(From a 3/11/2010 News Release)
Historic Damariscove Island has yet another story to tell. On Sunday, March 21, at 2 p.m. at the Southport Town Hall, Boothbay Region Land Trust (BRLT) will host Brad Allen and Danielle D’Auria, wildlife biologists, who will detail the 2008 report to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife concerning the 19 pairs of Black-Crowned Night-Herons nesting on the island. The island’s Eider population will also be discussed.
While the program is open to the public free of charge, the land trust asks those wishing to attend to call the office at 633-4818 or email email@example.com for advance reservations.
Allen has been with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) for the last 30 years. His knowledge on this subject comes from a Wildlife Management degree from the University of Maine at Orono, a Masters from the University of Montana and his vast experience working in the field that he loves. He is working with wildlife issues associated with Maine’s seabird nesting islands; he is currently studying the population ecology of common Eiders in Maine.
D’Auria is in the bird group of the IFW. Her education started with a Biology degree from SUNY at Geneseo, followed by a Masters in Wildlife Science from New Mexico State University. Her past work focused on threatened and endangered bird species. As an assistant refuge manager at USFWS in Olympia, WA, she focused on habitat restoration, conservation planning, invasive plant management, and a variety of wildlife and habitat monitoring. Now she focuses on statewide populations of colonial wading birds, secretive marsh birds, black terns, and loons.
With a range that spans five continents, including much of North America, the Black-Crowned Night-Heron is most active at dusk and at night. It is a colonially nesting wading bird that was just recently added to Maine’s list of threatened species due to declining numbers of breeding birds at known colony sites. Its call is a loud, harsh squawk. Damariscove Island is a new colony site for this species, first reported to IFW in 2008. In 2009, a survey there identified at least 19 nesting pairs.
Eiders are more abundant but just as interesting. Their down feathers are well known and appreciated. Flocks fly in lines a few feet above the surface of the water. Their call is a low, slurred moan.
BRLT is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It protects wildlife habitats, provides hiking trails on 21 preserves and offers many educational programs like this one. Those interested in learning more about BRLT properties and activities or wishing to join or contribute to BRLT are asked to call, visit www.bbrlt.org or stop by the office at 137 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor.