eNews From Project Puffin - December
EGG ROCK UPDATE 2010 AND SUPPLEMENT
The 2010 issue of Egg Rock Update is loaded
with good news about increasing numbers of puffins and
other seabirds in the Gulf of Maine, as well as an article
that tells about the surprising impact that eagles and
other recovering raptors have on Maine seabirds. The
newsletter has now been mailed to Project Puffin supporters.
It is also available online by clicking HERE.
Also, the supplement to the 2010 Egg Rock
Update features progress with seabird restoration projects
that have benefited from techniques pioneered by Project Puffin.
At least 49 seabird species have benefited from these methods,
in 14 countries. The restoration updates in the supplement
include projects for Short-tailed
Albatross (Japan, Midway Atoll NWR and Kure Atoll), Heermann’s
Gull (Mexico), Hutton’s Shearwater (New Zealand), Cahow (Bermuda)
Tern (Washington State). Click HERE.
Please watch for the newsletter, and consider an end
of the year donation to Project Puffin!
NEW HOG ISLAND VIDEO
Famed videographer Lang Elliott has produced a new six-minute
video about the ornithology and teen birding session at the
Audubon Camp in Maine on Hog Island. The video captures the spirit
of the legendary camp, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary
next summer. Elliott’s video features well-known birders Kenn
Kaufman, Scott Weidensaul, Greg Budney, Sara Morris and Steve
Kress. Lang will join the field ornithology instructors for the
2011 Hog Island program.
Click HERE for
the video and Hog Island programs: (Note: click in the lower right corner of
the video for a full screen, high definition version)
Click HERE to
learn more about long-range planning for Hog Island.
PROJECT PUFFIN WISH LIST
To support the Project Puffin intern teams that live on seven
of Maine’s most important seabird nesting islands, it takes reliable
equipment - including tents, boats, boat motors, laptop computers,
and much more. Please consider making a year-end gift
to help Project Puffin equip the 16 college-age interns and supervisors
with the equipment necessary to make the most of their summer.
Click HERE to
see the wish list for our 2011 field season.
HELP THE PUFFINS WITH YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING
Introduce friends and family to Project Puffin with a holiday
gift from our new online store. Our store is stocked with puffin
and seabird gifts for bird enthusiasts of all ages. Holiday ornaments
and cards, books, videos, art, and more are available from our
new, easy-to-use online store. Gifts ordered via the online store
by December 18th at 3pm (EST) will delivered by December
24; Puffin adoptions should be received by December 17th at 4pm
to assure delivery by the 24th. This year the online store features
matted and framed photos of some of our Adopt-A-Puffins; Puffin
note cards of Egg Rock Puffins; and a new ‘Puffin Pledge’ package
especially for teachers.
Click HERE to
visit the new Online store: On December 17th and 18th from 10am to 4pm (EST),
call toll-free 1-877-4-puffins to place an order.
Click HERE to
eNews From Project Puffin - November
NEW ONLINE STORE
Turn Black Friday to Green Friday by doing your early
holiday shopping at Project Puffin’s NEW online
store. Just in time for the holidays, Project Puffin
is pleased to announce a completely updated, easy to
use online store, packed with great gifts for the holidays.
Visitors to the online store will find everything from
puffin stocking stuffers to seabird art and jewelry.
Visit our featured holiday gifts page and find our most
popular items including a plush puffin with recorded
calls and puffin boxers , pajamas and socks. Here too
are educational gifts inspired by Project Puffin such
as videos, books and posters for puffin fans of all
ages. Hog Island enthusiasts will find special gifts
such as t-shirts and notecards that celebrate the Hog
Island experience. All sales benefit our hard-working
team of field interns who protect the puffins and other
rare seabirds on Maine islands. http://shop.projectpuffin.org/
Puffin adoptions can also make great holiday gifts-
read more about how adopting puffins (a tax deductible
gift) helps our conservation program: http://www.projectpuffin.org/AdoptAPuffin.html
SEND SOMEONE SPECIAL TO CAMP NEXT SUMMER
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for a special birding friend?
