Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Wildlife

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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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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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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Geese

Large Flock of Canada Geese off Route 115 in North Yarmouth (October 2013)

by Patt Corr (retired – contact Brad Allen)) Wildlife Biologist, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Description The snow goose, white-fronted goose, Canada goose, and Atlantic brant occur in Maine. The white-fronted goose, snow goose and Atlantic brant are … Continue reading

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Glossy Ibis

This bird’s year round home is along the southeast coast of the United States and islands in the Caribbean.  But the Glossy Ibis is an occasional visitor during the summer mating season. These two, on the right, were observed at … Continue reading

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Goldfinch

Goldfinch in the Fall (2007)

male in summer is a yellow bird with a black patch on its forehead, with black wings and tail and white on the wings and rump. In winter he looks much like the female: a dull olive yellow with brownish … Continue reading

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Grackles

Female Grackle (2009)

The Common Grackle is a bird found throughout Maine in the summer; but it migrates to the southern states for the winter.  As is well described in the Birds of Maine field Guide, the male is a “Large [11-13 inches] … Continue reading

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Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird near a Bird Feeder (2013)

Yes, the Gray Catbird sounds like a cat in “normal” mode.  But, being a relative of mockingbirds, it often imitates others or combines sounds of several species to create its own music. The one pictured here is typical in its … Continue reading

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Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron in Reeds (2009)

Great Blue Heron, one of the largest birds in Maine, is a stately sight, primarily along the coast, as it fishes for its dinner near low tides. Occasionally found inland along marshes, rivers and the shores of ponds. Continue reading

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Grouse

Spruce Grouse in Riley Township (2003)

Grouse Spruce Grouse The Spruce Grouse is found in mixed spruce and pine forests, such as this on the Appalachian Trail in Riley Township in western Maine. It roosts in trees and its almost tame behavior permitted a closer photo … Continue reading

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Gulls

Seagull Near Monhegan Island (2007)

While commonly called “sea gulls,” Maine hosts three types of these birds: Great Black-backed, Herring, and Ringed-neck gulls.  All are scavengers that eat a variety of items including, fish (such as alewives – see photo below), clams, eggs of other … Continue reading

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House Finch

Male House Finch (2007)

This bird is found year-round in all but northern Maine. The male is similar to the Purple Finch, except that the latter has a tuft of feathers on its head. The male Pine Grosbeak, another look-a-like, is larger than the … Continue reading

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Insects, Biting

Female Deer Tick

Deer ticks are small, about 1/8 of an inch. They may reach 1/2 inch if swelled with blood. Lyme Disease Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to a person through the bite of an infected deer tick. (Actually … Continue reading

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Insects, Browntail Moth

Browntail Moth Larva (2017)

According to the Maine Forest Service the browntail moth was accidentally introduced into Somerville, Massachusetts from Europe in 1897.  By 1913, the insect had spread to all New England states, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  Populations of this pest slowly … Continue reading

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Insects, Fireflies

Firefly in Maine (2017)

As I turned out the light in my office, a small wink of another light flickered back at me. This firefly is a Maine native. Strangely, these “flies” are actually flying beetles. They use their lighting abilities in summer to … Continue reading

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Invasive Species

sign: "Boaters Watch Out For Hitchhiking Plants!" at Washington Pond in Washington (2003)

Maine, as most places on Earth, is home to native and non-native species of plants and animals. The State of Maine has extensive resources on this subject so there is no need to restate them here. An invasive plant is … Continue reading

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Juncos

Dark-eyed Junco (2010)

The Dark-eyed Juncos are birds that live in Maine all year. Ground feeders, they are most often noticed in winter in small flocks under bird feeders. They especially like seeds that fall from the feeders. In summer they tend to … Continue reading

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