The first meeting of the members of the Boxborough Birders was held on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at Sargent Memorial Library in Boxborough. The featured speaker was ornithologist Becky Harris, PhD., whose fascinating talk “Plovers and Terns and Oystercatchers, Oh My!” recounted her work as director of Mass Audubon’s Coastal Waterbird Program. She illustrated her talk with photos of piping plovers, least terns, American oystercatchers, and other birds that nest on the beaches of Massachusetts as she detailed the conservation successes of the program and the continuing challenges facing these birds.
Contact Information: Boxborough Birders, https://boxboroughbirders.org/, Rita Grossman, 978-264-4077.
Plovers and Terns and Oystercatchers, Oh My!
Beach Nesting Birds of Massachusetts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boxborough, Mass. – Boxborough Birders is proud to present local ornithologist Becky Harris, PhD, with her talk: “Plovers and Terns and Oystercatchers, Oh My! Beach Nesting Birds of Massachusetts,” at Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Massachusetts Avenue, Boxborough, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 7 pm.
Dr. Harris teaches conservation biology at Tufts University for the Masters in Conservation Medicine Program. She has served as director of Mass Audubon’s Coastal Waterbird Program where she oversaw monitoring, management, and protection of threatened beach nesting birds and their habitats at over 100 sites throughout southeastern MA.
Before arriving at Mass Audubon in June of 2006, Dr. Harris held a research faculty appointment at Tufts Center for Conservation Medicine, directing the Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET), which she founded in 2002. SEANET is a long-term collaborative effort using seabirds as indicators of marine and coastal ecosystem health.
“I was lucky enough to find my dream job, but it reinforced for me how challenging on-the-ground conservation work is, and how critical the Endangered Species Act is―a conservation success story, but only if we keep working tirelessly.”
Concurrent with the presentation, there will be a bird photography exhibit (which begins April 16); table exhibits on bird houses, photographing birds, and resources on getting started in birding; as well as recommended guide books and phone apps. A brief welcome to all members will precede the presentation and Q&A with our speaker will follow the program. Light refreshments provided.
This program is open to all ages. Please join us on Tuesday, May 1 at 7 pm, and bring a friend!
Boxborough Birders is an enthusiastic group of bird watchers from Boxborough, Massachusetts and nearby towns, including Acton, Harvard, Stow, and Littleton. The group focuses primarily on local “patches” (habitats) in studying and learning about resident and migratory bird species.
The group organizes walks throughout the year, especially during spring and fall migration, and members post their observations (and often photos) from each scheduled walk to eBird (eBird is the world’s largest citizen science biodiversity program; it is managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which receives over 100 million bird sightings each year to its database from bird observers). Boxborough Birders also shares lists with group members via the Boxborough Birders Google group. In the winter, the group participates in the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count as part of the Concord circle. New members are always welcome. Visit https://groups.google.com/d/forum/boxboroughbirders to join! This is the first meeting of the members for the Boxborough Birders.
Goals for the new design:
- reduced web hosting costs
- responsive design for viewing on mobile devices
- theme (design template) that uses image dimensions that work well with photos of birds (square or portrait, rather than wide landscape)
- showcase member photographers, with photos in the design and in photo galleries
Choices for Themes
- Adaption (good)
- Bushwick (good)
- Imbalance 2 (header image dimensions good)
- Publish (good header image dimensions)
- Fiore (good header image, color choices limited, menu problematic)
- Twenty Twelve (wide header image)
- Writr (no menu for static pages?)
- Zoren (wide header image)
- Responsive (difficult to arrange desktop design)
- Skylark (wide header image)
- Expound (wide header image)
- Sight (wide header image)
- Skeptical (wide header image)
- Origin (wide header image)
- San Kloud (header image wide)
- Hatch (wide header image)
- Next Saturday (wide header image)
- Widely (header image somewhat wide)
- Ascetica (header image wide)
- Esquire (no header image)
- Coraline (current theme on old site, wide header image)
Notes about header image size: “While you can crop images to your liking after clicking Add new image, your theme recommends a header size of 345 × 240 pixels.”
This is a sample blog post. For the current Boxborough Birders blog, visit http://www.boxboroughbirders.org/blog/.
Today the Boxborough Birders Group explored Heath Hen Meadows in Acton. We walked from Mt. Hope Cemetery down to the bridge and across the end of Robbins St., then back partly by a different trail. Pine warbler, flickers, and many bluebirds were among the highlights.
Full bird list:
In eBird, you may find that a public hot spot has been created for a location where you already have recorded sightings in a personal location. The easiest way to reassign your reports from your personal location to the hot spot, is to merge your location into the hot spot.
- In eBird, go to the My eBird tab.
- Click on the Manage My Locations link on the right.
- Find the location you want to merge, and click on the Edit link in that row on the right.
- Your location will be shown with a green marker.
- Choose the Merge radio button. Any nearby hot spots will be shown with red flame markers.
- Click on the hot spot you want to merge your location with. The screen will show how many checklists will be merged (e.g. “Merge 2 checklists with Acton Arboretum”).
- Click on the Merge button, and confirm.
It was a cold but beautiful autumn morning for a visit to Steele Farm in Boxborough. When we arrived, a red-tailed hawk was sitting at the top of one of the dead trees with the morning sun directly on it, and it hung around long enough for Ginny to capture the photos below.
A Cooper’s hawk made a very brief appearance at the edge of the woods. Yellow-rumped warblers were everywhere, and we watched a large flock of them flitting through the woods eating poison ivy berries. A large bird with pointed wings and shallow wing beats flew over, possibly a peregrine falcon.
Click on the images below for larger views.
eBird has introduced a new feature called the Hotspot Explorer. It lets you zoom in on a map to see where all the hotspots are in a given area and compare the number of species recorded at each hotspot.
Species counts at various hotspots near Boxborough as of September 12, 2013:
|Great Meadows – Concord||241|
|Bolton Flats WMA||202|
|Assabet River NWR||156|
|Nine Acre Corner||130|
|Littleton Heron Rookery||81|
|School St Fields||77|
|Concord Rotary Prison Fields||61|
|Long Lake Park||54|