Provide the gift of a lifetime, with a session at Audubon’s
legendary Hog Island Audubon Camp. Participants in the 2011 Hog
Island programs will visit the puffin and tern colony at Eastern
Egg Rock with Project Puffin Director Steve Kress and be led
on field trips to diverse coastal habitats by some of the best
birders in America, including Pete Dunne, Kenn Kaufman and Scott
Weidensaul. These five-day programs for adults and teens offer
a unique opportunity to be actively involved in Maine seabird
conservation while learning about coastal birds and wildlife
at our inspiring Maine camp. The gift of participation in a 2011program
on Hog Island will be cherished by anyone with an interest in
birds or nature, whether they are new to bird watching, an expert
birder or an environmental educator. Visit http://hogisland.audubon.org
for more information.
eNews From Project Puffin - October
REGISTRATIONS OPEN TODAY FOR 75th ANNIVERSARY
YEAR AT HOG ISLAND
The legendary Audubon Camp in Maine on Hog Island offered its first session in 1936. Now, 75 years later Project Puffin announces the beginning of registration for the Camp’s anniversary year. The 2011 Hog Island season will begin with a service learning program in which participants will help census a Maine seabird colony and end with another service program in which participants will create habitat for terns on Eastern Egg Rock. For more on the just completed 2010 session visit: http://www.projectpuffin.org/OrnithCampsBBCwrapup.html
Hog Island service programs- are co-sponsored by Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel). They are helping Project Puffin better protect seabirds while offering meaningful conservation projects for Hog Island campers. In addition to the service sessions, the 2011 Hog Island program will include the very popular birding programs ‘Joy of Birding’, ‘Field Ornithology’ and ‘Coastal Maine Birding for Teens.’ In addition to birding programs, there will also be sessions especially designed for teachers and Audubon Chapter leaders. Visiting the puffins at Eastern Egg Rock is a highlight of all sessions.
Hog Island’s first instructors were birding greats Roger Tory Peterson and Alan Cruickshank. Today, Hog Island programs continue this tradition by permitting adults and teens to learn birding skills from some of the country’s best known birders, including Pete Dunne, Kenn Kaufman and Scott Wiedensaul. A week on Hog Island is famous for top instruction, great food and an inspiring setting where people have fun learning together. Program Director, Steve Kress, predicts that like 2010, most of the sessions will quickly sell out with wait lists. As instructor Pete Dunne wrote recently in Birder’s World, “If your life is steeped in birds, then you owe it to yourself to visit the Source. If you have just discovered birds, there is an island where you can get a crash course in field birding that will link you to birding’s past and vault your skills into the future.”
a place for yourself now and become part of the Hog Island legend. Click here
for more details: http://www.projectpuffin.org/OrnithCamps.html
Hog Island in Maine, with a double rainbow, where Audubon Camps are held during the summer months
Photo by Steve Kress
eNews From Project Puffin - August
Our field season has just ended and all of the interns are back on the mainland from our seven field stations. The terns have mostly left Maine for the long migration to the southern hemisphere. The puffins will also head off to their still unknown winter home and our interns will return to their academic lives or take on other steps toward professions in conservation biology.
The season was characterized by many dry and warmer than usual days which favored the growth of terns and other seabird chicks. Food was abundant at our more southern islands, but was limited on the offshore islands. In contrast to last year, herring- an important staple in the seabird diet was largely absent and the lack of quality food compromised the breeding season for terns, especially at Matinicus Rock and Seal Island NWR. In contrast, the terns at Pond Island NWR, Outer Green and Jenny Island thrived on a more varied than usual diet.
Puffins had an exceptionally good year, with the number of nesting pairs increasing at Eastern Egg Rock and Seal Island NWR to record numbers. However, their food supply was also limited resulting in slower than usual development of young.
Project Puffin interns shared the highlights of their summer at the 26th annual meeting of the Gulf of Maine Seabird Working Group held on Hog Island on August 12th.
For a link to a map showing locations of Project Puffin managed islands in Maine,
Eastern Egg Rock - Interns discovered 123 active puffin burrows this year, a 15% increase over the 107 pairs that nested here last year. Among this year’s pairs were ten first time breeding pairs. Among the long established nesting puffins was Y33, a 33 year old female who successfully raised a chick- her 25th in 26 years of nesting in the same burrow! She is now the oldest puffin in North America. Unfortunately, several of our other oldest puffins did not return this year.
