Author Archives: Hillary T.

About Hillary T.

Where: Mass Audubon Headquarters, Lincoln Who: Massachusetts transplant by way of Florida and New York. Raising two young girls, who she hopes will be budding naturalists Favorite part of the job: Learning something new every day from some of the smartest and most enthusiastic groups of people

bobolink

What To Do This Weekend: May 18-19

Look for wildflowers, go birding, practice yoga, learn how to draw, kayak under a full moon, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Bobolink

Berkshires

Go on a Spring Wildflower Walk at Pleasant Valley in Lenox. Learn to use guides to look up plants we discover along the way. Bring curiosity and a magnifying lens if you have one. (adults, registration required)

More in the Berkshires

Connecticut River Valley

Sharpen your bird identification skills during a Saturday Early Morning Birding at Arcadia in Easthampton and Northampton. See many warbler species and other songbirds, like the indigo bunting and rose-breasted grosbeak. Birders of all levels are welcome. (adults, registration required)

As part of Wildflower for Families at Laughing Brook in Hampden look for wild oats, trillium, fringed polygala, lady’s slippers, and more! (families, registration required)

More in the Connecticut River Valley

Central Massachusetts

Head to Wachusett Meadow in Princeton for Yoga at the Sanctuary. In this outdoor class, connect with your breath, body, mind, and nature with Wachusett Meadow as your backdrop. (adults, registration required)

Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester is hosting a Preschool Story Hour. Listen to the story 100 Bugs, join in an activity, and head outside on a naturalist-led walk. (families, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

North Shore

Search for Edible Plants of the Seashore with Ipswich River in Marblehead. In addition to finding sylvan species like Juneberry and sassafras, you will encounter Irish moss, used to thicken desserts; dulse, a tasty and healthful substitute for chewing tobacco; and laver (or nori), the seaweed used for sushi rolls. (adults, registration required)

Enjoy Nature Walks & Journaling with Joppa Flats in Newburyport. Discover seasonal vegetation and blooms on short walks then create memorable journals using writing, drawing, watercolor painting, and photos. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Greater Boston

Visit birding hotspots in the Blue Hills during Saturday Morning Birding in Milton. Experienced birders will be leading the group to a variety of locations in the area in search of the most interesting birds. (adults, registration required)

Learn how to Draw and Paint Birds with internationally recognized artist Barry Van Dusen at the Museum of American Bird Art in Canton. (adults, registration required)

Look for Bobolinks in Norfolk with Stony Brook at the old Norfolk airstrip. This beautiful grassland is a less-birded area and a reliable breeding ground for Bobolink, swallows, and Eastern Bluebirds. (adults, registration required)

Go on a Naturalist Walk at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, exploring the sanctuary’s different habitats looking for signs of spring. (adults and children ages 12+)

Head to Habitat in Belmont for Yoga and Mindfulness. After a 45-minute slow and gentle yoga class indoors, go outside to explore the trails. The poses and flow will prepare us for a mindfully curious walk around the property. (adults, registration required)

Take a Full Moon Hike at Moose Hill in Sharon. Call for owls, test your night vision, and search the skies for constellations. (adults and families with children ages 6+)

Are you Wild about Amphibians? Head to Broadmoor in Natick to learn about our frog and salamander friends and take a short walk to our marsh and vernal pool to see more animals in the wild. (families, registration required)

Do a little Spring Gardening at Boston Nature Center. Learn how garden plants affect the soil quality, how to protect against drought and insects, and anything else you wonder about gardening! (families, registration suggested)

More in Greater Boston

Cape Cod and Islands

See Sengekontacket Pond on Martha’s Vineyard in a new light during a Moonlight Paddle. With a guide, kayak on the pond as the sun sets, stars twinkle and the moon rises. (adults and children ages 14+, registration required)

Take part in Box Turtle Tracking at Wellfleet Bay. First learn monitoring and research practices in an indoor presentation then go on an active excursion to track box turtles. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

More on Cape Cod and Islands


What To Do This Weekend: May 11-12

Go on bird walks, make cheese, look for wildflowers, celebrate Mother’s Day, see bird banding in action, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Black-and-white Warbler

Greater Boston

Go Saturday Morning Birding at Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton. Experienced birders will be leading the group to a variety of locations in the area in search of active hot spots with the most interesting birds. (adults, registration required)

During Aged Cheesemaking – The Next Level at Drumlin Farm in in Lincoln learn about cultures, beneficial bacteria, pressing, curing for aged cheeses, creating a cheese cave, and building a cheese press. (adults and children ages 12+, registration required)

Enjoy a Mother’s Day Breakfast and Nature Walk at Moose Hill in Sharon. Start with an hour-long guided walk searching for signs of spring. Return for a hearty pancake breakfast including juice, fruit, and a variety of hot beverages.

