Acadia’s Birds by Land & Sea I
June 21 - June 25
Explore a variety of habitats in the Downeast Acadia Region, focusing on terrestrial birding hotspots and nearshore waters of the Gulf of Maine. Observe and learn about birds and regional ecology at a comfortable pace while contributing to Schoodic Institute’s ongoing scientific studies of birds. Experience the thrill of discovery while being immersed in Acadia National Park’s outstanding beauty and landscape.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, participants must provide their own ground transportation to and from Schoodic Institute and possibly during all field trips. If we cannot use a van, all field trips will be caravan style. All participants must be prepared to wear a facial mask that covers nose and mouth during all tour activities, especially when social distancing is not possible. Changes to the status of COVID-19 precautions are monitored closely by Schoodic Institute and are subject to the guidance of the Maine CDC (and U.S. CDC).
Participants should bring binoculars. A camera (optional) can be fun as all tours are fairly scenic. Spotting scopes are useful but optional and your guide will provide one for group use, as well as guidebooks. None of the tours require strenuous hiking. Birding will be slow moving and on level ground. There may be some spots that are muddy, uneven, and slippery, but large boots are unnecessary. Boat tours can be cold and damp. Bring appropriate clothing.
Registration is required. The package is $1550.00 per participant.
Day 1: The experience begins at 3:00 PM at Schoodic Institute’s Rockefeller Hall on the Institute campus in Acadia National Park for lodging check-in and a group orientation. We’ll then take a leisurely stroll to Schoodic Point before dinner at 6:00 PM. Following dinner, we will have an evening presentation to get acquainted with the history and ecology of the region.
Days 2, 3, and 4: These days usually begin with an optional bird walk before breakfast on the Schoodic Institute campus. Weather and tides will shape each day’s customized plan. Breakfast is served in our dining hall from 7:00 to 8:00 AM. Some days may start earlier in which case we’ll have a prepared field breakfast to tote along. We plan to go afield each day, complete with a scrumptious bagged lunch, to a fruitful variety of birding locations and outstanding sites throughout the region. Our “home range” extends from the eastern blueberry barrens of Columbia Falls to Seal Cove on the western side of Acadia National Park. We’ll return to our lodging at the Institute by late afternoon each day (between 5:00 and 6:00 PM) to enjoy a little relaxation time and perhaps a beverage before dinner. Dinner is always served from 6:00 to 7:00 PM, where we’ll be seated safely and appropriately as a group. After dinner we’ll review the day’s bird checklist, discuss and entertain questions from the day, review our use of eBird to document birds, and plan for the next day.
The tour will prioritize a boat trip to Petit Manan Island to see Atlantic Puffin and other nesting birds of an active seabird colony such as Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Common Eider, Arctic and Common Tern. Our route will include ledges where Harbor and Gray seals can be seen, as well as opportunities to view of an active Bald Eagle nest, and a colony or two of nesting Double-crested cormorants. On the mainland we’ll look for Spruce Grouse, a variety of forest-dwelling warblers, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Nelson’s Sparrow, Palm Warbler and other songbirds by visiting various area hotspots. A trip to this region also warrants a day trip to an impressive expanse of nearby blueberry barrens to look for specialty birds such as Upland Sandpiper, Vesper and Savannah sparrows, nesting Northern Harriers and American Kestrel.
Day 5: Day Five is leader’s choice for where we will spend our last day of birding together. Perhaps we may need to make up for time lost to inclement weather or try a different location for a certain species. In any case, after breakfast, we’ll take time to pack gear and check out from lodging. We may take an easy stroll along Schoodic Institute’s Sundew or Alder Trail or go around the auto loop one more time. We’ll take stock of what we’ve learned, review the bird checklist, figure out a good location for lunch afield and bid each other farewell by 2:00 PM.
Housing: Lodging assignments are based on guests sleeping in a private bedroom in a shared apartment. In light of COVID-19 we recommend that guests in each apartment work together to coordinate use of the bathroom. We will place cleaning products in each bathroom and suggest that every person disinfect the space for the next user when they are done using it. All lodging provides a fully equipped kitchen, combined living/dining area with DirecTV and WiFi. Towels and linens are provided. Please call Megan (207) 288-1337 or Michelle (207) 288-1356 if you have any questions regarding alternative lodging options or in the event you would like to bring a guest or extend your reservation. Private apartments can be reserved with an upcharge and based upon availability. We are happy to accommodate if space is available!
Should You Need to Cancel Your Event Registration
There is a $35 processing fee for any cancellation made 15 days or more prior to the conference date. No refunds will be given for cancellations within 14 days of the conference date.