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Saturday, September 21, 2019
Click on the headline above to access the archive for Don Reimer's "Birding with Don Reimer" column.
  • Birding with Don Reimer: Birds and Mad Hatters—
    What basic gear does one need to watch birds? Well, a good bird field guide (I like National Geographic’s) and a set of binoculars are starters. A spotting scope is a convenient tool for getting detailed looks at distant birds, but is not a necessity....
  • A Crop of New Birds—
    By late summer we begin seeing juvenile birds in various stages of development. Changes in plumage and other physical characteristics occur rapidly as young birds progress from hatchling status through nestling and fledgling phases....
  • About Those Feathers—
    While watching a northern raven circling overhead the other day, I noticed some discrepancies in its body feathering. There were notable gaps and notches in the wings and tail feathers. Why was this so? This raven was clearly going ...
  • Wren Summer—
    For several weeks, a diminutive brown bird has sung energetically from my backyard. Its jumbled notes are interspersed with scolding chatters and, at a rate of 9 to 10 repetitions per minute, his song is forceful and persistent. It’s a male ...
  • Sky and Sea—
    For natural beauty and bold spectacle, it’s hard to beat Acadia National Park. And while the birds and animals encountered around Acadia may differ little from those in the midcoast region, odds of seeing particular species may ...
  • A Nesting Report Card—
    As July begins, the 2019 Maine nesting season reaches an approximate halfway point in some respects. Certain of the earliest nesters, such as American robins, have already fledged their first clutches and are gearing up ...
  • Connecting People and Birds—
    On occasion Free Press readers play a role in deter- mining the content of my bird articles. A recent example is a reader’s inquiry about a roadside osprey nest: “In the lobby of Taste of Maine Restaurant there is a TV screen showing the osprey ...
  • A Colorful Spring —
    Whoppee! Late May bird watching can be such fun! For the most part, there’s a general predictability in when certain migrants will arrive. A few warblers, such as palm, pine, yellow-rump and black-and-white, often appear in early May ...
  • Another Nesting Season—
    With the nesting season now under way, volunteers for the Maine Bird Atlas project are active for the second year. The aim of this five-year citizen-based study is to map the distribution and abundance of all birds nesting in Maine and gain ...
  • A Patch of Land—
    The terms ‘bird-watcher’ and ‘birder’ have slightly different connotations but are equally valid methods of seeing and learning about birds, through different approaches. One pundit concluded that bird-watchers look at birds while ...
  • Bugs and Birds—
    The earliest of the swallow clan to turn up in Maine each spring, Tree Swallows depend heavily on flying insects for survival during those still-chilly days. On March 31, I stood at Warren’s river shoreline, marveling at their swift darting ...
  • Woodcock!—
    Driving to Bangor last week, I spotted an American woodcock feeding close to the margin of busy Route 1 in Searsport. With no real time to spare and scant space to pull safely off the highway, I motored onward. On my return trip three ...
  • Think Spring—
    Well, the Spring Equinox reached the Northern Hemi- sphere at 5:58 p.m. on March 20. Derived from two Latin words for “equal” and “night,” Equinox is when day and night are of nearly equal length in all parts of the world. After a lapse ...
  • E Is for Egg—
    Although eggs are found through- out the animal kingdom, egg laying and terrestrial nest building are essential to avian reproduction. And since birds are aerial creatures, the females can’t simply fly around with weighty numbers of eggs ...
  • Plans—
    Last month I panicked after temp- orarily mis- placing my weekly planning calendar. Yes, I know most folks use smartphones or other online devices to track their future appointments and social activities. Needless to say, I was relieved ...
  • Birding with Don Reimer: Perspectives—
    My friend John once shared an experience that illustrates how individual perspectives can shape and drive our decision-making process. After living outside the state for several years, John and his wife contemplated where ...
  • Potluck —
    The term “potluck” refers to a meal or a party to which each guest contributes a dish. A second definition mentions “a situation in which one must take a chance that whatever is available will prove good or acceptable.” Frequently my bird column ...
  • Birding with Don Reimer: One Maple Tree—
    Amid stands of mature hard- woods in my Warren neighborhood, four species of woodpeckers inhabit a certain rock maple tree in the front yard. That 40-year-old maple has some compelling physical traits, such as partially decayed limbs . . .
  • A Day at the Park—
    In today’s hyperbolic world, exag- gerated rhetoric is sometimes used to portray ordinary situations in superlative terms. Adjectives like ‘greatest,’ ‘biggest’ and ‘best’ are readily applied to any host of things. This tendency is especially prevalent . . .
  • Counting the Birds—
    On December 15, eight teams of volunteer birders and several home feeder watchers conducted the annual Thomaston-Rockland Christmas Bird Count. Started nationally in 1900 as an alternative to the then-traditional “side hunts” . . .
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