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Saturday, April 4, 2020
Click on the headline above to access the archive for Don Reimer's "Birding with Don Reimer" column.
  • Birding with Don Reimer: Matters of Resilience —
    Given the world’s current viral calamities, most folks are staying at home these days, when possible. For me, this has meant some additional time watching bird activity outside my big front window. In a single afternoon, I witnessed ...
  • A Page-Turner—
    Recently I visited Bowdoin College’s Special Collec- tions Library to participate in their monthly page-turner event. Bowdoin is fortunate to possess a copy of John James Audubon’s “The Birds of America,” which is on permanent display ...
  • Field Trips—
    Through the years, I’ve led or partici- pated in scores of birding field trips. As a result, I’ve seen a wide variety of birds and met some very nice folks in the process. No two field trips are the same though, and the perception of success ...
  • Skepticisms —
    A spirit of optimism can be useful when aiming to identify birds. After all, without some optimistic prospect of success, who would ever have the courage to begin? I recall a field trip where a non-birding spouse accompanied his birder ...
  • Birds at Feeders —
    Late last fall, folks who feed wild birds began noting a general lull in feeder activity. The same holds true for my home feeders. For the past month, neighborhood chickadees, goldfinches, mourning doves, jays, nuthatches ...
  • Caching In On Winter—
    Of the several bird feeders in my yard, a hanging peanut feeder attracts steady lines of customers. Flitting parades of chickadees and fidgety bunches of titmice, nuthatches and woodpeckers all take turns, maneuvering their bills between ...
  • Counting the Birds—
    Begun in 1900 as an alternative to the then-popular holiday “side-hunts,” where hunters shot as many birds and animals as possible in a single day, annual Christmas Bird Counts are now held across the western hemisphere ...
  • Making a List: Checking It Twice—
    Since humans are the only species with list-keeping skills, this phenomenon is undoubtedly a distinct capacity of the human brain. The classic “to-do” list serves as a daily reminder of things needing to get done. Lists can also give ...
  • Birding with Don Reimer: C is for Carnivore—
    Typically when carni- vorous animals are men- tioned, we visualize a charging grizzly bear or prowling lion — by definition these are definitely animals that feed on flesh. Assortments of other species, including most humans, match this ...
  • Birding with Don Reimer: Coping with winter—
    With October’s dwindling daylight and dipping tempera- tures, many of our summer birds have retreated south for winter. These are various species of warblers, flycatchers and sundry songbirds that rely primarily on insects for sustenance....
  • The Red Zone —
    As bird-watchers, we tend to focus mainly on evident field marks to identify or study any certain bird. For instance, an adult bald eagle reveals its gleaming white head and tail and an American robin’s rufous breast is recognizable ...
  • Birding with Don Reimer: The Fall Marsh—
    One of my favorite haunts at any season of the year, Weskeag Marsh, shifts its summer appearance and mood in October as the bright foliage reflections of roadside pools fade and succumb to brisk fall winds. The bulk of the marsh’s ...
  • Summering with Vultures, Part 2—
    In my previous column I traced the progress of two nestling turkey vultures as they matured and eventually emerged from their cave-like dwelling around July 27. On previous visits, the developing chicks had hissed harshly and assumed ...
  • Summering with Vultures—
    Last year I wrote a column on turkey vultures and my unsuccess- ful attempts to confirm Maine-nesting vultures as part of the statewide five-year Maine Bird Atlas project. I’m glad to report that 2019 nesting-season statistics had a ...
  • 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 ...
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