Tag Archives: birds

Spring has Sprung: What to do in April

Knock on wood, but we think it’s safe to say no more nor-easters for this season. Celebrate the warmer weather with some good ole fashion time outdoors. April at Drumlin Farm is filled with excited newborns to visit, special events, engaging programs, and more.

  1. Spring Optics Sale – Now through April 8th, the Audubon Shop has binoculars, spotting scopes, and tripods on sale to get you ready for birding season. Treat yourself or a loved one to some new gear!
  2. Visitor Education Day: All About Birds – Have you ever visited Drumlin Farm on a Visitor Education Day? We’ll have a number of special activities taking place at the farm, all included in the price of admission! On Saturday, April 7th, it’ll be “All About Birds” with live birds to meet, bird banding demonstrations, and a take home bird craft.
  3. Spring CSA Sign Up – Produce grown right here in Boyce Field will start becoming available  in May when our Spring CSA starts. Register for your share now so you can enjoy the fresh, delicious produce through June.
  4. Sign up for Summer Camp – Get summer plans checked off of your to-do list and sign up now for Drumlin Farm camp! Our Farm Mania week makes a great first introduction to camp life for preschoolers and rising kindergarteners, or kids of any age who love farm animals. Spots are still available in our mini camps at Assabet River and Wolbach Farm as well.
  5. City Nature Challenge – They say Boston is the City of Champions, and now there’s another chance for YOU to help prove it! From April 27–30, be a part of team Boston in the worldwide City Nature Challenge (CNC)! The CNC is an international citizen science project with cities worldwide competing to explore and record all kinds of plants, animals, fungi, and even microorganisms in their area using the iNaturalist app. Accepting submissions anywhere within the I-495 corridor, Drumlin Farm is the perfect place to explore and log sightings.
  6. Froggy Night Walk – The frogs are awake and talking! Learn more about these ribbet-ing amphibians and the springtime chorus they proclaim at our family Froggy Night Walk on April 6th from 7-8:30 pm.
  7. Sorting Out the Songbirds – Want to perfect your songbird identification skills? Join us for a lecture and field trip focusing specifically on songbird identification and familiarity. After these programs, your enjoyment of these melodic birds will be enriched even further with your newfound knowledge and understanding.
  8. Intermediate Beekeeping – Intermediate Beekeeping starts Tuesday, April 24th. Lead by Massachusetts Beekeepers Association’s Beekeeper of the Year Mel Gadd, these classes will cover swarm management, splits, overwintering hives, pest and disease treatment and prevention, and other tricks of the trade. 
  9. Author Talk: Robert Thorson: The Guide to Walden Pond. Walden Pond, located just a few minutes from Drumlin Farm, is beloved for its natural beauty which inspired the famous naturalist, Henry David Thoreau. Join us for a talk and book signing by Robert Thorson, author of The Guide to Walden Pond, the first guide to this cherished natural and literary landmark.
  10. Small Scale Agriculture: Spring is Here – If you have your own home garden, this class is perfect to take it to the next level and get the most out of your personal crop. We will cover all the basics of getting your garden started. Learn about creating a working compost system, preparing a garden bed, planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, dividing herbs, pruning blueberries, raspberries and fruit trees, and choosing cover crops.

And the 2015 Bird-a-thon Winner is . . . Drumlin Farm!

Post by Drumlin Farm Volunteer Coordinator Pam Sowizral

The tallies are in: This year Drumlin Farm clinched its eleventh consecutive Bird-a-thon win, with our dedicated team of birders spotting a total of 221 species within 24 hours! (This, despite the fact that a warm-weather front had pushed migrants northward toward their summer breeding habitats in northern New England and Canada just prior to the annual fundraising event.)

Orchard Oriole  by Henry Mauer

Orchard Oriole by Henry Mauer

As competing teams assembled across the state, our team of 50 birders spread out to cover a variety of habitats—from the tree-covered hilltops of the Berkshires to the sandy beaches of

Martha’s Vineyard and all points in between. After 24 hours of exhaustive searching, Drumlin Farm team captains Kathy Seymour and Strickland Wheelock spent the evening gathering field reports.

Good identification skills, combined with being in the right place at the right time, helped our birders find spring rarities such as white-faced ibis, little blue heron, harlequin duck, Manx shearwater, northern goshawk, glaucous gull, black tern, black skimmer, common murre, red knot, warblers (including orange-crowned, cerulean, hooded, and Cape May), and vesper and Lincoln’s sparrows.

In addition to Drumlin Farm, several sanctuaries fielded excellent teams and the competition was fierce: Moose Hill in Sharon came in a (very) close second with a total of 220 species spotted, followed by Ipswich River in Topsfield, who counted 217. Congratulations to our fellow sanctuaries and their amazing supporters!

Piping Plover  by Henry Mauer

Piping Plover by Henry Mauer

All told, Drumlin Farm birders raised $50,000 to support our sanctuary’s programs and projects. We are heartened by the support we received and wish to thank all birders and donors involved in making this another successful Bird-a-thon for Mass Audubon!

To learn more about birds and birding programs, sign up to receive two of our popular e-newsletters: Drumlin Farm’s Birders Connection and Mass Audubon’s The Warbler. Or, head on over to the Birds & Birding section of our website.