Category Archives: Special Events

One of four beer labels. Artwork by Allison Tanenhaus.

Aeronauts of a Feather

Aeronaut_For the Birds Brew/ Lee Hatfield
Aeronaut Brewing Co/Lee Hatfield

Nature nerds and avian admirers rejoice: our collaborative brew, For the Birds, with Aeronaut Brewing Co. in Somerville is here, and we’ve got an evening of fun lined up at the brewery to celebrate on Tuesday, September 3!

  • Enjoy a pint of our collaboration beer, “For the Birds”
  • Purchase a limited-release t-shirt, featuring the work of local artist Allison Tanenhaus
  • Mingle with birds of prey at a live raptor demo
  • Have some fun with trivia inspired by our feathered friends

About the Beer

One of four beer labels. Artwork by Allison Tanenhaus.
One of four beer labels. Artwork by Allison Tanenhaus.

“For the Birds” is a 5.6% New England IPA (NEIPA), brewed with malted millet and a variety of four tropical fruity hops. Light, hazy, and fruity, it’s highly drinkable!

Four packs will be available at the brewery for to-go sales as well as at select Massachusetts retails while supplies last.

Event Lineup

6–7:30 pm | Raptor Meet n’ Greet

Don’t miss the chance to see raptors from Mass Audubon’s Blue Hills Trailside Museum up close and learn about their unique adaptations.

From Massachusetts’ smallest falcon to their largest hawk, you never know whoooo you might meet!

8–10:30 pm | Indie Trivia: Bird-Nerd Edition

Birds are everywhere: in music, film, literature; cities, suburbs, at sea—you might be surprised by how much you know!

Come for the winged whimsy and good humor, if you’re lucky you may leave with a special Mass Audubon-awarded prize for best team name!

Location & More Info

Aeronaut Brewing Co is located at 17 Tyler Street in Somerville. For more information, check out the official Facebook Event page.

Bird and Moon Comics

Q&A With Rosemary Mosco of Bird and Moon Comics

Rosemary Mosco is a naturalist, science communicator, and cartoonist

Photo by Adrianne Mathiowetz

Rosemary Mosco is a naturalist, science communicator, and the brilliant cartoonist behind Bird and Moon science and nature cartoons. (She’s also a former member of Mass Audubon’s Marketing team, so you may recognize her name from past posts on this blog!)

We had the pleasure of chatting with Rosemary recently about her artwork, inspiration, and brand new book, Birding Is My Favorite Video Game: Cartoons about the Natural World from Bird and Moon, which shows the funny side of nature (yes, there is one!) and why comics and science are natural allies. Read on to hear more from Rosemary about making unloved creatures lovable, fashion tips from nature, and finding the humor in everything.

To meet Rosemary in person, join us at the Drumlin Farm Nature Center in Lincoln on Thursday, June 21, from 7:30–8:45 pm for an Author Talk & Book Signing. The event is free to Mass Audubon members ($5 for nonmembers) and copies of the book will be available for purchase through the Mass Audubon Shop.


How long have you been drawing comics and when did you start intertwining nature topics and humor?

I can’t remember when I started drawing comics, but I must have been pretty young. I had piles of newspaper comic books—lots of Bloom County, Cathy, For Better Or For Worse, Calvin and Hobbes. I’d draw my own strips about people, politics, and the embarrassing bands I liked to listen to.

I was always obsessed with nature, but I had an epiphany about blending nature and humor when I was at a nature-based summer camp. A guy from the local natural history museum came by to give a lecture, but he didn’t stand in front of us and talk. He put a huge drawing pad on the floor and we clustered around it. He talked about dinosaurs and drew pictures of them at the same time and did funny voices! I thought, “Wait, this is a career option?” His jokes helped me remember the important facts. I was hooked.

Where does your inspiration come from? How do you choose your subjects?

I spend time reading a lot of journal articles and field guides, I go to lectures, and I hike a lot. Nature is endlessly inspirational. The really hard part is coming up with jokes. I just sort of have to wait until I come across a funny idea. Sometimes it can take a long time!

I love drawing colorful birds, but I also try to talk about animals that people don’t like. I want to encourage people to love the unloved critters—bacteria that live on your skin, vomiting vultures, mucus-covered hagfish, stinky snakes, etc.

