"Feathers over Freeport" Offers Birding Fun for All Ages

April 18, 2019

For more information contact: Andy Hutchinson at (207) 865-4465

AUGUSTA - The ninth annual "Feathers over Freeport" event will take place on April 27th and 28th. This unique event is designed to appeal to birdwatchers of all abilities, especially families and children.

"Feathers over Freeport" will highlight special birding opportunities at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal (on Saturday), including the Hawk Watch at the summit (both days), and Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park in Freeport (on Sunday), home to nesting ospreys.

Sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestrys Bureau of Parks and Lands, and Freeport Wild Bird Supply, the two-day event will feature a wide variety of activities and presentations, including live-bird presentations, bird walks for adults and children, a hawk watch workshop, and numerous childrens activities.

"With migrant raptors at Bradbury Mountain State Park and the return of nesting Ospreys at Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park, there's no better way to celebrate spring than with birdwatching events right here in Freeport and Pownal. And the original birdwatching weekend, now in its 9th year, will be better than ever thanks to a wide range of fun events for birdwatchers of all ages and interests." - Derek Lovitch of Freeport Wild Bird Supply.

Feathers over Freeport Event Details:

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 27th, Bradbury Mountain State Park, Pownal
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 28th, Wolfes Neck Woods State Park, Freeport, plus the on-going Hawk Watch at Bradbury Mt. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Park entry fees apply; all programs and activities included with park admission.

Three special live bird and wildlife programs will highlight the event. On Saturday, April 27th, Bradbury Mountain State Park will host the Center for Wildlifes team of "wildlife ambassadors," for a Maine Birds of Prey program at 3:00 pm. On Sunday, April 28th, Wolfes Neck Woods State Park will host the Chewonki Foundation for a Scales and Tales program at 1:00 pm and a live owl program at 3:00 pm. Both days feature a bird walk from 8:00 to 10:00 am, led by Derek Lovitch of Freeport Wild Bird Supply. Derek will guide visitors for a walk in the woods seeking out spring migrants and woodland residents, and all levels of expertise are welcome. Bring your own binoculars.

Saturdays events on April 27th at Bradbury Mountain State Park include a "Vernal Pool Exploration," in which wetland scientists Lauren Leclerc and Dave Brenneman will lead visitors to the mysterious temporary pools where frogs, salamanders, and fairy shrimp hatch. Bradbury Mountain State Park also features a Hawk Watch, a two-month research project that is in its twelfth year of migration data collection. It is a focal point of the park and the weekend events and will run daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm through May 15th. The public is invited to watch for migrating hawks with the Official Counter. A Hawk Watch Workshop will be offered by Derek Lovitch from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday to teach visitors about the project and how to identify hawks in flight.

Come join us at Feathers Over Freeport for two fun filled days of birding, games, educational walks and tours, as well as guest speakers and guides that the entire family will enjoy. Chris Silsbee, Park Manager of Bradbury Mountain State Park.

Saturdays events end with an Ask a Ranger program at Bradbury Mountain State Park from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. Park Rangers will lead an evening campfire chat.

On Saturday and Sunday, Michael Boardman, a North Yarmouth based wildlife artist, will lead a Drawing Birds Workshop for all levels from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. This program will include basic instruction, a quick demo and practice time sketching several bird mounts. There is a possibility of sketching live birds at the end of the session. On Saturday, Park Rangers will lead a Tree Identification program at Bradbury Mountain State Park from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. On Sunday, Park Rangers will lead a Springtime Plant Walk at Wolfes Neck Woods State Park from 11:00 am to noon.

Mami will have their food truck on site both days from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm with everything you need for a delicious meal.

There are plenty of activities for kids on both days. A bird walk for children will take place on both days at 10:00 am, featuring fun bird calls, birdwatching basics, and a bird call contest at the end. Bird-related activities and crafts geared toward children and families will also be offered both days from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Children accompanied by an adult are welcome to come and build a birdhouse. These are available on a first come, first served basis and supplies are limited.

Sunday, April 28th, an ongoing Osprey Watch will be featured at Wolfes Neck Woods State Park from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Join Rangers to view and learn about nesting ospreys on Googins Island. The Ospreys returned to Googins Island on April 6th and are busy building a new nest. Andy Hutchinson, Park Manager of Wolfes Neck Woods State Park.

Event partners are the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestrys Bureau of Parks and Lands, and the Freeport Wild Bird Supply. Sponsors include: Royal River Conservation Trust, Bow Street Market, Freeport Conservation Trust, the Maine Coastal Program, and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

For more information about Feathers over Freeport and a complete listing of activities, go to: http://www.maine.gov/feathersoverfreeport or by calling the parks: Bradbury Mountain State Park at (207) 688-4712 or Wolfes Neck Woods State Park at (207) 865-4465.

For more information about Maine State Parks and Historic Sites, go to: http://www.ParksAndLands.com

For more information about the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry go to: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/