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Barn owl chicks in a nesting box on Nantucket Harbor in Shimmo.

Nantucket Birding Weekend 2015 is Oct. 16-18

Full schedule below


This is a repost on behalf of the Linda Loring Nature Foundation, which is holding its 2015 Nantucket Birding Weekend Oct. 16-18. I'll do a more personalized post as we get closer to the event.

2015 Nantucket Birding Weekend

Ready for some birding adventures? The Linda Loring Nature Foundation is hosting its fifth Nantucket Birding Weekend October 16-18 and you can register now. 

Past festivals have enjoyed outstanding birds punctuated by mega- rarities. The 2013 weekend surprised with the discovery of a wayward Calliope Hummingbird from the mountains of the western U.S. This species is North America's smallest bird. 

And the 2012 weekend produced the excitement of the first confirmed record of a Gray-tailed Tattler in the eastern United States. This Asian species has only three confirmed records for the entire United States. 

The 2015 Birding Weekend promises another exciting weekend with some of the finest bird watching on the eastern seaboard. Birds departing their breeding grounds in the north woods are aided by northwest winds that frequently push them beyond the coast and many birds arrive on the island's shores after large nocturnal migrations. The birding can be good at any location around the island. 

Keynote Speaker, Mark Robbins, Collection Manager at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, will speak Saturday night about his amazing research that takes him to remote locations around the world. 
You can find information about the Birding Weekend at

Birding Weekend Workshops

Want to gain some in-depth knowledge about sparrows and wrens? New this year are Friday afternoon workshops for participants who are able to arrive on the island before the Birding Weekend begins. 

Little Brown Jobs: Mark Faherty will teach you to wow your friends at your next cocktail party with your ability to effortlessly pick a Dickcissel from a flock of House Sparrows! This workshop will help you appreciate and identify those much maligned and often ignored "Little Brown Jobs" so prevalent during fall migration. We'll start with some universal rules of bird identification, then go species by species through the various expected sparrows, buntings, blackbirds, and finches. If it's brown, gray, and confusing, we'll cover it. He'll even throw in some "confusing fall warblers" at no extra cost.
The Marsh Wren:Join Keynote Speaker, Mark Robbins, to learn some unique facts about this interesting genus. The Marsh Wren that occurs across much of North America during the breeding season is currently considered a single species. However, new genetic insights by Keith Barker et al. coupled with prior vocal work by Don Kroodsma indicate that there is more than one species. Moreover, apparently Midwest breeding populations of the eastern North American Marsh Wren (Cistothorus p. palustris) perform intra-summer movements presumably to breed at two different locations during the same summer. It appears that birds that initially breed during May and June move south to breed again during mid-July through August. Because this unique behavior is shared with its closest living relative, the North American Sedge Wren (C. stellaris), it may be an ancestral trait of the genus Cistothorus.
Little Brown Jobs, 1:00 - 2:30 pm 
The Marsh Wren, 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Workshops will be held at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation, 110 Eel Point Road. 

Schedule and Registration

Schedule at a Glance
Friday, October 16: 

1:00 - 2:30 pm: "Little Brown Jobs" workshop at the LLNF
3:00 - 4:00 pm: "The Marsh Wren" workshop at the LLNF
5:30 - 7:00 pm: Registration and Social Hour 
7:00 - 9:00 pm:  Welcome Dinner at the Westmoor

Saturday, October 17:

8:00 - 11:00 am: Concurrent Field Trips: West End Wonders
11:15 am -  12:45 pm: Morning recap, lunch, and free time at The Westmoor 
1:00 - 4:00 pm: Concurrent Field Trips: East End Extravaganza or Great Point
6:00 - 7:00 pm: Afternoon recap and Social Hour at The Westmoor 
7:00 - 8:00 pm: Dinner at the Westmoor Club  
8:00 pm: Keynote Address:"Mount Ayanganna to Mount Cameroon: Documenting the Avifauna in Remote Regions" 

Sunday, October 18:

8:00 - 11:00 am Concurrent Field Trips: Exploring the Island
11:15 - 12:15 pm: Morning recap and lunch at The Westmoor Club
12:30 - 3:00 pm: Birding Mystery Tours: Rarity Round-up

You can find the field trips descriptions and complete informational brochure