In June, fifteen geolocators were placed on bands of breeding Arctic Terns to learn more about their migration route – all of these birds successfully raised young and are now on their way to the Southern Hemisphere. Previous band recoveries have shown that some Maine Arctic terns fly to or offshore of Ghana and Cameroon in West Africa for the winter; but this is probably just the first stop on a migration that takes them to the waters north of Antarctica. If we recover the devices in 2011, we will learn more about the migration path of the birds. Learning where birds go in the winter is the first step in protecting their complete migration path.
A Peregrine Falcon has recently found the “picnic basket” of Laughing Gull and tern fledgers at Egg Rock. We expect that soon after our interns depart the island, Bald Eagles will also start feeding on fledglings. Fortunately, most terns have already departed on their southbound migrations.
Stratton Island -
As the island’s terns complete their nesting cycle, our island team has shifted its work to fighting back the incursion of oriental bittersweet. This invasive vine has engulfed a number of the egret, heron and ibis nesting trees, smothering them with lush growth. The tedious removal process is helping to extend the life of the trees. Daily shorebird counts on adjacent Little Stratton Island are getting more exciting each day, with perhaps 1,500+ birds of different species being observed while resting. Semi-palmated Sandpipers, semi-palmated plovers, ruddy turnstones, short-billed dowitchers and willets constitute the majority of sighted shorebirds but others including red knots and Whimbrels are also present.
Island National Wildlife Refuge- The tally of puffin burrows has probably exceeded 500 pairs- a notable increase over last year’s estimate of 425 pairs. A total of 112 puffin chicks were banded this year. This year’s count of nesting pairs is certainly an underestimate as the birds are rapidly founding new sub-colonies around the 65 acre refuge. Their crevice nesting habits make it difficult to know with precision how many puffins are actually nesting. Five puffins that were banded with geolocators in 2009 to track their winter locations at sea were sighted this summer. Because they did not frequent nesting burrows, we were unable to recapture them to remove the devices. Matt Klosterman and Lauren Scopel, spent many days patiently waiting to re-trap the birds. Matt almost succeeded when one of the geolocator puffins walked into a trap- and then walked out again as the trap failed to close over the bird! Hopefully, these birds will return in 2011 so we will have another chance to recover the devices. For now the mystery of the Maine puffin’s winter home continues.
Matinicus Rock -
Most of the island’s terns, and razorbills are now migrating
to their winter homes. Puffins, Leach’s Storm-petrels and
Manx Shearwater remain. And an early inspection of several
Manx Shearwater burrows paid off with another healthy chick
discovered. Last year Matinicus Rock was the site of the
first successful Manx Shearwater chick in the U.S. This
year at least one more of the shearwaters will likely fledge
- from a different burrow than was used in 2009. Puffin
grubbing- extracting puffin chicks from underground nesting
burrows for banding and growth measurements- resulted in
a record number of 177 puffin chicks in underground burrows.
Although most of the chicks were in excellent condition,
many of the chicks late in the year were growing slowly-
evidence of less than ideal food supplies. While grubbing
for chicks, interns placed 18 new generation geolocators
on nesting adults. The new geolocators are about half the
size of those applied in 2009. Hopefully, some of these
will be recovered in 2011 to learn more about the location
of the puffin’s winter home.
We had hoped to have our puffin cam working longer than usual this year, but technical and weather related problem prevented the camera from functioning. It is now clear that some of our equipment will need to be replaced before we can hope to again provide the stunning views of seabirds that the puffin cam provided in recent years. Many thanks to all who have written about the status of Puffin Cam and for your patience. Our season at Seal Island has now ended, but we certainly hope to have the camera working again in summer 2011.
OLIVIA BOULER VISITS EASTERN EGG ROCK
Eleven year old Olivia Bouler has demonstrated how one young person can make a difference with a good idea. Her plan was to create a painting of a bird threatened by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill for each person who made a donation to Audubon’s efforts on behalf of Gulf of Mexico birdlife.
