Your donations support our Bird Ecology program.