Club gets tips on bird watching

13 years ago

Club gets tips on bird watching

MARS HILL NEWS

by Tomi Henderson

The Mars Hill Rotary Club met at 6:30 on Tuesday morning, Jan. 25, at the Aroostook Health Center.

The special speaker was Bill Sheehan, who spoke about birds and birding in Aroostook County. Bill works as a regulator for the DEP but has a zoology degree from UMO.

Bill began his bird watching as a youngster with his father, although it wasn’t until he spent time on the Texas-Mexico border as part of a pesticide study that he took a deeper interest in birds and their migratory patterns.

Birding, or hunting for birds using binoculars or spotting scopes, is the number one outdoor activity in North America. The birders want to find and ID as many different species of birds as possible. Each birder keeps a list of their finds and enjoys bragging about what they have seen! It tends to be quite a competitive sport.

Maine is a popular spot for bird watchers, as there are many different habitats for the birds, including deep woods, mud flats, rivers, oceans, mountains and lakes. Maine also is in a “funnel” migratory path, so watchers see a lot of different birds that are traveling from their summer to winter habitats. Birders can find breeding birds, deep woods birds and over 30 kinds of ducks and geese in northern Maine. Birders enjoy Aroostook County for the great access, the open areas and the fact that there are usually few other birders in the area.

The benefits to Maine of these birders is their use of the local motels, restaurants and gas stations. They also come year round, although the “peak” seasons for birding are the spring and early summer. It is also a fantastic activity to promote in Maine as it doesn’t require any additional infrastructure – Maine is perfect for birders as it is – and it is a non-consumptive activity. There is a great possibility of growth with some promotion.

Areas and activities in Aroostook County for birders are the Aroostook State Park Bird Festival, the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, Christina Reservoir, Lake Josephine, area ponds such as those in Washburn and Mars Hill, and the wildlife management areas in Hodgdon and Ashland.

For more information on birding, you can check out various publications such as Maine Birding Trail or http://northernmainebirds.blogspot.com/.

Fan Appreciation Night

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Photo courtesy of Tomi Henderson

Margaret Hebert, 90, of Mars Hill, was presented with a vest during Fan Appreciation Night at Panther Palace in Mars Hill recently. She is one of the many fans that attend each game to cheer on both the boys’ and girls’ teams. She was also presented with a special carnation for her faithful support.


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Photo courtesy of Tomi Henderson

TRAVELING? — Superintendent Roger Shaw of CAHS had the chance to shoot a half-court shot at a game recently. As he got ready to shoot, one of the officials threw him off his rhythm when they blew their whistle and called him for traveling!! That’s his story on why he missed the shot, and he‘s sticking to it!

 

Bridgewater Historical Association

There will be a meeting of the BHA on Mondaty, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center in Bridgewater. A belated Yankee swap will be held that night. Bring a gift valued at $10 if you would like to participate.

It is also time to pay your 2011 dues ($5 for the year). Remember, it is time for the election of officers at the BHA. We look forward to seeing you there.

Tomi Henderson is the correspondent for Mars Hill, Blaine, Bridgewater and Westfield. She can be reached at 429-9126 or e-mail tomihen@yahoo.com.