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Saving Birds as Well as Lives

Forum dedicated to photos and information regarding history of lights, life-saving stations, keepers, lost lighthouses and more.

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Postby Grover1 » Thu May 08, 2008 1:25 pm


From The Times Record ..."Maine's Mid-Coast Starts Here"

ROCKLAND — A new, temporary exhibit, "When Lighthouse and Life-Saving Station Keepers Saved Birds' Lives as well as Mariners' Lives" is on display at the Maine Lighthouse Museum through this spring.

It is a joint project of the museum and Audubon's Project Puffin and highlights the role that lighthouse and lifesaving keepers once played in the protection of sea birds along Maine's coast and islands.

According to Ted Panayotoff, who helped organize the exhibit, "In the late 1800s sea birds were being hunted to extinction for their plumes to supply the New York millinery market. In addition, sea bird eggs, principally Herring Gull eggs, were being extensively gathered to sell commercially for food."

The exhibit highlights the efforts of the American Ornithologists Union through historical writings in publications such as "The Auk" and "Bird-Lore," recognized the severe damage such activities were inflicting upon the sea bird population to the point of extinction, and how the group also effectively sounded the alarm.

Subsequent action by the American Ornithologists Union provided for the employment of wardens to enforce the laws at nesting grounds along Maine's coast.

Because many of the rookeries or nesting grounds were near or on Federal light station or life-saving station properties, the ornithologists association solicited the United States Lighthouse Service and the United States Life-Saving Service for the assistance of the station keepers to act as wardens.

The museum is located at One Park Drive, and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
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