Birding is My Favorite Video Game by Rosemary MoscoYou use several different illustration styles in the book—where/when did you learn to draw and how did you develop your unique style(s)?

My comic output is pretty slow. I drew this book’s comics over the past 15 years! That’s a long time and my style has changed considerably. Most of that is because I’ve been experimenting. I’ve had training in writing but not in illustration. I’ve taken a few painting classes and other art classes over the years.

I just try different things and see what works. I’m always learning. I try to make each critter look relatable, with big eyes or smiles or familiar expressions. But I include important field marks, too.

How do you strike a balance between engaging meaningfully with a topic and avoiding difficult-to-understand jargon?

It’s a balancing act, and I feel like I’m always learning. A science writer once told me, “We tend to underestimate our readers’ intelligence and overestimate their vocabulary.”

Sometimes scientists and science writers use huge words, and when people don’t understand us, we assume it’s because they’re not smart. But people can understand any concept you throw at them if you use the right words. That’s why I try to avoid jargon unless I’m speaking to a scientific audience or I want people to learn a fun new word.

Do you have any favorites from the book?

I’m really proud of Fashion Tips From Nature. Animals have the weirdest appendages for courtship or protection from predators and I love the idea of people exploiting those styles—wearing a shirt that looks like poop, for example, so that nobody will approach them.

A few years ago, a museum in Ithaca called PRI’s Museum of the Earth did an exhibit on my comics, and they had a fashion corner where people could try on weird animal-inspired clothes. It was ridiculously fun.

Any advice for young naturalists looking to approach nature and science from a new angle?

Everyone has their own unique style and perspective. We’ve all got something special to offer. If you think about what you love and how to convey it, you’ve already taken the most important step!

Also, try to find the humor in everything. Nature is full of ups and downs, joys and heartbreaks. Laughter will help keep you going.


To learn more and have a few good laughs with Rosemary, join us at the Drumlin Farm Nature Center in Lincoln, on Thursday, June 21, from 7:30–8:45 pm for an Author Talk & Book Signing.

Want to Make a Difference? Learn How from Young Leaders

Mass Audubon is partnering with Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) to show a selection of uplifting short films from the Young Voices for the Planet film series. These films document youth speaking out, creating solutions, and inspiring actions including:

  • Florida students saved their school $53,000 in energy costs
  • An 11-year-old German boy planted millions of trees
  • Three local stars from Lexington, MA changed laws to allow for more solar power

Four short films will be followed by conversation with the Lexington stars of “Save Tomorrow”. Admission is free and open to the public.

MCAN Climate Movie Night schedule:

There are THREE showings!

May 3: Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 S Great Rd, Lincoln, MA 01773 »

May 8: Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan, MA »

May 10: Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot Street, Natick, MA 01760 » 

See you there!

 

Rocky Neck Art Colony Exhibition and Lecture Series

Final-For-The-Birds-Events-FlyerMass Audubon is pleased to partner with the Rocky Neck Art Colony for their extraordinary six-week exhibition “For the Birds.”

Juried by Amy Montague, the Director of the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon, the exhibition features multimedia artwork that celebrates the songs, vivid colors and enormous variety of bird species attracted to Cape Ann’s coastal waters, marshes, and waterways often bring with them both birding enthusiasts and artists, each drawn by their vibrant visual appeal.

The exhibition will include four special programs open to the public:

  • Opening Reception on Sunday, January 31 at 2 pm
  • John J. Audubon, His Life and Art talk by noted local author Chris Leahy, Bertrand Chair of Field Ornithology at Mass Audubon, on Thursday, February 11 at 7 pm
  • Beautiful Birds of Cape Ann talk by Kim Smith on February 18 at 7 pm
  • “The Artful Birdhouse,” an auction of original, artist-created birdhouses on Sunday February 21, at 1 pm

All of the events will take place at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester, MA.

The Messenger: Film Screening and Discussion on December 3

The_Messenger_WebsiteJoin Wayne Petersen, Mass Audubon’s Director of Important Bird Areas Program, and Joan Walsh, Mass Audubon’s Director of Bird Monitoring, on Thursday, December 3 at 7:30 pm for the Massachusetts premiere of the new documentary The Messenger: Imagine a World Without Birdsong at The Regent Theatre in Arlington as well as a post-screening discussion.

