POWNAL — For a few hours Saturday, the sheltered picnic area at Bradbury Mountain State Park was transformed into an aviary with dozens of different birdcalls emanating from the enclosure.

There was the eerie hoot of an owl, the crazy laughter of a loon and the scolding chirp of a chickadee, all produced on man-made birdcalls to the delight of a hardy group of bird-watchers who braved rain and chilly temperatures to learn about birds.

The Pownal park was the scene for the first day of Feathers over Freeport, an annual two-day celebration of birds and other animals of the region. Day two continues Sunday at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport.

In its fourth year, the event includes live-bird presentations, birdhouse workshops and other activities for birders of all ages. It is sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Parks and Land and by Freeport Wild Bird Supply.

“This is cool, “ said Paula Roberts of North Yarmouth, who brought a flock of family members to learn about birds.

Bird experts were on hand to dispense interesting facts. Hope Douglas of Wind Over Wings, a wild bird rescue and educational service in Dresden, informed the crowd gathered for her live-bird demonstration that a broken bird’s wing heals in about three days.

This year, the annual northern migration of raptors was delayed by the cold, late spring, which means more of the birds are being counted during the Bradbury Mountain raptor count between March 15 and May 15, said Derek Lovitch of Freeport Wild Bird Supply, which started the annual count in 2007.

Sven Fahlgren of Freeport and his children, Theo, 6, and Vivien, 3, learned how to make a birdhouse with the help of Frank Wezner, a volunteer from Brunswick. Wezner told the Fahlgrens they have to unscrew the bottom of the birdhouse every year and clean it out or the birds won’t use it.

Luci Timblin of Harpswell, who brought her husband and children to Saturday’s program, said she is fascinated by birds. She said she often sees hawks in the sky.

Sunday’s events at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They include nature walks, bird walks, an osprey watch, games and presentations. The events are free with admission to the state park.

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

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