Benefit cruise is for the birds

Jul 25, 2014
Photo by: Kirk M. Rogers A benefit bird cruise aboard the M/V Friendship V is set for Sunday, Aug. 3. Proceeds benefit Friends of Maine's Seabird Islands, based in Rockland.

Rockland — The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company, the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and Downeast Audubon are hosting an evening seabird cruise to see and learn all about the puffins and terns at Petit Manan Island.

The event will take place Sunday, Aug. 3, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and will benefit the Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands.

The mission of Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands is to encourage conservation and appreciation of seabirds, their islands, and their coastal habitats, and to support the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge complex has grown to include 56 islands, four coastal parcels, and over 8,000 acres.

“This is a chance for folks to learn about the beautiful birds, their stories and the islands that make up the coast of Maine”, stated Zack Klyver, lead guide for Bar harbor Whale Watch Co, “and to hear and ask questions directly of the experts about the positive restoration efforts and research being conducted.”

“We are really looking forward to having the opportunity to share with the public our mission and efforts that we make to maintain many of the islands as a bed and breakfast for the birds”, said Beth Goettel, refuge manager of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

Petit Manan Island is a nesting island for puffins, guillemots, razorbills, and three species of terns and 11 nesting seabird species. It is also home to the second tallest lighthouse on the coast of Maine at 119 feet in height. Refuge staff live on the island during the summer months, surveying and studying the seabirds and actively managing the island.

The trip will take place aboard the M/V Friendship V and will include an evening of presentations, wine and appetizers. Speakers will include Linda Welch, lead refuge wildlife biologist, Beth Goettel, refuge manager, and Sandy Hobbs, the president of Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands.

Tickets cost $50 per person and all proceeds go to support the work by Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands. To reserve tickets, please call the Friends of Maine Seabirds Islands at 594-0600 ext. 5, or email at info@maineseabirds.org. It is recommended to dress warmly, especially if  intending to spend any time on one of the three viewing decks, as it is much cooler on the ocean. Binoculars are also wonderful for seeing the seabirds up close.

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