With thanks for Olivia’s commitment to her plan and its astounding success, Dr. Steve Kress invited Olivia and her family to Eastern Egg Rock. Because Egg Rock to see the puffins and other birds that have responded to our restoration program. Read more about Olivia and her visit to Egg Rock at: http://www.projectpuffin.org/Olivia.html
GULF OF MAINE SEABIRD WORKING GROUP (GOMSWG)
MEETS AT HOG ISLAND
Seventy seabird biologists from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts met at Hog Island on August 12 to present their results of the 2010 seabird nesting season. This was the 27th annual meeting of GOMSWG. Each Project Puffin Supervisor presented a summary of the results of their field season in the morning session along with leaders from about 20 important seabird nesting islands (all Important Bird Areas) within the Gulf of Maine. After each presentation there was an opportunity to discuss the findings. The afternoon was devoted to the presentation of seven special papers about seabird research in the Gulf of Maine including advances in telemetry with puffins and Roseate Terns and habitat management for terns.
HOG ISLAND NEWS
Project puffin operated four successful ornithology sessions for adults and teens at Hog Island from May through June. A total of 165 participants from 32 states and Canada participated. The final 2010 session ‘Seabird Biology and Conservation’ is sponsored in collaboration with Road Scholar (formerly Elder Hostel) will focus on tern habitat restoration at Eastern Egg Rock. It is scheduled to begin on September 12th. Read more at: http://www.projectpuffin.org/OrnithCamps.html
Participants in the June 'Road Scholars' program based at Hog Island
census Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls
Audubon’s Ross Island in Muscongus Bay
Photo by Steve Kress
eNews From Project Puffin - July
Project Puffin staff helped to conduct a census of all terns in the Gulf of Maine from June 12-20. On Audubon-managed islands, a total of about 8,500 pairs of Common, Arctic, Roseate and Least Terns were tallied. This total for all species compares to a similar number in 2009, but populations of Roseate Terns have now declined by 25% over the past four years. Our system of multiple nesting islands has proven itself important again for terns, with birds shifting away from predators on some islands and increasing elsewhere. Less rain and warmer temperatures have made it easier for interns to do their work than in recent cold and wet summers and this has generally favored survival of tern chicks, but the food brought to nestling terns has recently shifted to butterfish and other has desirable kinds of fish that are difficult for chicks to swallow. Puffin numbers have continued to increase at Eastern Egg Rock, with 99 nests discovered to date. To learn more about the locations of our islands with photos of interns, click http://www.projectpuffin.org/Islands.html
Eastern Egg Rock - On July 4th, 1981,
twenty nine years ago, Steve Kress and Evie Weinstein saw
a puffin flying over Eastern Egg Rock with fish in its
bill – a wildly joyous sighting. That observation was the
first of many during that summer which led to confirmation
of five nesting pairs - the first since 1885.
Puffins numbers at Egg Rock have continued to increase
since that first sighting, with currently 99 active puffin
burrows on Eastern Egg Rock- a record high number for this
date. At this rate of discovering nests, last year’s record
high count of 107 puffin pairs will be passed by the end
of the field season. Photographer Sandy Flint just spent
most of the week photographing our "Adopt-a Puffin" (individuals
for this year’s adoptee updates, and a film team from the
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife filmed
Egg Rock seabirds for their Watchable
Wildlife TV series.
To learn more about our adopt a puffin program, click here: http://www.projectpuffin.org/AdoptAPuffin.html
The Egg Rock team has also just finished attaching 15
geolocators (tiny tracking devices) to the legs of Arctic
Terns. This project, funded by the US Fish and Wildlife
Service, will help to discover the winter migration path
of North American Arctic Terns.
Matinicus Rock and Seal
Island National Wildlife Refuge-
The number of nesting Arctic Terns at Matinicus Rock dropped 47% this year, but many have apparently moved over to Seal Island where the population grew by approximately 25%. Here, Seal Island staff recorded the highest number of nesting terns since terns were restored as a nesting species in 1989. This year they tallied a total of 3,026 pairs, up 15% from last year’s total of 2,568. As many as 109 Common Murres have been seen on Matinicus Rock at a time and observers are hoping to site a murre egg or chick- but this needs to be done at a distance to avoid disturbance. At Seal Island, five of the eight puffins carrying geolocators attached to leg bands have been resighted, but so far they have eluded capture to remove their tracking devices. If the geolocators can be removed, they may hold the secret of where puffins go in the winter.