Enjoy the beauty of spring flowers as part of From Seeds to Flowers at Boston Nature Center. Observe flowers and seeds in the meadow, forest and garden, collect samples and take a closer look at the parts of a flower under a microscope. (families, registration required)

More in Greater Boston

Central Massachusetts

Take part in a Bird-a-thon Walk and Breakfast at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. After an early-morning bird walk, feast on a delicious pancake breakfast and share what you’ve seen. (adults and children, registration required)

Connect with the natural world in a healing, calming, grounding, and replenishing way through a Shinrin-Yoku “Forest Breathing” Guided Sanctuary Walk at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester. (adults, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

Connecticut River Valley

Why give Mom just a bouquet when you can give her the whole plant kingdom. On a Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk at Arcadia in Easthampton and Northampton, spend the morning learning about and looking for wildflowers. (adults, registration required)

More in the Connecticut River Valley

Berkshires

Celebrate the height of spring migration with a free Bird Walk at Lime Kiln Farm in Sheffield. Listen and look for warblers, orioles, sparrows, thrushes, and other birds, while enjoying meadow and woodland trails that provide sweeping vistas of the Berkshires and Taconic range. (adults)

More in the Berkshires

North Shore

Take part in Bird-a-thon Madness with Joppa Flats. Count as many bird species as we can throughout Essex County, possibly as many as 100, moving quickly but always making sure that everyone sees the birds. All ability levels are welcome. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Cape Cod and Islands

During Bird Research in Action! at Wellfleet Bay, meet James and the rest of the bird banding team to learn about banding methods and the information gathered from this research. You will likely get to see live birds up-close and observe the banding process. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

More on Cape Cod and Islands


Why Bird-a-thon? Let Us Count the Ways

When it comes to participating in Bird-a-thon, there are many motives. There’s the thrill of competition, the delight in seeing a bird on your life list, the support of conservation, and so much more. But don’t take it from us–read a few snippets from current team members on what motivates them to get involved.

I am offering the once-a-year, special chance to support my addiction–birding...while also benefiting our fellow creatures, including the birds, plants and frogs. In addition to raising funds for Habitat, this yearly Bird-a-thon provides a fun and often demanding 24-hour window for birding addicts to find as many different species as possible during spring migration. Habitat is special to me as it not only provides outreach programs to a range of children to help them enjoy and appreciate the outdoors, it is also the place where I started birding.” — Bobbie, Team Habitat

Waiting for a ride to the beach … I’m hoping the little Green Herons will be back again this summer. But first comes spring and Bird-a-thon. I’m raising funds for Wellfleet Bay because of all it does to make where we live so special: from restoring rare coastal heathland habitats (and habitats for little green herons!) to rescuing cold stunned sea turtles and helping youngsters discover the wonders of the outdoors.” — Lynn, Team Wellfleet Bay

Stony Brook is a gem that I have loved since I started birding back in 2009. It is also a sanctuary that I love to protect because it is a place where I want to share with my two-year-old toddler. The team engages with people about nature, helps create a safe and comfortable place where little ones can explore and discover the wonders around them, and transforms the theoretical meaning of conservation into practical sense. The people who work at Stony Brook are amazing, patient, and passionate people. I am proud to be able to support their work, so that they can continue to do what they do best: helping people to enjoy nature and helping protect special places like Stony Brook for future generations.” Hung, Team Stony Brook

My grandson Liam was thrilled to add a Sandhill Crane to his life list two years ago. He will be joining me again this year. He’s a good little birder. He’s excellent at spotting and listening. ” — Mary, Team Coastal Waterbird Program

“I was browsing in the shop at Drumlin Farm and my eye was caught by the display of a book, The Lost Words. A poster beside the book explained that the authors had been dismayed when the Oxford Junior Dictionary decided to omit some words to make room for other “words that had more relevance for children today.” The words omitted included clover, acorn, dandelion, fern, heron, newt, and wren. The new words added included analog, blog, broadband, chatroom and voicemail. Children and adults alike need nature. And we need to support places like Drumlin Farm that provide a place to see our food grown, take a walk in the woods and listen to the wind bringing birdsong to our ears.” – Jacquelyn, Team Drumlin Farm

Feeling inspired?

It’s not too late to join a team to bird, raise money, or both! Find out how at massaudubon.org/birdathon.

