Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Ecology

Cormorants

Cormorants Congregate on an Island (2010)

These large, black birds are found in Maine primarily along the coast, on rocky shores, on ledges, and swimming in the water. “Cormorant” is derived from two latin words that mean “sea crow,” but this bird is not actually associated … Continue reading

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Cranberry Isles

Location Map for Cranberry Isles

in Hancock County, incorporated 1830, requires ferries or water taxis to access. The 200 acre cranberry marsh on Great Cranberry Island influenced Governor Bernard in 1762 to name the town as it is. Little Cranberry hosts the Islesford Historical Museum; The Baker Island and Bear Island light stations provide navigation assistance near Acadia National Park. See map. Continue reading

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Crow, American

American Crow (2013)

The American crow is related to crows on other continents, such as Europe, Africa and Asia. Similar to the common raven, also black, it is smaller, up to 18 inches compared to up to 27 inches for the raven. In … Continue reading

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Cumberland County Nature Preserves

Along a Trail at the Coastal Studies Center (2005)

Basket Island, Cumberland. 9 acres of mixed forest and shell and gravel beaches. Osprey nest on nearby ledges. Watch out for abundant poison ivy.  Popular picnic spot. Managed by The Nature Conservancy. Bay Bridge Landing, Brunswick. A six-acre wetland park … Continue reading

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Curtis Island

Curtis Light Station (undated)

[KUR-tis ISLAND], known for many years as Negro Island, is located in Camden Harbor in Knox County. Established in 1835, a light at the station was first lit in 1896 and was automated in 1972. White with a black “lantern” … Continue reading

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Damariscove Island

Map Showing the location of Damariscove Island. Green areas are unorganized territories.

Just south of Booth Bay, the island was one of the earliest places along the Maine coast inhabited by Europeans. Even before the Pilgrim’s Mayflower arrived, fishermen from England, France, Spain and Holland caught and dried cod, which was shipped … Continue reading

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Dead River and Flagstaff Lake

Location Map for Dead River and Flagstaff Lake

The bulk of Flagstaff Lake (maps on right) cover Flagstaff, Bigelow, and Dead River townships in western Somerset County. The North Branch of the Dead River (maps on left) flow through the town of Eustis. Comparing the course of the … Continue reading

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Deer

Lying Still After Discovery (2009)

From “WHITE-TAILS IN THE MAINE WOODS” by Gerry Lavigne, c. 1998 [major excerpts] Wildlife Biologist, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Deer Details Physical Characteristics Maine is home to one of the largest of the 30 recognized subspecies of white-tailed … Continue reading

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Deer Isle

Location Map for Deer Isle

John Steinbeck on Deer Isle: “There is something about it that opens no door to words.” Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge links the island to the mainland. See photos. The town, in Hancock County and incorporated 1789, includes nature preserves and 77 coastal islands. .
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Degree Days

The following heating and cooling degree day normals by month for forty-nine locations in Maine, one aspect of the climate, are calculated by recording the difference between the mean temperature for a month and 65 degrees as the base temperature. … Continue reading

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Dix Island

Location of Dix Island

[DICKS ISLAND] is located three miles off shore from the town of South Thomaston in the Muscle Ridge Islands group of about fifteen islands and a fair number of ledges and reefs. Dix Island Harbor lies to the southeast of … Continue reading

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Dresden Bog

Roadside culverts mark the Dresden Bog access site (2010)

The Erle R. Kelley Wildlife Management Area encompasses most of Dresden Bog, within the town of Dresden, and much of the adjoining land, some of which is in Alna. The Bog, one of Maine’s many nature preserves, is accessible from … Continue reading

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Ducks

Quacking Mallards, Brunswick (2011)

An article c. 1997 by Pat Corr (retired) Wildlife Biologist, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife DABBLING DUCKS Description Dabbling ducks common in Maine are the American black duck, the mallard, green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, and wood duck. Northern … Continue reading

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Eagle, Bald

Bald Eagle Surveying the Kennebec River (2005)

The Bald Eagle, symbol of the United States of America and once threatened with extinction, has made a substantial comeback. It is now listed as “threatened” rather than “endangered.” The St. Croix River, bordering Canada in Washington County, has a … Continue reading

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Earthquakes

Earthquakes in Maine, Maine Geological Survey

in Maine have been relatively mild since the reported “big one” on November 18, 1755, which was felt widely across New England and did great damage in Massachusetts. On April 20, 2002 people in Maine felt their houses shaking at … Continue reading

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Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe in Harpswell (2011)

This seven-inch gray bird with brown wings returns to southern Maine in early spring to build its nest, often in the usual place unless it has been destroyed. The insect eating Phoebe makes its news under overhanging structures, such as … Continue reading

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Egrets

Great Egret (2010)

The Great Egret and the Snowy Egret are both well-known birds along the Maine Coast. Egrets are part of the heron family. Great Egret This egret is all white with a yellow bill and black legs. Its length of 35-41 … Continue reading

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Eider, Common

“Best known for its soft, warm down”, the large diving sea-duck common eider, according to Audubon*, is “most easily observed because of its tendency to remain close to shore and its relative abundance, especially in northeastern North America. This cold … Continue reading

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Environment, Superfund Sites

In general, “A Superfund site is an uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located, possibly affecting local ecosystems or people.”1 A federal Superfund site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste … Continue reading

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Forestry

Georgia Pacific Clear Cut, May, 1973 (U.S. EPA photo)

is the science of managing forest resources for human benefit. Maine has had a long history of using forest resources and an equally long history of controversy over whether proper management of those resources has been adequate. Continue reading

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