Road Scholars assist Audubon biologists to improve habitat for Maine seabirds

On September 11-16, 22 participants in the Road Scholar session titled ‘Maine Seabird Biology and Conservation’ arrived on Hog Island for a very successful service-learning program. 

On the first full day of the program, all 22 participants landed on Eastern Egg Rock for the day.  Enthusiastic volunteers pulled invasive wild radish which was over-running tern nesting habitat and laid down vegetation barriers to keep habitat open for tern nesting. Meanwhile, others built new burrows for Leach’s Storm-petrels and an ambitions team removed more than a dozen huge bags of washed up plastic and other marine debris. A carpentry crew re-roofed the Egg Rock outhouse and built two new tent platforms for Project Puffin interns. Two days later most of the group travelled to Stratton Island, an Audubon owned island in southern Maine.  Here they helped to remove dozens of washed up lobster traps (which become traps for seabirds) and they installed more vegetation barriers for Common and Roseate Tern nesting. Additional projects undertaken during the session on Hog Island included a complete inventory of the bird collection and removing invasive barberry from the south end of the island.  During the session participants also learned about bird biology from Audubon lecturers and participated in songbird banding. The session ended with a celebratory lobster dinner in recognition of the tremendous accomplishments that were achieved. For more about this session and to see photos, click here. Registration is now open for the spring (June 3-8) and fall (Sept 9-14) service learning sessions on Hog Island.  For more information or to enroll in 2012 sessions, visit