Outer Green Island -
All records have been broken this year as 1,151 pairs of Common Terns are nesting as well as 15 pairs of federally-endangered Roseate Terns. This is a 28% increase from last year. At least 75 pairs of Common Terns are now nesting on and around an experimental artificial turf, a development that bodes well for the use of this novel material for improving nesting habitat that is presently being overrun by a rank growth of invasive plants.
Jenny Island - Yvan Satge and staff caught a predatory Great Horned Owl in a specially built live-catch trap. The owl is presently at a wildlife rehabilitation Center and will be relocated soon to northern Maine. The owl was terrorizing nesting terns and its capture is helping the 885 pairs of Common Terns and 31 pairs of Roseate Terns settle down now and spend more time with their chicks at night.
Pond Island National Wildlife
A Great Horned Owl was also captured on Pond Island by
Liz Zinsser and her staff. This owl will also be banded
and released in northern Maine Atlantic saury fish
are being seen here , as well as on other islands,
in the beaks of breeding adult terns who are feeding
this unusual species to their chicks. Atlantic saury
are typically a more southerly species which has shown
up in tern diet in recent years.
Stratton Island - A predatory Black-crowned Night Heron has been attacking the Least Tern nesting area and at last count has eaten approximately 90 chicks – a devastating blow to our hopes of good productivity for this state endangered species. About 30 chicks remain. Staff members are working to capture this wily nocturnal predator. So far the Common and Roseate Tern pairs here have not suffered from the predation, but a mink sighted earlier in the summer has also remained a threat.
HOG ISLAND UPDATE
The June ornithology programs at Hog Island were a resounding
success. A total of 135 people participated in the programs,
representing 32 states and New Brunswick. The best represented
states were California, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The programs were largely sold out and some, such as the Field
Ornithology and Coastal Bird Studies for Teens had record numbers
of participants. Only one session remains for 2010. This is the
fall session of: Seabird Biology and Conservation cosponsored
with Exploritas (formerly Elderhostel). This service learning
program will help to improve nesting habitat for rare and endangered
terns on Eastern Egg Rock. The program will be led by Project
Puffin Director, Steve Kress, author Scott Weidensaul and Project
Puffin staff. Only two openings remain in this September 12-17
session which is based on Hog Island at the Audubon Camp in Maine.
For more details and registration, click: http://www.projectpuffin.org/OrnithCampsSessionBBC.html
Multiple technical problems have plagued the puffin cam this year. We continue to work to solve these problems and appreciate your patience. As soon as we have it working again, we will celebrate with a special announcement.
PROJECT PUFFIN VISITOR CENTER
Our visitor center is now open daily from 10AM to 5PM. Come visit us at 311 Main Street in Rockland, Maine. In addition to our regular exhibits and films, we are featuring a new art exhibit: Seabird?
Or Bird by the Sea? Although it is a slightly slippery definition, a seabird is defined as a species which depends (at least in large part) upon the sea. This year’s art show at the Project Puffin Visitor Center displays both true seabirds and other birds which we see by the sea (Osprey, shorebirds, and more). Enjoy the works of over 20 Artists, many local, who have created pieces in many media including bronze, acrylic, and silk. The Project Puffin Visitor Center is run by the National Audubon Society and is open 7 days a week, 10-5, Wednesdays until 7. A reception for the artists will be held from 5-7PM on July 7th.
PUFFIN WATCHING TOURS
Regularly scheduled puffin watching tours are now in full swing leaving from New Harbor and Booth Bay Harbor. These are led by Project Puffin staff and the sponsors of the tours support Project Puffin. For details about these fun outings, please visit: http://www.projectpuffin.org/PuffinTours.html
eNews From Project Puffin - June
Our 37th field season is now underway with training completed for 16 summer interns. The training took place on May 25th and 26th on Hog Island during delightfully sunny weather. The training included sessions on the ecology of the Gulf of Maine, boat handling, methods for conducting seabird feeding studies, censusing and banding. Assistant Research Coordinator Ellen Peterson brought several newly hatched chickens to training so novice interns could get some experience handling nestling birds. Presently, six of our field stations are open and our seventh- Jenny Island- will open mid June.
