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Feeding Backyard Birds – Backyard Sanctuaries

It is not uncommon for Barbara Murphy, Habitat For All Director, to find people taking photographs in the Habitat Garden at Valentine Farm. Such was the case when Barbara met Bill Gette this past summer. What she did not know at the time was the full extent of Bill’s work in bird conservation and education throughout New England and the world.

Bill Gette’s career with birds began at 16 years of age when he worked at the Hog Island Audubon Camp on the coast of Maine. He was a Student Assistant working in the kitchen, but it allowed him to participate in the Camp’s classes in his spare time. This led him to get his bird banding license, also at age 16.

With this young start, Bill went on to establish the long-standing Bird Banding Station on the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts. As the founding Director of the Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center, he developed a college-level curriculum in ornithology. He has turned this curriculum into a certificate program in bird ecology which teaches naturalists, guides, and educators in Belize. This led to an international intern program training naturalists and guides throughout the Americas in birding, education, and leadership.

Bill retired in 2016 and since then has kept busy with photography, birding travel programs, and educational programs like the Feeding Backyard Birds – Backyard Sanctuaries webinar he is delivering for the Mahoosuc Land Trust January 24th at 7:00 p.m.

This program is designed for anyone, beginner and experienced alike, interested in bringing nature to your backyard. Bill will highlight the steps, often simple, which create a backyard sanctuary – a space that provides safe and healthy habitat for a wide range of birds. Expect an interactive session where Bill reviews keys for identifying the birds we might see in the winter months, their life history, and what to feed them while they are in our yards.

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