Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nikon & Wild Bird Supply Sponsorship

Nikon® Sport Optics is pleased to announce its partnership with Freeport Wild Bird Supply in sponsoring the 2009 Spring Hawkwatch at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, Maine.

In 2007 and 2008, this project was sponsored and conducted by the Wild Bird Center of Yarmouth. Due to the loss of this business to fire in January, owners Jeannette and Derek Lovitch are opening Freeport Wild Bird Supply (hopefully April 1, 2009) to serve the backyard birdwatcher and birding community. Via the Freeport Wild Bird Supply, Derek and Jeannette will continue their work promoting birding opportunities in Maine, including the hawk count, which hosted 919 visitors in 2007.

This year, Freeport Wild Bird Supply is excited to partner with Nikon to continue this important project, where valuable data is collectedwhile providing an enjoyable and educational experience for visitors. "Nikon is proud to provide optics and financial support for the Hawkwatch at Bradbury Mountain State Park ", said Jon Allen, General Manager of Nikon Sport Optics.

"Supporting conservation and education is a cornerstone of the Nikon Birding Program."

As hawkcounters themselves in their previous lives, Jeannette and Derek are thrilled to help launch the field biology career of up-and- coming birder Danny Akers from Ankeny, Iowa. The project is pleased to introduce Danny as the third hawk counter for the Bradbury Mountain Raptor Research Project. He will be stationed at the summit from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily from March 15 to May 15, 2009.

The goal of the project is to document raptor migration by identifying and counting all raptors that pass by the mountain. Last spring, counters recorded 3,713 hawks, including 96 Bald Eagles, 369 Ospreys and 1,463 Broad-winged Hawks.

Over a period of years, these data can be analyzed to determine trends in species numbers as well as changes in distributions, which when studied in conjunction with other monitoring sites across the continent, give a broad scale idea of what is happening with raptor populations.

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