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Sunday, May 9, 2021
Click on the headline above to access the archive for Don Reimer’s “Birding with Don Reimer” column.
  • Treats in Store—
    In a way, the upcoming flurry of May songbirds resets the birding calendar for Maine bird watchers, as throngs of seasonal sparrows, flycatchers, tanagers, and thrushes enliven the greening woodlands. In past decades ...
  • Birding with Don Reimer:
By Land and Sea—
    While I was scanning the shoreline skies of Penobscot Bay, an approaching aerial object caught my attention. It was the right size for a large bird, perhaps an eagle. But the wingless object wasn’t flapping or gliding, propelled instead ...
  • Bookends—
    Major human under- takings aren’t always simple, one-shot matters. Take Neil Armstrong’s first step onto the dusty surface of the moon on July 20, 1969. His proclaimed “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind” was a ...
  • Dashboards —
    Some- times I’m a bit quirky (or perhaps easily amused). The other day, I photographed my car’s dashboard when I noticed the trip odometer had registered all 7’s. How cool? Well, upon fuller scrutiny, I observed the quantity ...
  • Windows to the Birds—
    Mid-February’s sub-freezing temper- atures and whipping winds created some tough birding conditions at times. To meet those challenges, I opted for comfortable “windshield appraisals,” scanning for birds from the warm inner ...
  • Flying by Night—
    While driving in Camden last week, I spotted a dark mass lodged in the crotch of a tall stand of birch and alders. Partially obscured by snow, the mysterious lump appeared to be the feathered corpse of a sizeable bird. With its leg ...

  • Owls and Winter—
    With return of neo-tropical spring birds still weeks away, there are other species to fill the natural void. Owls are a worthy example, now being seen and heard in relatively strong numbers throughout coastal Maine. Snowy owls are ...
  • Mutual Aid—
    It’s fascinat- ing to watch legions of crows go about their daily business, flying to join large night roosts that can house hundreds or more wintering birds. By mid-afternoons, you may notice steady lines of crows heading in a ...
  • Counting the Birds—
    On December 19, 2020, my birding morning began extra early. By 3:45 a.m., I was out listening for owls as part of the 121st National Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The night air was still and windless, making the 7-degree F temperature ...

  • Checking on Maine’s Peregrines—
    Last week my car made an im- promp- tu pull- over along Rockland’s busy Camden Street. As you might have guessed, a notable bird had drawn my attention — an adult peregrine falcon perched nonchalantly in a tall street-side tree....
  • Legs for Winter —
    The approach of the winter season brings forth a new suite of hardier cold-weather birds to the midcoast. Long gone are the insect-eating birds of sunny summer days — bobolinks, tanagers, thrushes, troops of swooping ...
  • White All the Way—
    Last week, I received an email about a white crow being seen in Owls Head village. American crows occasionally show patches of white feathering, particularly through sections of their wing linings and tail, a genetic condition known ...
  • Wings—
    Of the 9,000 species of birds in the world, 1,107 species are found within the United States, while Canada and Alaska host 686 and 521 species, respectively. And 1,118 species are found throughout tropical Mexico, despite ...
  • Finches This Winter?—
    Around this time each year, I write a column that forecasts winter finches. These forecast data come out of Canada and are based on abundances of cone and seed crops across reaches of northern forest. In years of relative food ...
  • Greater and Lesser—
    Deter- mining the relative size of birds can be a tricky element in identifying them. Much of the time, size can be pinned to broad general categories. We might describe a small bird as the size of a sparrow or perhaps a robin....
  • The Western Express—
    Given the late-September calendar, and the fact that offshore islands often attract multitudes of migrating birds, Monhegan Island was the perfect place to spend some recent time. The phenomenon of migration is wondrous and ...
  • Tales of a Tardy Author—
    For many people, opening a book leads to realms of fantasy, discovery or insight. That was the case for me in my youth. But there was one interruption to book openings during my freshman year of high school. On the initial day of classes ...
  • Feather Trades—
    A bird’s plumage is our primary means of identify- ing it. But, depending on the season of year and the age of a bird, we may notice shifts in each species’ general appearance. This is due to natural processes of feather ...
  • Merely Merlins—
    Stepping from my vehicle, I heard shrill chatters coming from an immense oak tree at a wood’s edge. These were four merlin chicks that had fledged from somewhere nearby but were still too young to hunt independently....
  • Familiar Faces in Familiar Places —
    Generally speaking, birds are ephemeral creatures that often bypass our notice, leaving scant opportunities to make their full acquaintance. There are exceptions, of course, such as Troppy, a red-billed tropicbird that has spent summers ...
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