By early November, large numbers of ducks migrate from their breeding areas in northern New England and Canada and move to area lakes, rivers, salt marshes, and coastal waters. During his PowerPoint lecture, Bill Gette will discuss the field marks and behavioral characteristics that are key to duck identification. Bill will discuss plumages and habitat preferences, and tell you where to go to find the many species that overwinter on the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and other sites within an hour’s drive of Newburyport.

Warblers are among the most beautiful of Plum Island’s birds, with the plumage of the spring males often breathtaking. Tom Wetmore will cover the 36 species of warblers that have been reported from Plum Island. Four species are known to breed here, a few others may breed occasionally, while, except for one vagrant, the others are migrants who pass through on their migrations to and or from their breeding areas. The talk mentions the relative abundance of the species and their annual cycles of occurrence. A minute or two is devoted to each species, with photographs of most species and recordings of some of their songs. Tips on identification and where to look for these birds are included. Some are furtive denizens of the low thickets, while others are birds of the high canopies. Most have distinctive songs and calls that are frequently the best way to find and identify them.

Every year thousands of raptors migrate through the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Some raptors will spend only a few minutes and others a lifetime on or around the refuge. Paul M. Roberts will introduce you to twenty species of raptors, primarily hawks but including a few owls, you might see on the refuge. You’ll get acquainted with our most spectacular and abundant migrants, locally breeding species, and some winter visitors, learn a bit about what is happening with each species in our area, and see what raptors are particularly special to the refuge.