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Sunday, October 17, 2021
Click on the headline above to access the archive for Don Reimer’s “Birding with Don Reimer” column.
  • Birding with Don Reimer: Moon Shot—
    Success in birding often hinges on being in the right place at the right time. In the pre-dawn dark of September 21, I sat alone at Fish Beach on Monhegan Island. A bulging Harvest Moon illuminated the harbor and outlined ...
  • Ocean Voyages—
    In mid-September, my wife and I embarked on an ocean voyage. Not exactly a major journey, but an annual 12-mile trek to our fall stay at Monhegan Island. The only wild card in the equation was Hurricane Larry, a recent offshore ...
  • On Taking Field Trips—
    Birding field trips are an effective and fun way to learn about birds while visiting interesting birding sites. And although the COVID-19 period has thrown us some temporary curveballs, certain environmental organizations have resumed ...
  • Matters of Survival—
    Following decades of recovery efforts from the devastat- ing effects of DDT pesticide through the 1960s, opportunities for Maine peregrine sightings have expanded in recent years. The Eastern falcon population (anatum) was historically ...
  • Birds of August—
    Although August weather is typically hot and muggy, it represents the true start of fall migration for some species, especially shorebirds. Things pop as tundra species exit northern nesting grounds and head south along Maine’s ...
  • On Metinic—
    Reaching the end of our 45-minute boat trip from Rockland, we approached the rocky shoreline of Metinic Island, one of 73 offshore islands and four coastal parcels comprising The Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge....
  • 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 ...
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