Acadia Senior College

Course offerings

Downeast Maine Field Ornithology: Winter Birds and the Transition to Spring

Michael Good

Field trips to various sites along migratory pathways
Students will learn the fundamentals of Ornithology in and around the diverse variety of habitats that make Down East Maine vital for bird migration. Migratory pathways and the physiological advances that allow birds to survive the ever-changing climate, and avian taxonomy, plumage, and physiology will be discussed. Global migration patterns, the role of weather, judging relative size, population dynamics and behavior, avian communication and topography will be also be analyzed. Students will use eBird and extensive field notebooks to record information on bird abundance and distribution at various locations.

All students should have binoculars; some time will be spent on optics and the use of spotting scopes, and photography for data collection. Weather-appropriate clothing, the ability to walk over uneven ground, and masks and social distancing will be required. Each week students will drive individually or carpool in Covid free pods to field trip locations chosen by the instructor to enhance learning and maximize exposure to winter migrants and the transition to spring migratory birds.
About the instructor

Michael Good has taught Ornithology for over 30 years, including for Road Scholar, College of the Atlantic, and adult and High School education classes. He has a MS from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and a BA from Earlham College. While at Utrecht University he had the opportunity to diversify his knowledge of birds and study them throughout Europe. In 1997, Michael founded and then directed the Acadia Birding Festival for 12 years as a Birdwatching teaching model for community Eco-development. As a research assistant at Woods Holes, Massachusetts Marine Biological Laboratory Michael became fascinated with photography as a means to document and enrich the birding experience and is also interested in using state-of-the-art data collection.

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