Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Ecology

Nature Preserves

Nature Preserves by County

Maine has hundreds of special places set aside for perserving natural areas and wildlife. Nature preserves, for the purposes of this article, include the following: public reserved lands, conservation areas, wildlife refuges, bird sanctuaries, etc. Click on a county for … Continue reading

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New Meadows River

Valve Regulating Water to the Peterson Canal (2010)

This “river” is one of those inlets from the sea that is not a true river.  It had been tidal as far inland a Bath until a dam was  constructed that created ponds above it. At its northern most reach … Continue reading

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North Haven

Location of North Haven Island

Located in Penobscot Bay, it is accessible via the State Ferry Service from Rockland, with connections to Vinalhaven. See video and photos. Fishing was the major industry on the island for many years, with a brief venture into canning. Boat building emerged as a major economic activity producing both fishing vessels and yachts for summer people. Long a resort community, it has few permanent residents. The “Turner Farm Site,” on the National Register, is a treasure of artifacts from Maine pre-history. Calderwood Island nature preserve is here. Continue reading

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North Maine Woods

The 20 mile North Maine Woods checkpoint in the Pittston Academy Grant (T2 R4 NBKP) (2008)

North Maine Woods In addition to be a general term for the forests of northern Maine, North Maine Woods is an organization that manages access to a specific area of mostly privately own land. Land Ownership The complicated historic land … Continue reading

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Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike in Brewer (May, 2013)

A relatively shy and infrequently noticed bird in Maine, the northern shrike often perches atop a tree awaiting a food opportunity.  Unlike most songbirds, this one preys on small birds and rodents. This one, uncharacteristically, was in downtown Brewer near … Continue reading

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Nuthatches

White-breasted Nuthatch (2010)

are small, needle-nosed birds about the size of a chickadee, but more streamlined. Nuthatches come in two varieties in Maine: White-breasted (larger) and Red-breasted (smaller with a black eyeliner). They are frequent visitors to bird feeders, with, as expected, a … Continue reading

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Orrs Island

Orrs Island Bridge from Great Island in Harpswell at Sunset (2003)

Inhabited since 1762, the island has many historic structures, such as the 1855 Meetinghouse and 1900 Chapel, that have survived the test of time. Part of the town of Harpswell, it is home to the Coastal Studies Center of Bowdoin College, on the shore of Harpswell Sound near Casco Bay. Several wooded walking trails offer ocean views. Continue reading

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Ospreys

Osprey Overlooking Harpswell Sound (2012)

The Osprey, or “fish hawk,” is a powerful large bird with a wingspan sometimes reaching six feet. Its threatening physical size and sharp talons contrast with its almost ridiculously timid “cheep, cheep” chirping voice. It can be found across the … Continue reading

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Oxford County Nature Preserves

Mooselookmeguntic Lake from Height of Land in Township D (2007)

Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1992 spans the Maine-New Hampshire border. 5,000 of the total of 17,500 acres lie in Maine. A Magalloway River trail leads off Maine Route 16. In addition, about 20 miles of logging trails … Continue reading

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Peaks Island

Approaching the Island (2014)

The Island is a City of Portland neighborhood in Casco Bay, accessible by ferry from the terminal on Portland’s waterfront.  The brief trip carries freight, vehicles, bicycles and tourists. While the population is about 900, the number of people on … Continue reading

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Peary, Robert E.

The Peary House on Eagle Island (2002)

(1856-1920), who summered on Eagle Island, received a degree in civil engineering from Bowdoin College in 1877, was a noted Arctic explorer who became famous as the discoverer of the North Pole, though many experts believe that the claim has … Continue reading

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Penobscot County Nature Preserves

Sunkhaze Meadows Refuge Notice (2005)

Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, Alton, Old Town. The site of an archaeological project along the Pushaw Stream, where evidence suggests occupation by prehistoric Indian cultures dating back approximately 7,000 years. Although no excavation is presently going on, and much of the … Continue reading

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Penobscot River

Grand Lake Matagamon from the Baxter Park Access Road before the Matagamon Gate

Windows on the River: East Branch Windows on the River: West Branch The Penobscot River Basin drains 8,680 +/- square miles in northeastern Maine. The main stem of the river flows for 105 miles from the confluence of its East … Continue reading

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Piscataquis County Nature Preserves

View from the Trail

Nature Preserves Appalachian Trail, Eliotsville Twp. Six miles of trail along the Barren Mountain ridge are protected by The Maine Bureau of Parks and Recreation. The Trail south trends westward over Barren Mountain to Wilson Stream, then south to Little … Continue reading

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Precipitation Normals

Precipitation normals are calculated by taking the mean (average) of the precipitation in each month, over a thirty-year period. Sixty-one locations reported on this aspect of Maine’s climate for the period 1971 through 2010. Data reflects the average in the … Continue reading

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Rabbits

Map: Cottontail Rabbit and Snowshoe Hare Habitat

The New England cottontail rabbit was, in 2011, a candidate for federal listing as a threatened species. Less than 300 rabbits are believed to be in Maine, most in the south.  Threats include the loss of young forest and thickets … Continue reading

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Rank of Maine, Geography

Maine, while the largest in New England, is relatively small compared to other states.  It abundant lakes, rivers and streams contribute to a high ranking for water resources. Unlike many western state with huge proportions of land owned by the … Continue reading

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Red Fox

The average weight of a male red fox is about 12 lbs; females are slightly smaller. They become sexually mature at 10 to 11 months. They breed annually from December through March. The average litter, born during March and early … Continue reading

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Red-tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk in a Tree on the Lunksoos Camps Road in the Maine woods (2014)

Red-tailed hawk, near the East Branch of the Penobscot River in the Maine woods Lunksoos area and near a logging yard in Crystal Continue reading

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Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird in Newcastle (2008)

is a bird that inhabits marshes, swamps, meadows and pastures throughout the United States and throughout the state of Maine. The male is easily identified by its bright red “shoulder patches.”  The female and the young are streaked with brown, … Continue reading

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