One of these birds is not like the other! Birders are flocking to the Cape Cod Canal for a rare glimpse of a king eider (shown here surrounded by common eiders). King eiders are not normally seen so close to shore. Enjoy the video!
No surprise, but our most popular Facebook posts of the year involved wildlife in one form or another. Enjoy this top 10 and do let us know in the comments what you would like to see more of in the coming year!
1. A Dove in the Cloud
2. Snowy Owl Release
3. Turkeys at HQ
4. Hummingbird Eggs
5. A Moose at Habitat
6. An Albino Hummingbird
7. Big Night
8. Snowy Owl Video
9. Turtle Crossing
10. Banding Falcons
In Your Words is a regular feature of Mass Audubon’s Explore member newsletter. Each issue, a Mass Audubon member, volunteer, staff member, or supporter shares his or her story—why Mass Audubon and protecting the nature of Massachusetts matters to them.
It’s been 50 years since I first started working at Blue Hills Trailside Museum—51 if you count volunteering. When I was a kid, my parents always let me pick a special outing on my birthday. And every year, I picked visiting Trailside. When I turned 13, I sent in a letter asking if there was anything I could do to help out. The staff accepted.
Every weekend and after school, I would ride my bike 10 miles each way to Trailside to empty trash barrels, pick up litter, clean cages, feed the animals—all routine stuff, but I loved it. Eventually, I got a part-time job taking care of the animals, collecting tickets, and assisting with any other task that needed attention. In 1970, after graduating high school, I started full time as an assistant naturalist. Back then, Garret VanWart was the sanctuary director—and a mentor. He took us out on field trips to Marina Bay in Quincy, and through a scope he set up, I saw my first snowy owl. I was hooked.
Everyone who knows me knows that I am not a tech person (I still use a flip phone). But I was the first person to put satellite transmitters on wintering snowy owls back in 2000 to understand their migration patterns. Our research was the first to prove that snowy owls returned to the arctic each spring. During this time, I used to take my son and daughter out with me to capture and release snowy owls. The transmitters have changed and so have my assistants—now I bring my granddaughters.
Over the last half century, there hasn’t been one day that I have thought of leaving the museum. This is more than just a job. This is my life’s work. I want to inspire as many people as I can to care about these precious resources that we have: to encourage and kindle excitement in every child that walks through the door; to get kids and adults to put down their phones and experience the wonders of nature up close; and to help embolden the next generation of stewards to carry on the legacy to help people better understand, appreciate, and care for the world around us so future generations have the same opportunities and more.
See a slideshow of photos from Norman’s 50 years with Blue Hills Trailside Museum and share your favorite Norman stories in the comments below!
The Pru will turn blue—Mass Audubon blue, that is—this Wednesday, December 21, at 5 pm! We’ve been selected to be part of this year’s 31 Nights of Light, hosted by the Prudential Center.
This special event was created in 2009 as a way to bring awareness to nonprofit organizations during the holidays. Each night, the top of the Prudential Tower is lit a different color in support of that night’s partner.
Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton will be on site along with Boston Nature Center (BNC) Director Julie Brandlen and BNY Mellon YouthLeaders to give some remarks before flipping the switch on behalf of Mass Audubon.
In or around the Pru thisWednesday? Stop by to say “hello” during the lighting ceremony, and meet some of Boston’s young conservation leaders!
This holiday season give the gift of rivers, forests, marshes, and meadows. For a limited time, Mass Audubon gift memberships are just $32—half off the regular rate!
Members enjoy free admission to more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries, and many other great benefits, including Explore, our quarterly newsletter, and member-only discounts on walks, talks, classes, and camps.
And membership is the gift that will keep on giving, as your purchase will help protect wildlife and wild lands in Massachusetts.
Gift Memberships will be delivered with a personal note from you. An e-card notification to your gift membership recipient is available for memberships purchased online.
Offer valid through November 30, 2016, for new members only.
For 24 hours only, receive 20% off online purchases in the Audubon Shop.*
Be sure to check out our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide, loaded with ideas for the birders, nature lovers, and outdoors enthusiasts on your list.
*Offer valid only on Monday, November 28. Some exclusions apply. Online sales only.
We are thrilled to officially announce the launch of the newly redesigned Audubon Shop online store!
