Vol. 45, No. 5
The New England autumn has always been my favorite season, with refreshing and crisp air replacing the stifling heat and humidity of the summer, a kaleidoscope of colors unfolding across the landscape, and the ability to enjoy the outdoors without annoying insects. As a blind birder, autumn has become a bit more bittersweet, as it marks the transition between the songs of the spring and summer to the silence of the winter.
For the most part, late fall and winter birding is largely a visual experience. Seabirds, such as King Eiders and Harlequin Ducks, become frequent targets of birders shivering in the cold offshore winds. We hope for a possible irruption of northern species to bring such delights as Red and White-winged crossbills, Pine Siskins, Bohemian Waxwings, and Pine Grosbeaks. The uncommon or rare land bird will bring hordes of birders to its location. At this point, I can only take vicarious pleasure at hearing about these birds as they say little or nothing at all. I certainly remember how beautiful our winter birds are and I will never forget the many extraordinary encounters with such notable species as the Northern Hawk Owl flying low over my head, the irruption of Great Grey Owls in Montreal, Pine Grosbeaks at our Vermont feeder, and Bohemian Waxwings dotting a winter fruit tree.
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What we learn from the survey responses, collected throughout spring and summer of 2017, will help us develop educational materials that build on birders familiarity with conservation issues, and that are relevant to birders current levels of engagement with certain conservation actions. By taking this survey, you will help us to develop materials that will be effective and applicable to fellow birders.
Registration is now open for Mass Audubon’s 2018 Birders Meeting. This year’s theme is:
The Birders Meeting will feature the ecology of these two habitat types and their significance to birds and birders.
Speakers include Dr. Sara Morris, Keenan Yakola, Kent McFarland, Chris Rimmer, and Dr. Jeff Wells. There will also be a special presentation by Victor Emanuel, founder of Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT), and short updates about some of Mass Audubon’s current bird conservation work.
The meeting will include lunch, raffles, exhibits, book-signings, and a wide variety of vendors. This promises to be an outstanding event.
More information and registration
Bird Observer is collaborating with the Association of Massachusetts Bird Clubs to bring together birders from across Massachusetts to communicate more effectively, share ideas, and take unified action to support bird conservation. The Association will hold its next meeting from 10:00 to 12:30 on Sunday, April 15 at the Mass Fish and Wildlife office at Westborough WMA. If you belong to any of the 18 member clubs in the Association, you are welcome to attend and participate in this meeting. For more information contact John Nelson at email@example.com.