Thank you to Bird-a-thon 2019 sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor
Media Sponsor

What To Do This Weekend: May 4-5

Look for wildflowers, meet goats, go on bird walks, gaze at the stars, build a fairy house, volunteer, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Goat at Habitat

Greater Boston

Go on a Spring Bird Walk at Boston Nature Center. Local bird enthusiasts will help us find and identify birds through field marks, sounds, and behaviors. Birders of all levels will enjoy these guided walks.

Enjoy a Herb Sale & Goat Gala at Habitat in Belmont. Get a season’s worth of herbs in the morning and then in the afternoon get a chance to interact with our friendly herd of Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

Saturday is Pollinator Day at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln. See a live beehive opening and beekeeping demonstrations, shop vendors with pollinator-related products, and learn about gardening for pollinators. Children will keep busy and have fun with hands-on activities.

Become a citizen scientist by Learning to Study Fireflies at Moose Hill in Sharon. Find out what to observe and how to submit your observations. (families, registration required)

Head to Blue Hills for Spring Stargazing and a Campfire. After enjoying the sunset from the top of the hill, we’ll check out the moons of Jupiter. With some luck, we may catch sight of some early Eta Aquarid meteors. (adults and children ages 6+, registration required)

Celebrate spring with a little food, fun, and birdsong on as part of Birds & Breakfast at Broadmoor in Natick. Explore the sanctuary on a naturalist-led bird walk, then enjoy a homemade breakfast at the Nature Center. (adults and children, registration required)

Take a free Sunday Bird and Plant Walk at Stony Brook in Norfolk to look for any warblers, waterfowl, and wildflowers. (adults, registration required)

More in Greater Boston

North Shore

Get to know Amazing Animal Families at Ipswich River in Topsfield. Walk through different habitats and investigate which young animals stay with their families and which go it alone. (families, registration required)

Go Saturday Morning Birding in the Newburyport/Plum Island are — one of the best year-round birding locations in the country. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

More on the North Shore

South of Boston

Attend a Fairy House Workshop at Oak Knoll in Attleboro to take a hike and learn about the legends of the fairies and trolls that live at Oak Knoll. After, build your very own fairy house. (adults and children, registration required)

More in South of Boston

Cape Cod and Islands

During Bird Research in Action! at Wellfleet Bay, meet James and the rest of the bird banding team to learn about banding methods and the information gathered from this research. You will likely get to see live birds up-close and observe the banding process. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

Attend a Climate Cafe at the Rosewater Cafe in Edgartown to have a conversation about recycling. Don’t forget to bring your mug! (adults and children ages 10+)

More on Cape Cod and Islands

Central Massachusetts

Find out if Woodpeckers Get Headaches at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester. Learn how these amazing birds jackhammer trees for their dinner, then walk the trails to search for five different species of woodpeckers. (adults and children ages 6+, registration required)

Go on a Spring Bird Walk at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton and practice identification based on sight and sound. Especially suitable for backyard birders, and beginner and intermediate birders. (adults, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

Connecticut River Valley

Attend the Valley Bird Festival at Arcadia in Easthampton and Northampton. This day of learning features bird walks, games, activities, and live bird of prey programs.

More in the Connecticut River Valley

Berkshires

Take a Spring Wildflower Walk at Lime Kiln Farm in Sheffield. Enjoy a leisurely walk and observe early blooming flowers. (adults, registration required)

Lend a hand as part of a Pleasant Valley Volunteer Day in Lenox. Help care for beautiful native gardens, trails/boardwalks, and education spaces.

More in the Berkshires

Piping Plover

City Nature Challenge — Accepted!

Our TerraCorps member Nick Tepper took over the Mass Audubon iNaturalist account from April 26 to April 29 to participate in Boston’s City Nature Challenge: a fun-filled citizen science competition to document biodiversity around the world.

Nick submitted over 400 observations and documented over 220 species. Here are some of his favorite photos from the challenge:

Piping Plover doing some yoga

Blue Grosbeak hawking insects out of the air

Post-breeding female Blue-spotted Salamander

Hundreds of Wood Frog eggs hatching

And a Gray Catbird singing away!

iNaturalist & Mass Audubon

Check out what people are seeing at Mass Audubon’s wildlife sanctuaries and share your own sightings through the iNaturalist Mass Audubon Project.

American Robin

What To Do This Weekend: April 27-28

Volunteer, go birding, take a nature walk, explore vernal pools, attend a climate cafe, search for salamanders, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

American Robin

Statewide

Lend a helping hand at one of 14 wildlife sanctuaries as part of Statewide Volunteer Day on Saturday morning. (adults and children, registration required)

Greater Boston

Explore a Vernal Pool at Broadmoor in Natick and discover some of the fantastic creatures that live there, from frogs and tadpoles to fairy shrimp. (families, registration required)

Head to Stony Brook in Norfolk for an Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration. Expect children’s nature games and crafts, music, tree planting demonstrations, and a guided walking tour.