Purchase tickets

Film Synopsis

For thousands of years, songbirds were regarded by mankind as messengers from the gods. Today, these creatures—woven inextricably into the fabric of our environment—are vanishing at an alarming rate. Under threat from climate change, pesticides, and more, populations of hundreds of species have dipped dramatically.

As scientists, activists, and bird enthusiasts investigate this phenomenon, amazing secrets of the bird world come to light for the first time in this acclaimed and visually thrilling documentary. Find out what’s killing our songbirds, and what can be done about it. As in ancient times, songbirds may once again be carrying a message to humans—one that we ignore at our own peril.

Watch the trailer at the official film site.

About Wayne Petersen

Wayne R Petersen is Director of the Massachusetts Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program at the Mass Audubon. He was the Field Ornithologist at Mass Audubon for 15 years before assuming the position of IBA Director in 2005. As co-author of Birds of Massachusetts (1993) and co-editor of the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas 1 & 2 (2003, 2013), his knowledge of the habitats, distribution, and status of the Commonwealth’s bird life is both extensive and wide-ranging.

As a New England Regional Editor for North American Birds magazine and editor of the New England Christmas Bird Count for National Audubon, Wayne’s knowledge of the seasonal distribution of New England bird life give him a wide perspective when thinking about Important Bird Areas in Massachusetts and beyond. In 2005 Wayne was the recipient of the American Birding Association’s Ludlow Griscom Award for outstanding contributions in regional ornithology.

About Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh has been watching, and learning from, birds for 35 years and has been the Director of Bird Monitoring at Mass Audubon since 2006. During her career she has focused on research that has direct implications for bird conservation. This interest led to enlisting hundreds of citizen scientists for the creation of the highly regarded Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas 2 and two State of the Birds of Massachusetts reports.

She was a Farallon Island biologist where she studied Elephant Seals, Tufted Puffins, Brandt’s Cormorants, Western Gulls, and even did a little Great White Shark work. She went to graduate school in Georgia, where she studied Wood Storks, and was the former Director of Research at Cape May Bird Observatory in NJ. Her formative years as an ornithologist were spent on Great Gull Island, NY, home to the largest colonies of Common and Roseate Terns in the North Atlantic.

Wellfleet Bay Educator to Present at Boston Sea Rovers on March 9

Amy FleischerWellfleet Bay’s Education Coordinator Amy Fleischer wants to know: What ignites a person’s passion to become a lifelong learner, active conservationist, or part of the scientific process?

For Amy, as a young child, it was Dr. Eugenie Clark—a pioneering female scientist known as “The Shark Lady.” Dr. Clark is world-famous for having founded the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL, among other accomplishments, and was a marine biology professor at the University of Maryland for 32 years. Four species of fish have been named after her and she received the esteemed Explorers Club Medal.

So you can image Amy’s delight when, in 2009, she joined Dr. Clark on a research expedition to the Flores Sea in Indonesia to study a new species of sand diver fish, Trichonotus elegans.

“Dr. Clark’s driving curiosity and passion for the ocean blasted through the boundaries that existed for female scientists, and paved the way for me,” explains Amy. “To be able to learn first-hand from her, to dive with her, was one of the highlights of my life.”

tricky fishOn March 9, Amy will present Dive into Science: In Search of “Tricky Fish” in the Flores Sea with Dr. Eugenie Clark at the Boston Sea Rovers’ Annual Clinic in Danvers. In addition, she will lead a hands-on sea turtle activity for children at the show.

The Boston Sea Rovers is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of the marine environment and is one of the oldest and most distinguished underwater groups in America. This year’s clinic will include presentations and films from some of the top marine life experts, filmmakers, and photographers (including National Geographic Photographer Brian Skerry).

“As a science teacher, I want to create these connections that help to motivate action, whether that means inspiring people to work in the sciences or to be an informed citizen,” says Amy.

Come find what inspires you! To learn more about the Boston Sea Rovers event and to purchase tickets, visit www.bostonsearovers.com.