HOG ISLAND SESSIONS BEGIN
Audubon and Exploritas (formerly Elderhostel) just finished presenting a five day session on Hog Island for 24 participants in “Seabird Biology and Conservation.” One of the focuses of the week was service-learning, and on June 3rd participants conducted a gull census at Audubon’s Ross Island seabird sanctuary. Here we counted 463 Herring Gull nests and 65 Great Black-backed Gull nests. This was the first time that a thorough ground count of gull nests was conducted at the island. A few openings remain in other Hog Island programs, including the June 13-18th session ‘Joy of Birding’ and June 20-25th session ‘Field Ornithology’ and the September 12-17th Exploritas program. To learn more about Hog Island Ornithology programs, visit http://www.projectpuffin.org/OrnithCamps.html and
call 207-529-5148 to register.
OLDEST PUFFIN RETURNS TO EGG ROCK
Observers at Egg Rock were elated to discover Y33 back at her nesting burrow. She is now 33 years old, ranking her as the oldest known North American puffin. Also at Egg Rock, terns and laughing gulls are laying eggs, black guillemots are beginning to feed their chicks, and the first eider duck chicks of the season were seen this week.
GEOLOCATOR PUFFINS OBSERVED AT SEAL ISLAND NWR
Two puffins carrying tracking devices attached to their leg bands since July, 2009 were recently sighted near their nesting burrows. If these birds can be captured, the geolocators will be removed to download information that could reveal the winter travels of puffins. Presently, the winter home of Maine puffins is unknown.
ASTROTURF SHOWS PROMISE FOR IMPROVING TERN HABITAT
Forty five pairs of Common Terns are now nesting on a new habitat – Astroturf ! Recycled artificial turf from miniature golf courses was laid out as a weed barrier at Outer Green Island in two ten meter square plots. Our seabird interns in residence are reporting that the terns are readily accepting the new habitat which provides a needed mix of open space and adjacent cover. The project is part of Juliet Lamb’s M.S. degree thesis work.
ADOPT-A-PUFFIN FOR FATHER'S DAY
A donation of $100 or more will permit you to adopt one of the
Eastern Egg Rock puffins while making a contribution to support
our work. It’s the perfect gift for a dad – or a recent graduate-
that cares about wildlife. Learn more here: http://www.projectpuffin.org/PPfathersDay.html
VISIT OUR NEW ONLINE STORE
Gifts for Dad or a recent graduate can now be found at our new- easy to use- online store where all sales help our Maine seabird conservation. http://shop.projectpuffin.org
Project Puffin held its 22nd annual birdathon on May 28th. It was a perfect day for birding which helped to account for our 2nd highest species count of 194 species. The total puffin count was 463. The support received will help fund this field season in Maine. Follow-up letters will go out soon to all participants. Many thanks to all who sent in pledges and gifts.
has Project Puffin as its cover feature in the June, 2010 issue. The article, titled ‘A Puffin Comeback’, is authored by Michelle Nijhuis with photography by Jose Azel. The online edition has additional photos and an Egg Rock video. To read the article and view the photos, click here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/A-Puffin-Comeback.html
eNews From Project Puffin - May
START UP PROJECTS
The 2010 Project Puffin staff is poised to start our 37th field season this week. By the end of the week, we should have our teams on Stratton Island and Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge. The field stations at these sites are set up early to begin defending rare seabirds against predation from abundant predators such as Bald Eagles and Great Black-backed Gulls. This will be the earliest that we have ever set up camp at Seal Island, but the goal this year is to thwart predation of Bald Eagles on Great Cormorant nestlings. Maine is the only state in the U.S. where Great Cormorants nest and their population has declined for the past 17 years, now numbering less than 100 pairs. Likewise, placement of resident intern teams on four other Maine island in May will help to deter predation from eagles and gulls. May is a month of extreme weather on Maine islands with strong winds, rain and bone-chilling temperatures, so this is a good test of equipment and commitment!
