Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Ecology

Birds

Cardinal

Almost 400 different bird species have been recorded in Maine, of which approximately half are known to have bred here. With a little effort a birder should be able to see 200 species in the state during the course of a year. See Ecology>Nature Preserves for locations. Continue reading

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Black Bear

Bear feces on Lost Pond Trail in Baxter State Park (2005)

text by Craig McLaughlin Wildlife Biologist, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Bear Facts Physical Characteristics The black bear, featured above at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, is the smallest of the three species of bears inhabiting North … Continue reading

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Bobolink

Male Bobolink at Mitchell Field in Harpswell

According to the Audubon Society’s Field Guide to North American Birds, “The Bobolink was probably confined to the central grasslands originally, but with the settling of the Northeast it quickly spread into New England. Now with farms abandoned and the … Continue reading

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Brown-headed Cowbird

Female Brown-headed Cowbird in Nobleboro (2015)

This Cowbird, 6 to eight inches beak to tail,  is a spring and summer visitor to Maine.  Once a follower of bison on the great plains, these birds now inhabit the edges of woods, roadsides, and towns across the United … Continue reading

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Butterflies

Butterflies and Cone Flowers on Monhegan Island (2007)

Butterflies in Maine Monarchs The colorful and common Monarchs range throughout the United States, including all of Maine, especially in rural areas with fields thick with milkweed. Wingspan ranges from 3½ to 4 inches. As forests reclaim abandoned farms and … Continue reading

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Campobello Island

Campobello Island with its lighthouse, May, 1973, U.S. EPA photo National Archives # NWDNS-412-DA-7873

[cam-poo-BEL-loo] is an island in Canada, joined by a causeway to Lubec in Washington County. Acquired by  FDR’s father James Roosevelt in 1883, the house was ready for the family in 1885.  It became the summer retreat of Franklin D. … Continue reading

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Cardinals

Where

These birds are colorful members of the finch family.  The male is well known for its bright red coat, and the female has tinges of red on her fine brownish feathers.  At 8-9 inches, they sport a distinctive tuft atop … Continue reading

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Carrabassett Valley

Location Map for Carrabassett Valley

Home to Sugarloaf Mountain and its ski area, it has many related seasonal homes. The population has exploded in the latest census decade. A “ski academy” and a small airport are two enterprises based on the skiing economy. The Appalachian Trail passes north-south through the community along the western side of North and South Crocker Mountains. See video and photos. Continue reading

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Casco Bay

Schooner Near Halfway Rock (2001)

contains about 200 islands (depending on what one counts as an “island”) and is bounded by Cape Elizabeth in the south and Cape Small in the north. Halfway Rock is about half way between the two capes which are about … Continue reading

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Cathance River Preserve

Lady Slippers on the Heath Trail

The Cathance River Preserve is one of several preserves in Sagadahoc County.  Managed by the nonprofit Cathance River Education Alliance, it features summer camps, educational programs, and research.  Its Ecology Center is a learning facility that is itself a model … Continue reading

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Chain of Ponds

is the name for Township T2 R6 WBKP, which contains the Chain Lakes, a waterway that provided Benedict Arnold’s expedition with the final passage to Canada on October 25th and 26th in 1775. The North Branch of the Dead River … Continue reading

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Chebeague Island

Location Map of Chebeague Island

[shuh-BEEG-iland] is a town in Cumberland County, incorporated on July 1, 2007 after separating from the mainland town of Cumberland. In doing so, it joined its neighbor Long Island as another new town in Casco Bay. The 2000 census recorded … Continue reading

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Chickadees

Black-capped Chicadee (2007)

The Black-capped Chickadee is the State of Maine’s official bird.  Actually, the law only refers to the “chickadee,” but there are other species.  This 5 inch bird inhabits the northern half of the United States and southern Canada. In addition … Continue reading

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Climate

Maine Climate Divisions from Maine

Local Climate Changes Earth’s atmosphere is experiencing unprecedented changes that are modifying global climate. Discussions continue around the world, the nation, and in Maine on how to reduce and eventually eliminate emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), other greenhouse gases, and … Continue reading

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Climate, Ice Out Dates

Ice-out on Sebago Lake, Spring 1985

Historical Changes in Lake Ice-Out Dates as Indicators of Climate Change in New England, 1850-2000 U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS 2005-3002 January 2005. Changes in water resources over time may affect public and private … Continue reading

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Climate, Ice Out on Moosehead Lake

Ice Out Moosehead 2014

Since the 1870’s, the date for “ice out” on Moosehead Lake has been occurring earlier in the year on average. Similar trends have been documented on other Maine lakes, including Richardson Lake. The warming climate has advanced the typical date … Continue reading

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Coastal Studies Center

The Farmhouse and Barn (2010)

The Coastal Studies Center of Bowdoin College is located on Orrs Island in Harpswell. In 1981 Irma and William Thalheimer gave the 118 acre property, including the farmhouse and barn, to Bowdoin “to be protected in its natural environment and … Continue reading

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Coldest Warmest Areas

Here are the coldest to the warmest areas of the state, based on 49 reporting stations. Data, collected by month for thirty years, are calculated by recording the difference between the mean temperature for a month, and 65 degrees as … Continue reading

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Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot on Rocky Brook Road in T8 R8 WELS (2015)

Coltsfoot Wildflower Description These small yellow flowers lie face-up looking much like tiny suns, with a yellow button-like center and petals that jut out like small spikes of light.  The stem, an unusual scaly structure, is only eight inches high. … Continue reading

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Cooper’s Hawk

Coopers Hawk near bird feeders in Harpswell, Maine (2014)

This raptor has traditionally summered in Maine but moved south for the winter.  However, climate change may have altered that pattern.  A bit smaller than an osprey, it is still an imposing sight perched near a house. Its habitat in … Continue reading

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