The new Audubon Shop web store is now responsive and mobile-friendly with a clean, fresh look that we think you’ll love.
We hope you find the new site easy to navigate and simple to use. Take a look around and let us know what you think in the comments. Suggestions for improvement? We are all ears!
The Annual Bird Feeder Sale is here!
Through the end of August, Mass Audubon members get a double discount on bird feeders, poles, and baffles, so shop our great selection of bird feeders and supplies online and spruce up your bird feeding setup. Call or stop by the brick and mortar Audubon Shop in Lincoln for expert advice and to see our full selection of products.
Here are a few of our favorite feeders to get you inspired:
Member price: $47.96*
Nonmember price: $59.95
Perfect for the beginning birdwatcher, this feeder comes with everything you need to get started:
- Holds up to 5 pounds (or 1.2 gallons) of seed
- Includes a three-section pole for mounting the feeder
- A built-in baffle to prevent squirrels from climbing the pole
Member price: $34.36*
Nonmember price: $42.95
Attract a variety of songbirds and woodpeckers to your backyard with the naturally attractive Deluxe Cedar Feeder. The large hopper holds up to 5 pounds (1.2 gallons) of seed, and the cage on each side holds one suet cake. The roof hinge opens easily for filling and protects the seed from the weather.
Member price: $47.96*
Nonmember price: $59.95
Brome’s patented Squirrel Buster technology is truly squirrel proof. The outer cage is weight-sensitive, so when a squirrel gets onto the feeder, the cage will shift down, blocking access to the seed ports. The unique cage design also provides a great surface for birds that prefer to cling instead of perching (nuthatches, woodpeckers). Holds up to 1.4 quarts of seed.
Member price: $22.36*
Nonmember price: $27.95
Up-close observation of birds is easy with this clear, plastic window feeder. The frame attaches to the window with two suction cups. Two removable trays allow you to offer a variety of seed and make for easy up-keep.
Member price: $33.60*
Nonmember price: $42.00
This handsome feeder is made of beautiful cedar and is specially designed for woodpeckers to cling to the side and extract shelled peanuts through a grommet. Fill with shelled peanuts or nutty blend. Holds up to 1.25 quarts of seed.
Member price: $12.76*
Nonmember price: $15.95
A colorful favorite, this 8 oz hummingbird feeder has a glass bottle and 4 bright, red and yellow feeding “flowers.” The removable 4-way perch allows the tiny birds to stick around for a while, granting you maximum viewing potential. Also, it includes a hangar to attach to a branch or hook.
*Mass Audubon members always receive a 10% discount (applied at checkout). For the month of August, members also receive an additional 10% discount on bird feeders, baffles, and poles.
Father’s Day around the corner. Find these great gifts for Dad and more in our online shop, or visit the Audubon Shop in person at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, MA.
Member price: $26.96*
Nonmember price: $29.95
Follow along on a 10-week, 10-state father-son bike journey to explore the natural world and document birdsong across the nation. The book features gorgeous illustrations and QR codes so the reader can hear the birdsong of each species they encounter along the way.
Author Talk: Take Dad to hear firsthand about the trip!
Meet author Donald Kroodsma and hear more about his incredible journey.
Date: June 15, 2016
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm
Member price: $23.85*
Nonmember price: $26.50
Dad can birdwatch anytime he has a cup of coffee. Just add any hot beverage to the mug and watch the black silhouettes turn into colorful songbirds. Complete your gift with a bag of Birds & Beans certified “Bird Friendly” organic coffee. (Also available separately.)
Member price: $19.80*
Nonmember price: $22.00
This little woodpecker will happily sit on Dad’s desk, ready to assist with all of his stapling tasks. The perfect desk pet. Staples not included.
Member price: $28.80*
Nonmember price: $32.00
Member price: $12.60*
Nonmember price: $14.00
A handy tool for the faithful fisherman, this flashy fish can open bottles! It’s only 4.5 inches long so it can be slipped into a pocket or tackle box.
Member price: $18.86*
Nonmember price: $20.95
Welcome songbirds right to Dad’s window all year with this simply designed feeder. The deep tray can hold seed, fruit, or mealworms, and drainage holes keep it from filling up with water.
*Mass Audubon members always receive a 10% discount (applied at checkout).