The National Audubon Society will reopen its legendary Hog Island for four adult ornithology sessions and one teen bird studies session during the summer of 2010. Dr. Steve Kress, Audubon’s VP for Bird Conservation will direct the sessions. He will be joined by some of the country’s top ornithologists who will serve as instructors, including - Kenn Kaufman, Pete Dunne, and Scott Weidensaul. Additionally, said Dr. Kress, there will be two totally new sessions offered in association with Elder Hostel (now Exploritas) where participants will assist Project Puffin biologists to census gulls, eiders and cormorants at several nearby seabird nesting islands. Participants in the September session will learn about land and seabirds through bird banding and presentations and assist with a habitat management project for endangered terns and storm-petrels at Eastern Egg Rock.
Known to thousands as the Audubon Camp in Maine, Hog Island was closed during the summer of 2009 to permit planning for the future. This process led to Project Puffin bringing back the popular ornithology programs for adults and teens. The adult programs are for both beginning and avid birders who would like to learn more about Maine birdlife and the biology of birds. The teen session is for 14-17 year olds with a keen interest in birds. This session is co-sponsored by the American Birding Association. Due to its varied habitats, Hog Island and vicinity are an ideal setting for the program, as more than 100 species frequent the area.
Participants live in authentic, turn of the century housing on the 330 acre spruce-covered island. Here, they will enjoy three home-cooked meals a day in an historic island farmhouse that overlooks Muscongus Bay. During the five-day sessions, small field groups will go on a variety of trips and boat cruises, and attend workshops and presentations on topics ranging from migration and the identification of warblers to the restoration of Atlantic Puffins and terns on nearby Eastern Egg Rock.
The Hog Island camp first opened in 1936, with Roger Tory Peterson as its first bird instructor. It is well known in America’s environmental community as a distinguished and beautiful place of learning and enjoyment. For more information on dates, sessions, costs, instructors, etc. visit www.projectpuffin.org To read testimonials and see photos from previous Hog Island programs, visit www.naturecompass.org/fohi.