Maine: An Encyclopedia
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Ecology

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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River Otter

River otters are water-adapted mammals, with long, streamlined bodies, short legs, webbed toes, and long, tapered tails. Their short, thick fur is a rich brown above, and lighter, with a silvery sheen, below. Adult males average four feet in length, … Continue reading

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Rivers

Kennebec River (2002)

  Water abounds in Maine. It has 73 rivers longer than 20 miles, 39 rivers that drain at least 200 square miles, 51 lakes that have an area of at least five miles, 32 civil divisions that contain at least … Continue reading

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Robins

Robin on a Lawn in Spring (2010)

The American Robin is the “sign of spring” for Mainers, when we first notice Robin Redbreast after a long absence. But in southern areas of the state these birds often resist the urge to join their northern cousins who head … Continue reading

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

This is the smallest bird in Maine.  Amazngly, this tiny, energy-burning bird migrates thousands of miles each year between Maine and the southern United States, Mexico and Central America. In southern Maine it appears in early summer for a brief … Continue reading

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Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse or Partridge

Physical Characteristics Ruffed grouse (or “Partridge”) are the most widely distributed game birds in North America. They rank among the smaller of the 10 species of grouse native to North America with weights ranging from 17 to 25 oz. The … Continue reading

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Sagadahoc County Nature Preserves

The Sprague River winding through the Salt Marsh, Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area

Bald Head Preserve, Arrowsic. A Bald eagle wintering area on 296 acres and two and a half miles of the Kennebec and Back Rivers. Access is across privately owned marsh or from the river. A trail leads to  the picturesque … Continue reading

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Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane in Sherman (2015)

Sandhill Cranes are very large, tall birds with a long neck reaching four feet tall.  They have long legs and broad wings. The cranes are mostly found in the Midwest but since the year 2000 they have been seen in … Continue reading

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Seguin Island

Seguin Island Light Station (2000)

Some uncertainty exists about the meaning of the famous island’s name of “Seguin” or “Satquin” according to Eckstorm. One explanation is that “From the east it does resemble a tortoise, whence evidently its name from the Indian, che-quen-ocks, called Siguenoc.” … Continue reading

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Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper (2014)

This bird is one of several sandpipers in Maine.  The Semipalmated Sandpiper, described as perhaps one of the most numerous shorebirds in North America, is not a permanent resident, but is does migrate through the state. Those featured here passed … Continue reading

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Somerset County Nature Preserves

Flagstaff Lake from Bigelow Mountain (2003)

Coburn Woods in Skowhegan. This 300 acre tract is named in honor of Louise Helen Coburn, founder and first president of the Somerset Woods Trustees, which owns and manages the land.  Is contains significant vernal pools with good surrounding wooded … Continue reading

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Southport Island

Map of Maine Showing the location of Southport. Green areas are unorganized territories.

Located between Sheepscot Bay and Booth Bay, it is connected by a swing bridge to the town of Boothbay Harbor, and the casual visitor might not assume the town with two lighthouses was on an island. See photos. At the height of the summer, traffic is often backed up at the bridge as boats pass. Townsend Gut is the narrow waterway that separates the two towns. It is a shortcut from Boothbay Harbor to the Sheepscot River. The general store in West Southport village has been an institution for over a century. Continue reading

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Sparrows

Chipping Sparrow (2010)

Several species of sparrows abound in Maine’s collection of birds.  They include the Chipping, Song, and White-throated sparrows. All are between 5 and 7 inches long. In an unusual twist, the female and male sparrows noted here have the same … Continue reading

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