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The 2016 season is upon us...

Here at The Natural History Center, we are excited about the 2016 season . . . and the year is already off to a good start! January and February saw a Black-throated Sparrow frequenting a Winter Harbor feeder. On our annual trip to Antarctica, we saw over 80 species of birds and 15 species of marine mammals. July sees us offering a variety of programs for College of the Atlantic's Family Nature Camp. And August will see us in Alaska, reprising our naturalist gig with A Prarie Home Companion for the tenth year. Come back here regularly, or check in with our Facebook page, to see our ever-evolving offerings. Below is a sample of local natural history opportunities and programs:

 

 

Spring Arrivals & Departures Project

Do you live, work, play, or vacation on Mount Desert Island? Be a citizen scientist: help us track the arrival of spring migratory birds and the departure of our winter visitants. Download the Spring Arrivals & Departures Project worksheet and begin contributing to our understanding of the birdlife of Mount Desert Island. We would like these forms returned by the end of summer, please. Feel free to contact The Natural History Center for more information.

 

 

Hike and Bike Acadia

2016 marks the 100-year anniversary of Acadia National Park. The Natural History Center will be working with College of the Atlantic to present a weeklong adventure. Start your week with Fourth of July festivities in downtown Bar Harbor—the annual parade, blueberry pancake breakfast, lobster races, fireworks launched from the town pier—followed by a series of hiking and biking adventures. Hiking and biking will be guided by The Natural History Center’s Rich MacDonald, whose intimate knowledge and accompanying expertise of Acadia National Park provides an amazing opportunity to experience some of the region’s magnificence.

 

In addition to hiking and biking many of Acadia’s carriage peaks and roads, activities include visits to Acadia’s Sieur de Monts Springs, a ranger-led night sky program at Sand Beach, tide pooling and hiking at Wonderland and Ship Harbor on the “Quiet Side” of Mount Desert Island, and a boat ride across Frenchman Bay to Acadia’s Schoodic Peninsula. And to cap off your week, and to celebrate the 100-year Park anniversary, we will climb Cadillac Mountain, Acadia’s highest peak.

 

For more information, visit College of the Atlantic’s Hike and Bike Acadia website.

 

 

Maine Master Naturalist Program

If you have an enthusiastic curiosity about the natural world and the flora and fauna of Maine, you may be interested in a course of study with the Maine Master Naturalist Program this summer. Starting February 1, they are accepting student applications for its 2016 Tier One course to be held from May 4 to September 14 at the MDI Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove, Maine. Students participate in a rigorous set of classes and field experiences covering insects, wildflowers and shrubs, mammals, ferns, trees, birds, ecological principles, and the unique natural communities to be found in this area. The course consists of eight Wednesday evening classes, three full-day Saturday field trips, and 20 hours of volunteer work at a park, land trust, school, or non-profit. Tuition of $365 covers course instruction, books, equipment, hand-outs, and supplies. Students completing the course and the requirements will be certified as Maine Associate Naturalists upon graduation. Applications are now being accepted. For more information, visit the website at www.mainemasternaturalist.org.

 

In addition to hiking and biking many of Acadia’s carriage peaks and roads, activities include visits to Acadia’s Sieur de Monts Springs, a ranger-led night sky program at Sand Beach, tide pooling and hiking at Wonderland and Ship Harbor on the “Quiet Side” of Mount Desert Island, and a boat ride across Frenchman Bay to Acadia’s Schoodic Peninsula. And to cap off your week, and to celebrate the 100-year Park anniversary, we will climb Cadillac Mountain, Acadia’s highest peak.

 

For more information, visit College of the Atlantic’s Hike and Bike Acadia website.

 

 

...And more to come!

The Natural History Center is looking forward to our seventh season of sharing our passion for the natural world. As a family-run business based in Bar Harbor, Maine, we strive to make the natural world accessible and enjoyable by offering experiential opportunities in the field and the quality tools and resources you need in the field.

 

Join us as we search for birds both common and elusive. Take a walk in the park with our seasoned naturalists. Explore the mysteries of Maine’s tidepools. Learn about the natural and cultural heritage of Acadia National Park on a sightseeing tour following the historic Park Loop Road.

 

For the more adventurous, search for Peregrine Falcons or Snowy Owls as you hike or snowshoe along the summit trails of Acadia’s mountains, look for Spruce Grouse while bicycling the Carriage Trails, or find Harbor Seals from the cockpit of a sea kayak.

 

We will work with you to create a personalized nature experience or you can join a regularly scheduled tour. We cater our tours to your needs and interests, regardless of age or physical ability. All tours are personal and interactive with a maximum of 6 participants (of course, we are happy to accommodate larger groups and bus tours, too).

 

We hope you will find our passion for the natural world is contagious and see that we enjoy both sharing our local knowledge and learning from you.

 

And remember, every day is Bird Day!

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Was that a Snowy Owl on Sargent Mountain? Did anyone else see the Moose? Check our nature log to see what’s been seen, and add your own sightings to our message board. what did you see today?

Our educational tours give you hands-on fun, a view of the Maine coast most visitors don’t see, and a sense of accomplishment.current offerings

Follow lifelong birder, naturalist, and field biologist Rich MacDonald as he shares sightings and perspectives in his weekly column, The Nature of Things.recent rambles
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