The official objective of the Society is to “engage in educational, scientific, literary, historical and philanthropic pursuit of Ornithological conservation, preservation and restoration projects primarily in Saco Bay and environs, and to maintain the Phineas W. Sprague Sanctuary on Stratton and Bluff Islands lying off Prouts Neck”. Once you get past that official business as stated in the by-law (!), the society mainly focuses on supporting the summer fieldwork on the islands, engaging kids in nature projects, and making possible public visits from time to time.
Stratton Island - Science and Family fun!
Stratton & Bluff Islands are owned by National Audubon. For over twenty years, Audubon biologists, under the direction of Dr. Steven W. Kress and the Audubon Seabird Restoration Program, have been conducting research on the nesting birds of Stratton. The island is one of seven important islands in the program in the Gulf of Maine. Our support of Stratton Island fieldwork has typically been to pay the island manager’s salary, and to purchase capital equipment for the staff, such as boats, engines, tents and the like.
On a regional level, Stratton is very important for its diversity of bird species and for the consistently high breeding success those birds have. Much of this success can be attributed to the fact that there are no mammalian predators on the island; that nearby Scarborough Marsh represents a tremendous resource for food; and that human visitation is limited and controlled. Audubon biologists also have a hand in management by discouraging gulls from nesting amongst the terns and controlling bittersweet, etc.
Three or four times per year, weather permitting, the island staff welcome visiting groups organized by PN Audubon Society or Maine Audubon. Visitors enjoy watching nesting adults and chicks from blinds, touring the island, watching the birds from blinds, and learning about the biologists’ research, and visiting their camp. Stratton is indeed a very special place to visit and we are fortunate to have this ecological gem in our back yard. Contact us for the schedule of annual group trips to Stratton Island.
From time to time, PNAS engages young Prouts Neck residents in nature projects. Recently youngsters have been very helpful building both nest boxes for swallows that are now installed around the Prouts Neck golf course, as well as shelters for chicks now installed on Stratton Island. In both cases, these important structures help support breeding adults who need protective shelter for their chicks.
Your support makes all the difference!
As a 501 3(c) registered charity, Prouts Neck Audubon Society relies entirely on donations to support its funding and programs. If you are inspired by Stratton Island we would certainly appreciate your support. For further information you may contact us or to make a donation, please send your check made out to “Prouts Neck Audubon Society”, deliverable to the Prouts Neck Audubon Society, 499 Black Point Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074.
John Allen- President