Other start-up projects in early May include:
Creating test habitat plots for Common and Roseate terns at Outer Green Island and Eastern Egg Rock. Juliet Lamb, M.Sc. candidate from U. of Massachusetts, Amherst begins her second year of conducting research on the value of controlled burns and vegetation barriers (artificial turf laid over tall invasive vegetation) to improve habitat.
96 chick shelters for Least Terns at Stratton Island, 81 Roseate Tern nest boxes for Roseate Terns at Stratton Island and Egg Rock and 10 nest boxes for Common Eiders at Outer Green Island are ready for placement.
Installation of the Puffin Cam at Seal Island NWR.
To discourage nesting of predatory gulls, acoustic playback equipment will broadcasts alarm calls of Laughing Gulls at Eastern Egg Rock; similar equipment will be placed at Stratton Island to deter Great Black-backed Gulls from nesting near the ibis and heron nesting colony.
Watching for puffin's carrying geolocators attached in 2009. The could reveal the puffin's winter home.
LAST MINUTE MOTHER'S DAY SHOPPING
Stumped for a gift for mom? Then consider adopting a puffin in her honor. Mother’s day is a perfect day to adopt a Puffin mom in honor of your mom. There is still time. The deadline for a Mother’s day puffin adoption to arrive in time for mom-day is 3PM Wednesday, May 5th. Click here to Adopt-A-Puffin: http://www.projectpuffin.org/PPmothersDay.html
A FEW OPENINGS REMAIN FOR HOG ISLAND ORNITHOLOGY
Nearly all of the places in the 2010 Hog Island Ornithology sessions are filled, but a few last minute cancellations have been received and we are discounting some of the remaining places. If Hog Island is a place that you always wanted to visit- this is your opportunity. If you have never heard of Hog Island, discover why these sessions are a must for both beginning and experienced birders. Learn about birds with some of the country’s most dynamic leaders such as Pete Dunne, Kenn Kaufman and Scott Weidensaul. The following sessions now have a few openings:
May 30th-June 30th and September 12th-17th - Maine
Seabird Biology and Conservation:
June 13th-18th - Joy of Birding: Discounts
available for Crow’s Nest Lodge. Was $795- Now $650! http://www.projectpuffin.org/OrnithCampsDescriptionJB.html
June 20th-25th - Field Ornithology: http://www.projectpuffin.org/OrnithCampsDescriptionFO.html
June 20th-25th - Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens: http://www.projectpuffin.org/OrnithCampsDescriptionCMBST.html
Register online or call for details: 207-529-5828
Watch your snail mail for the official 2010 Project Puffin Birdathon
invitation. And join in the fun on May 28th as the Project Puffin team
heads off to all corners of Maine in search of birds. Guess the number
of species or the total number of puffins that we will see and win
a limited edition Karl Martens art print of a puffin or razorbill.
These and other prizes will go to Project Puffin friends that participate.
All proceeds help to support our system of Maine seabird nesting sanctuaries.
For more about the birdathon and a copy of the entry form click here:
PROJECT PUFFIN VISITOR CENTER IS NOW OPEN
Project Puffin Visitor Center (PPVC), located at 311 Maine St. in
Rockland, opened its doors for the 2010 season on May 1st. The center
is open from 10AM-5PM Wednesday-Sunday in May. The Center is open daily
from June 1 through Oct. 31st. PPVC will soon feature live-streaming
video from Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge and an exhibit of Seabird
art from 13 seabird artists. http://www.projectpuffin.org/PPVC.html
GULF COAST OIL SPILL
The impact of the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will certainly
affect seabirds far beyond that region. Ironically, the first bird
found oiled was a Northern Gannet, a seabird that nests on just six
North American Islands- all in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Newfoundland.
Audubon is helping to mobilize volunteers to assist. To learn how you
can help, click here: http://www.audubonaction.org/site/PageServer?pagename=aa_HowtoHelp
Updates from Past Seasons: