Welcome!

ABNC is an active group of people sharing an appreciation of nature’s many forms. We have birders, geologists, star watchers, and plant enthusiasts — a full spectrum of interests. If you have an interest in nature, whether a beginner or experienced observer, we welcome you.

Join us at our meetings, field trips, and institutes where you will find a friendly reception and people with similar interests. There are a lot of exciting programs scheduled for the months ahead–check our event schedule, or come by for a visit!

The Athol Bird and Nature Club maintains the Millers River Environmental Center.

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The seasons are changing

With the changing seasons we welcome the cool crisp autumn air, as thoughts of masses of Broad-wing Hawks and other fall migrants begin to overshadow the summer insects. Jeff Johnstone returns August 31st with his weekly Sunday morning birding trips (7:30 am at the Center).

The regular monthly ABNC meetings will kick off on September 10th with Zeke Jakub talking about his work in Panama: The conservation & mysteries of a declining species: The Golden-winged Warbler

Zeke Jakub photo

Zeke Jakub

Enjoy an evening with the Director of Ornithology, EZEKIEL S. JAKUB (ZEKE) of “Conservación Panamá”, on a journey through the Panamanian Rainforest. You will learn how to search for Golden-wing Warblers on their wintering grounds, discover land-use threats to the region, and discuss conservation initiatives in Panama. Finally, you will learn of the recent groundbreaking discovery of where female Golden-winged Warblers are spending their winters. This program is offered for free with a suggested donation of $5 per person. There will be Panamanian handicrafts by indigenous groups (Ngöbe, Kuna, & Embera), original print photography, & original artwork for sale to help fund our field programs in Panama.

Imagine waking up before sunrise and wandering through a tropical montane cloud forest of Panama. The mist covers the forest like a blanket, you cannot see farther than
30 meters. The cacophony of sounds hits you like a freight train. At first it is difficult to focus but slowly you are able to identify species then individual birds. Binoculars in hand and ears ready, the search is on for the tiny Golden-winged Warbler. This species is declared as “near threatened” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to a rapidly decreasing population.  On its wintering ground in Panama, the males are primarily found in the highland forests but the mystery remains as to wear most of females winter. For more information http://www.conservacionpanamaca.org or contact ezekieljakub@conservacionpanamaca.org

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American Rubyspot

It is not to late to get your bug fix: Saturday, August 23, 10:00 AM  – 2:00 PM Late Summer Dragonflies Join ABNC president Dave Small at the Center (100 Main St., Athol) and then head out to search local waters for American Rubyspot, Zebra and Arrow Clubtails and whatever else we can find. Participants should bring lunch, insect net, and a sense of adventure; be prepared for wet feet. Children welcome. Severe weather cancels. Info: Dave Small, 978-413-1772 or Dave@dhsmall.net.

4170 – Papilio cresphontes Giant Swallowtail August 16 2014 Athol ma

Giant Swallowtail found August 16th in Athol by Dave Small

Butterflies continue  although Monarchs are all but absent from the local landscape we welcome the addition of the Giant Swallowtail which has been expanding into New England over the last few years. Look for this large yellow and black butterfly on late flowering Joe-Pye Weed and Goldenrods.