Go on a Family Nature Exploration at Moose Hill in Sharon. Enjoy a short walk where you will have plenty of time to observe, explore, and discover. (families, registration required)

Start your Sunday with Daybreak Birding at Rock Meadow in Belmont with Habitat Education Center. (adults, registration required)

Do a little Spring Gardening at Boston Nature Center. Learn how garden plants affect the soil quality, how to protect against drought and insects, and anything else you wonder about gardening! (families, registration suggested)

More in Greater Boston

North Shore

Go Saturday Morning Birding in the Newburyport/Plum Island are — one of the best year-round birding locations in the country. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

Take a Salamander Meander at Ipswich River in Topsfield searching the sanctuary’s wetlands and woodlands for salamanders and other amphibians on the move. (families, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Central Massachusetts

Connect with the natural world in a healing, calming, grounding, and replenishing way through a Shinrin-Yoku “Forest Breathing” Guided Sanctuary Walk at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. (adults, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

Connecticut River Valley

Join botanist and author Ted Elliman and learn about the Wildflowers of New England. Start with an indoor presentation then go for a walk to witness the diversity of wildflowers found on Arcadia’s 700 acres.

More in the Connecticut River Valley

Berkshires

Attend a Climate Cafe in Pittsfield to take part in a fun, informal conversation on climate change and how it impacts every one of us. Share your ideas and learn how to take action!

More in the Berkshires

South of Boston

Go on a River Herring Ramble at Tidmarsh in Plymouth to help monitor the return of river herring. Discover why they’re a vital part of coastal ecosystems in Massachusetts and throughout the Atlantic Coast. (adults and children, registration required)

Experience Awesome Amphibians at Oak Knoll in Attleboro. After a short talk, go for a hike to see where we might find some! (adults and children, registration required)

More in South of Boston

Cape Cod and Islands

During Bird Research in Action! at Wellfleet Bay, meet James and the rest of the bird banding team to learn about banding methods and the information gathered from this research. You will likely get to see live birds up-close and observe the banding process. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

Attend an Osprey Monitoring Training Program at Felix Neck in Edgartown to learn about osprey and help our island population by becoming a nest monitor. Volunteers are assigned a nest for the duration of the monitoring season, which runs from late April through September. (adults, registration required)

More on Cape Cod and Islands

loving our local outdoors in partnership with REI

UPDATE: REI Member Vote Grant

Great news! Mass Audubon received 34% of all votes in REI’s first-ever “Loving Our Local Outdoors” member vote grant in New England.

The Award

As a result, we will receive $15,500 to split between two projects.

  • On the South Coast of Massachusetts, we will build new trails at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary to create an amazing eight-mile circuit trail that allows hikers to experience beautiful beach, grassland, and salt marsh habitat.
  • Just west of Boston, at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, we will repair and reroute nine miles of hiking trails that have eroded due to heavy use and flooding over the years, creating an improved visitor experience.

Both projects will include ADA-accessible trail additions and enhancements, such as observation platforms and a boardwalk, so that people of all abilities can get out and enjoy nature.

Here’s How it Worked

Between March 7 and April 9, 2019, REI members who made an in-store purchase were encouraged to vote for one of three local stewardship projects—Mass Audubon, Appalachian Mountain Club, or Save the Bay—via an in-store display. Participating stores included Boston, Cranston (RI), Framingham, Hingham, and Reading.

Our sincerest thanks to our supporters and to REI members for making this happen! And to REI for supporting our mission to connect even more people with nature.  

Make the World a Greener Place

On April 22, 1970, some 20 million Americans demanded clean air and water. Since then, the Environmental Protection Agency was formed, the Clean Air & Water Act passed, and the Endangered Species Act was implemented to protect our most vulnerable wildlife.

While much has improved over the last 49 years, we are still fighting for our planet. And Mass Audubon continues to be at the forefront by:

  • Protecting 38,000 acres of land across Massachusetts
  • Fighting for strong environmental policies on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill
  • Teaching kids and adults about the importance of protecting nature for people and wildlife
  • Providing places for everyone to get out and enjoy nature

You can help us do so much more. In honor of Earth Day, make the world a greener place with a gift to Mass Audubon.

Osprey © David Ennis

What To Do This Weekend: April 20-21

Take part in an egg hunt, check for osprey, clean up a beach, go birding, search for salamanders, look for wildflowers, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Osprey © David Ennis
Osprey © David Ennis

South of Boston

Go on an Egg Hunt at Oak Knoll in Attleboro. Dye eggs with natural dyes, create a bird nest, match different eggs to the animals that laid them, meet live rabbits, and search the sanctuary for hidden eggs! (families, registration required)

Help Allens Pond in South Dartmouth conduct Osprey Nest Checks along the Westport River. Along the way, learn valuable insight into the lives of osprey. (all ages, registration required)

More in South of Boston

Cape Cod and Islands

During Bird Research in Action! at Wellfleet Bay, meet James and the rest of the bird banding team to learn about banding methods and the information gathered from this research. You will likely get to see live birds up-close and observe the banding process. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

Take part in an Earth Day Beach Clean Up at Felix Neck in Edgartown. Walk along our shoreline collecting trash along the way. Afterwards head on over to the after-party at Sailing Camp Park in Oak Bluffs.

More on Cape Cod and Islands

Central Massachusetts

Get to know Spring Wildflowers during one of Broad Meadow Brook’s Essential Nature classes in Worcester. (adults, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

North Shore

Go Saturday Morning Birding in the Newburyport/Plum Island are — one of the best year-round birding locations in the country. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

Make a Cedar Bark Basket at Ipswich River in Topsfield. While working, discuss the harvest and preparation of materials, as well as the history behind the discovery and replication of these very old baskets. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Greater Boston

Birders and non-birders of all ages and skill levels are invited for a Morning Bird Walk at Habitat in Belmont. Look for signs of migrating species, mating behaviors, and nest building.

During Salamanders and Citizen Science at Moose Hill in Sharon, hike to a vernal pool, look for egg masses, determine if they are yellow spotted salamander or wood frog, and count how many egg masses of each type we find. (families, registration required)

Become a Neighborhood Naturalist at Boston Nature Center. Using the iNaturalist app, identify the wildlife we find and help scientists collect valuable information on species populations and distributions. (families, registration required)

More in Greater Boston

Tree Swallow

What To Do This Weekend: Apr 13-14

Practice yoga, go on a nature walk, search for hawks, learn how to garden for butterflies, attend a sheep festival, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Tree Swallow

Greater Boston

Experience Yoga and Mindfulness at Habitat in Belmont. After a 45-minute slow and gentle yoga class indoors, head outside to explore the trails. (adults, registration required)

Go on a Naturalist Walk at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, exploring the sanctuary’s different habitats looking for signs of spring. (adults and children ages 12+)

Meet at Blue Hills Trailside Museum for a Woodcock Walk. Learn a little about these strange birds before venturing out in search of a male bird displaying. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

Enjoy a Spring Nature Walk at Boston Nature Center. Observe the beauty of spring flowers in bloom, listen to the birds as they start returning from their winter grounds, and watch for animals tracks in the fresh mud. (families, registration required)

Are you Wild about Reptiles? If so head to Broadmoor in Natick to meet some of the species of reptiles up close and take a short walk to see more reptiles in the wild.

Take a Sunday Saunter at Moose Hill in Sharon to experience nature through the seasons. This walk will focus on vernal pool ecology. (adults)

More in Greater Boston

North Shore

Head over to Ipswich River in Topsfield to learn how to Attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds to Your Landscape. Get info on landscaping with native plants and learn why they are necessary to sustain native insect, bird, and animal species. (adults, registration required)

Experience Spring Hawkwatching with Joppa Flats in Newburyport. Start with an indoor presentation to find out everything you need to know before heading out on a field trip to Plum Island to practice your hawk ID skills. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Central Massachusetts

Meet Finch, Monarch, Willow, and the rest of Wachusett Meadow’s flock during the Sheep and Wool Festival in Princeton. Enjoy sheep shearing demonstrations, local vendors, crafters, kid’s activities, and more.

Bring your preschooler to Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester for Story Hour. Listen to a story, go for a walk, and make a craft. (families, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

Connecticut River Valley

Explore Arcadia’s unique floodplain forest during Canoeing Mill River in Easthampton and Northampton. Identify spring plants on the shore, as well as aquatic plants, look for returning songbirds, and watch for Great Blue Herons. (adults registration required)

More in the Connecticut River Valley

Cape Cod and Islands

Celebrate Spring at Wellfleet Bay during a leisurely hike to discover flowers blooming, birds returning and more as the sanctuary springs back to life. (adults registration required)

Spend the afternoon in the Chillmark Library for Chowder and Chat. Learn about Felix Neck’s citizen science programs and enjoy some chowder.

More on Cape Cod and Islands