Friday, January 14, 2011

Help us prevent paradise island from becoming paradise lost...

From Chilly Northwest Ohio, Kim Writes: Hello again, everyone.  I don't know how many people still read this crazy blog; we're not exactly "regular" bloggers. But we should at least get points for always having the best intentions. If I had a dollar for all the times I've said, "Oh Kenn, I can't wait to write about this on the blog"...

e've certainly been blessed with experiences that [would] make outstanding blog-matter.  (Our recent trip to a shade coffee plantation in Nicaragua, for example! -- We ARE going to blog about that soon!) But, it's simply time that we lack. We've always got way more to do than seems even remotely possible. 

But this morning I dropped everything I was working on to post this message.  I hope that once you read it you'll share a link to it and help us preserve one of the most remarkable places I have seen on the planet. Its future is in jeopardy, and all you have to do to help save it?  Just register for some of the most incredible nature-related experiences of your life!

The place is called Hog Island, and I've run out of superlatives to describe it.

See what I mean?!  Imagine, you are standing on the coast of Maine, ready to board a ferry that will deliver you here. Can you understand why we love this place so much?!  And the beauty goes far deeper than just the image that blesses the eye. The knowledge this island has to share will change the way you look at the natural world. If that sounds like hyperbole -- it isn't. But if that kind of thing is a bit too "over the top" for you -- you might want to consider that they also give you the opportunity to see these creatures...
Gratuitous Puffin Photo

Without going too deeply into the situation, the island needs our help.  It is imperative that all of the camp sessions be filled this year to send a message to National Audubon and Maine Audubon about the value of keeping the camp open.  Please, do me and Kenn, the island, and yourself, a favor, and come to camp this summer!

They're offering earlybird discounts, too, but they end at midnight this Saturday (January 15th)! All registrations made online or postmarked by the 15th qualify for this discount.

Here's some information about the camp:
While the puffins are floating far at sea and terns are at their winter homes in the southern hemisphere, the Project Puffin staff is busy organizing for the coming summer. To participate in hands-on field work at Project Puffin islands and learn more about seabirds, consider joining us for a five day program at Hog Island this coming summer. If you have been considering joining us, but needed the New Year and longer days to bring your plans into focus, then sign up now and take advantage of our early bird discount.
 Your instructors will be some of America’s best known birders, including Kenn Kaufman, Pete Dunne, Scott Weidensaul and Steve Kress. Bird lovers of all abilities will enjoy boat trips to visit the restored puffin and tern colonies, guided hikes to freshwater and saltwater marshes and blueberry barrens. Even the 330-acre spruce forest surrounding your cabin home on the island is superb birding habitat.
 ---and we haven't even talked about the food. OMG...the FOOD!

To learn more, register, or just look at the pictures visit HERE.  For more information or questions, contact Erica Van Etten, program coordinator and registrar, at (607) 257-7308 x14 or email at

Here's a link to some blog posts and YouTube videos about the island experience.  I think they'll give you a sense of just how incredible the place really is:

First, a superb video by Lang Elliott:

A compelling post from Warblings, a blog written by Benjamin Van Doren, a teenage birder from NY State.

And, from this blog: