Category Archives: Stuff We Love

Young Explorers Coloring Contest: Warblers by Number

In the spring issue of Explore member newsletter, we asked kids to fill in a color-by-numbers page of native warblers and send us a picture of themselves with their completed coloring sheet. One lucky artist will win a copy of the Sibley Birds Coloring Field Journal, signed by David Sibley himself, and the entries have been pouring in!

Here are a few of the entries we have received so far. It’s hard not to love seeing all these smiles! If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to enter the contest. Simply download and print the Warblers By Number activity sheet from our website and send us a picture of you with your completed coloring page. The winner will be chosen on April 14, so don’t delay!

Most Popular Facebook Posts of 2016

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: Norman Smith

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.

Norman Smith releasing a snowy owl photo © John Cole

Norman Smith releasing a snowy owl. Photo © John Cole

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!

Lighting Up the Pru

31nol_logo_2016_bThe 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!

Looking for the perfect gift? Think outside the box!

Gift Memberships

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.

Learn more about all the great benefits of Mass Audubon membership, and purchase your gift memberships today for half off the regular rate.

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.

Audubon Shop Online Gets a Makeover

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!

Audubon Shop Screen Capture

August Feeder Sale: Get 20% Off Feeders, Poles, and Baffles

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:

Classic Pole FeederDeluxe Cedar Hopper and Suet FeederSquirrel Buster Bird Seed Feeder


Classic Pole Feeder

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

Deluxe Cedar Hopper and Suet Feeder

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.

Squirrel Buster Classic Feeder

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.


Cedar Woodpecker Feeder

Perky Pet Pinch-Wait Hummingbird Feeder

Buffet Window Feeder

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.

Cedar Woodpecker Feeder

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.

Pinch-Waist Hummingbird Feeder

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.