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Monday, August 2, 2021
Click on the headline above to access the archive for Don Reimer’s “Birding with Don Reimer” column.
  • Shorebird 101—
    By mid-July, we can anticipate some shorebird move- ments, as summer nesters retreat southward from tundra nesting grounds. Since intercontinental migration is such a grueling and perilous endeavor, we might rightly wonder ...
  • It’s Atlas Season—
    Late June is prime time for bird nesting activity. It’s also a productive interval for the Maine Bird Atlas project, now in its fourth year of study. The Atlas’s purpose is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the abundance ...
  • A Festival for the Birds—
    I spent June 3–6 at the Acadia Birding Festival, an annual nature extravaganza centered in the Mount Desert Island region, with extended trips to remote sites in Rangeley (for Bicknell’s thrush), Bangor and Searsport. This ambitious ...
  • Banded Travelers—
    In the early 1800s, an inquisitive teen near Phila- delphia fastened silver threads to the legs of several nestling Eastern phoebes, hoping to learn whether they would return the next spring. The young man was John James Audubon....
  • ’Tis the Season—
    The annual spring bird migration is one of Nature’s greatest wonders and accomplish- ments. And once it has reached full volume, what began as a trickle in late April widens to a broad stream of movement. A decided sense of urgency ...
  • Fish and Birds—
    Each May, the Georges River teems with birdlife and migrating stocks of fish. And much of that activity occurs near a stretch in Warren village, where the river narrows enough to concentrate the level of activity. The results are wild ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
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