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Eleventh Annual Down East Spring Birding Festival this Memorial Day weekend

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TRESCOTT - The Down East Spring Birding Festival is accepting registrations for its eleventh annual event on May 23-26, 2014. The festival features guided bird walks, boat rides and presentations for advanced, intermediate and beginning birders. 

There are special rates available for the whole festival and for single day registrations for residents of Washington and Charlotte counties. Some events, such as boat trips and meals, have an extra charge associated, while events at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge are free and open to the public.

Ten new events have been added to this year's festival, so birders will want to check out the new schedule at www.downeastbirdfest.org. There are also new locations, new guides and some new twists to old favorites.  

The birding festival kicks off early Friday morning, May 23, with a boat trip out to Machias Seal Island to observe puffins, razorbills and murres. Festival Headquarters opens at 11 a.m. at the Cobscook Community Learning Center (CCLC) in Trescott. Presentations at HQ include Birding by Ear with Bob Duchesne, popular Audubon trip leader and founder of the Maine Birding Trail and Birding Optics by Carroll Tiernan of Maine Audubon. There is also a full day of other activities including hikes and a canoes paddle on Great Works Pond. 

Saturday, May 24, will offer a fun day of free family activities at the CCLC, starting at 10 a.m. with Exploring Owl Pellets with Tanya Rucosky of Downeast Lakes Land Trust followed at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. with live presentations from the Chewonki Foundation. 'Birds of Prey: New England's Majestic Raptors' will provide participants with an introduction to the key adaptations raptors have developed in order to survive. The instructor will introduce some of Maine's resident raptors with the use of several live birds and many specimens. This hour long program uses hands-on materials such as real wings, talons and skulls to further explain the concepts at hand. 

Other events during the day on Saturday include a kayak paddle, another boat trip out to Machias Seal Island and an evening presentation: Birds and Marine Life of Head Harbor Passage and Friar's Roads, by Chris Bartlett of the Maine Sea Grant program. The evening presentation will be accompanied by a supper of homemade soups, breads, and desserts.

The Down East Spring Birding Festival continues through Memorial Day weekend with events spread across the region to allow participants a chance to experience the area's diverse bird species and varied terrain and topography. Guided birding walks take place in Baring, Campobello Island, Cutler, Eastport, Edmunds, Grand Lake Stream, Lubec, Perry, Topsfield and Trescott. Headquarters will be open daily throughout the festival with activities, movies and slideshows. Computers will also be set up for those wishing to identify birds online or to add their sightings to e-Bird.

For more information, or to register for the Down East Spring Birding Festival, visit the festival website at: www.downeastbirdfest.org, call the CCLC at (207) 733-2233 or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Early registration is recommended, as some events fill up early.

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