The Stanton Bird Club was founded in 1919 and named in honor of Dr. Jonathan Y. Stanton, a professor at Bates College in Lewiston. “Uncle Johnny” was much beloved on the Bates College campus. Among other subjects, he taught ornithology and took Bates students on bird outings. When the Club was organized in 1919 it was just after Stanton’s death, and so it was named in his honor.
Over the years, a number of parcels of land were donated to the Club. These donations have grown to encompass 372 acres, known as the Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary, in the heart of Lewiston, Maine’s second largest city.
The Club also owns and manages the 401 acre Woodbury Bird Sanctuary in Monmouth.
The Club is made up of people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds, but they all share a love of nature in general, and birds in particular. Today there are some 300 club members, including about 20 Junior Naturalists. A Board of Directors oversees the Club’s finances and activities, both of which have grown tremendously in the last decade.
Although almost all of the Stanton Bird Club’s activities are free of charge, membership is encouraged because dues help finance stewardship programs at Thorncrag and educational programs of the Junior Naturalists, as well as help fund the Club’s two other sanctuaries. Anyone interested in membership can request a membership brochure.