Spring has returned along with Maine’s seasonal avian residents. In recognition of this anticipated occurrence, Maine’s state parks, for the second year, will hold a watching event to introduce families and visitors to the outdoor fun of birding in Maine.

“Feathers Over Freeport,” a two-day birding event at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, and Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport, will provide visitors an easy and enjoyable introduction to the raptors, songbirds and backyard birds who make their home in this state.

This year’s event, under the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and the Maine Department of Conservation, will feature a variety of activities and demonstrations, including live-bird demonstrations, bird walks for people of all abilities, identification workshops and children’s activities.

Details of the event are:

Feathers over Freeport: A Birdwatching Weekend for All Ages, Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m,., Bradbury Mountain State Park, Pownal, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Freeport. Park entry fees apply, all programs and activities included with park admission.

“We learned a lot last year, and this year we’re trying to cater to the interests of our visitors, based on what we learned,” said park manager Frank Appleby of Bradbury Mountain, where the annual hawk watch takes place. “We are trying to make the event particularly family friendly, and we have brought in the experts to make it a success.”

Park manager Andy Hutchinson, a well-known naturalist who manages Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, said he anticipated a good attendance for “Feathers Over Freeport,” given the popularity of a recent osprey watch at the park where two pairs of osprey make their summer home. One recent Sunday, more than 20 people came out to see the newly-arrived osprey on their nests, he said.

“It’s neat that we’re having different presenters every year,” Hutchinson added. “I’m really looking forward to the live birds.” The live-bird demonstrations, which will take place once at each park over the two-day event, will include owls, ravens, hawks and a golden eagle, he said. The demonstrations are presented by Wind Over Wings and sponsored by Royal River Conservation Trust and Friends of Maine State Parks.

“Compared to most birding festivals, we’re focused on all levels of experience, with something of interest for all levels,” said Derek Lovitch, well-known birding expert, event presenter and sponsor. Lovitch’s business, Freeport Wild Bird Supply, sponsors the annual Bradbury Mountain hawk watch, along with Nikon Sport Optics.

“Our goal is not necessarily to help folks see that ‘life bird,’ but to enjoy birding and discover what amazing things we find when we get out in the field,” he said.

Lovitch said he always likes “to introduce more people to the hawk watch” atop Bradbury Mountain. During the annual event, which lasts March 15 through May 15, seven days a week, an observer monitors the northbound raptor migratory flight over the park. This year, participants can take part in both an introduction to hawk watching program and a hawk identification workshop at the mountain summit.

A free evening program — “Everything about Puffins” — will be Saturday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Freeport Community Library. The event will feature “Seabird Sue” of Project Puffin, speaking on the life history and biology of the Atlantic Puffin, including new information with regard to their previously unknown winter travels. The program about this ocean bird is sponsored by L.L.Bean.

Other “Feathers Over Freeport” activities include educational displays and giveaways about birds; birding fun and games for children; bird walks for beginners and children; an osprey watch, which is accessible to people who use wheelchairs; a “digiscoping” presentation; bird identification workshop; and introduction to backyard bird feeding.

Other event sponsors include: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; and Birds and Beans.

More information, including a complete program listing, is available at: maine.gov/feathersoverfreeport or by calling the parks: Bradbury Mountain State Park, 688-4712; or Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, 865-4465.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@villagesoup.com.