Rangeley Birding Festival participants experience Birds on Tap! with Derek Lovitch at Parkside and Main Restaurant in Rangeley. Submitted photo

The fifth annual Rangeley Birding Festival concluded June 10 with the John Bicknell Award for Birding Conservation presentation at the Rangeley Inn.

The award went to Barbara Vickery of Richmond and the late Peter Vickery. Together they have done substantial and permanent work to conserve bird habitats in Maine, according to a news release from the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust.

Peter Vickery played an instrumental role in researching the Kennebunk Plains’ birds and championing the plains’ importance. His work with the original Maine Breeding Atlas is widely recognized.

Barbara was a co-author for several chapters and species accounts, as well as the co-editor of “Birds of Maine.” She’s presented the book to numerous audiences, as well as trends in bird populations and conservation messages.

The award honors the legacy of John Bicknell, who became a Rangeley resident in 1973 and raised a family there until his death in 2018. His connection to nature led him to design and care for the Mingo Springs Trail and Bird Walk. Bicknell led the effort to get the Mingo Springs Golf Course designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. He created many rock and flower gardens throughout the golf course, and Audubon International recognized him for his environmental stewardship.

Throughout the weekend, guides explored the boreal forest of Rangeley with festival participants, sharing their knowledge of the bird life and more that flourishes there. Birders checked Bicknell’s Thrush, Boreal Chickadees, Northern Parula, Swainson’s Thrush, Bay-breasted and Blackburnian Warblers off their life list.

The Rangeley Birding Festival is held annually the second weekend in June. For more information, visit rangeleybirdingfestival.com.



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