News & Notes: The Naturalist’s Blog


Marmota monax Madness!

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Despite all the snow on the ground, the first groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistle pigs, Marmota monax) will be emerging from their burrows soon. Groundhogs are one of the few “true” hibernating species that we have in Maine. They slow their metabolic rate and drop their body temperatures to wait out winter in the safety and warmth …

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App Review: Song Sleuth

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Since the first time birders used Shazam to learn what song was playing on the radio, they’ve been waiting for an app that can identify what birds they are hearing. There have been attempts at the technology and we’ve been teased with releases. Princeton, for example, has been dangling the “BirdGenie” app in front of …

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Nature Notes 2017: 04

Friday, February 10th, 2017

“Nature Notes” will be a near-weekly blog post to keep you updated on some things going on with Maine’s wildlife. This will include incidental observations (many of which are shared on our Instagram page), recent unusual bird sightings, and notes on our bird walks or other field trips. Observations: Further evidence that this winter has been especially …

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Nature Notes 2017: 03 (Arizona Edition)

Monday, February 6th, 2017

“Nature Notes” will be a near-weekly blog post to keep you updated on some things going on with Maine’s wildlife. This will include incidental observations (many of which are shared on our Instagram page), recent unusual bird sightings, and notes on our bird walks or other field trips. In case you missed it, past Nature Notes can …

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Nature Notes 2017: 02

Friday, January 13th, 2017

“Nature Notes” will be a near-weekly blog post to keep you updated on some things going on with Maine’s wildlife. This will include incidental observations (many of which are shared on our Instagram page), recent unusual bird sightings, and notes on our bird walks or other field trips. In case you missed it, last week’s Nature Notes …

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Nature Notes 2017: 01

Friday, January 6th, 2017

“Nature Notes” will be a near-weekly blog post to keep you updated on some things going on with Maine’s wildlife. This will include incidental observations (many of which are shared on our Instagram page), recent unusual bird sightings, and notes on our bird walks or other field trips. Observations: Barred Owls seem to be everywhere …

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Rufous Hummingbird visits Portland

Monday, October 31st, 2016

A frequent question I receive in the fall is: “When can I take my hummingbird feeders down?” I answered this a blog post in October 2014 by saying that most of our Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are gone by early October, however you should keep the feeders up later than that because it is October and November …

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Who has been chewing on our building?

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

While photographing a Sigmoid Prominent outside our Environmental Center, I noticed a series of long narrow marks along the wood siding of the building. We shared a photo of them as a quiz on our Facebook page. Do you know who made these bizarre markings? It didn’t take long before their creator returned and continued the …

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Predicting Hummingbird Arrivals

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Spring is coming and many of our most loved birds will be here any day! Thanks to long running citizen science projects we can pretty accurately predict when certain species are going to arrive. One migrant that a lot of people are already talking about and eagerly awaiting is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Let’s take a …

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Students in Search of a Snowy Owl

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

I recently had the pleasure of going birding with a group of students from Windham Middle School to look for a Snowy Owl. I’ve had the pleasure of working with this group before. Their teacher, Ryan Rumsey, has been working with Maine Audubon and teaching his students to bird for a couple years now. Incorporating birds …

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