Frazer Point Early Bird Watch

A somewhat unusual siting for Acadia National Park is this Prairie Warbler in fall plumage during early (morning) flight monitoring. Photo by Jason Bojczyk.

A somewhat unusual sighting for Acadia National Park is this Prairie Warbler in fall plumage during early (morning) flight monitoring. Photo by Jason Bojczyk.

Frazer Point Early Bird Watch is the third and newest migration monitoring program being conducted by the Schoodic Institute Bird Ecology Program.  The public is invited to join the observation gathering and witness songbird migration, learn identification tips, gain bird conservation knowledge, and find out about a variety of opportunities to participate as a Schoodic Institute citizen scientist.

Songbird morning or early flight is thought to be an extension of the previous night’s nocturnal migration urge, especially when wind and weather conditions combine to stimulate bird migratory restlessness. Generally, songbirds are moving in a southbound direction. However, having landed on the Schoodic Peninsula, thwarted by the potential travails of continued flight out over open water, yet still wanting to continue, the birds follow the tree tops of the peninsula’s edge heading north! At Frazer Point, a water barrier of halting size at the peninsula’s north end acts like a migratory stoplight. Here, the still restless birds, hesitate, stage in the tree tops, seeming to muster the courage and gather energy to continue their flight toward to the mainland of Winter Harbor. Hundreds to a thousand birds or more can be seen on some mornings when conditions are perfect. Not all mornings produce such terrific results. It is this phenomenon that we seek to understand better through ongoing monitoring and research, and we can use your help.

Watch for date listings on our events page in the spring and fall. Simply show up with binoculars and remember to dress for the weather. For more information email sbenz@schoodicinstitute.org or call 288-1350.