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Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Click on the headline above to access the archive for Don Reimer's "Birding with Don Reimer" column.
  • The term “potluck” refers to a meal or a party to which each guest contributes a dish. A second definition mentions “a situation in which one must take a chance that whatever is available will prove good or acceptable.” Frequently my bird column ...
  • Amid stands of mature hard- woods in my Warren neighborhood, four species of woodpeckers inhabit a certain rock maple tree in the front yard. That 40-year-old maple has some compelling physical traits, such as partially decayed limbs . . .
  • In today’s hyperbolic world, exag- gerated rhetoric is sometimes used to portray ordinary situations in superlative terms. Adjectives like ‘greatest,’ ‘biggest’ and ‘best’ are readily applied to any host of things. This tendency is especially prevalent . . .
  • On December 15, eight teams of volunteer birders and several home feeder watchers conducted the annual Thomaston-Rockland Christmas Bird Count. Started nationally in 1900 as an alternative to the then-traditional “side hunts” . . .
  • My recent trip to the Thomas- ton Grammar School fifth-grade classroom, where I’d gone to discuss eagles, triggered some personal childhood memories. As a student at the Bristol School decades ago, I spotted an adult Bald Eagle . . .
  • Of humanity, it has been said that the eyes are the windows into the soul, and our eyes certainly express an array of moods and emotions. When people fake a smile, however, onlookers can often tell because the corners of the smiler’s . . .
  • Whether it’s following the yearly Yankees/ Red Sox rivalries or even rooting for a favorite political candidate, we Mainers seem to relish hearty competition. But have you considered the daily tussles at your bird feeders when . . .
  • In my previous column, I wrote about the prospects of seeing flocks of northern finches around Maine this winter. Since finches are such colorful and active beings that bring beauty and definite excitement to our yards, they become . . .
  • With the approach of the winter season, birders are quick to pose the perennial question: Will flocks of northern finches visit Maine this winter? Finch movements are linked to cyclic abundances of cone and seed crops across immense . . .
  • In late September we spent time on Mohegan Island, hoping to catch the zenith of the fall bird migration. We knew that variable influences, such as wind speed and direction and shifting weather patterns, affect the timing and flow of optimal migration. . . .
  • For folks in the midcoast region, sightings of soaring turkey vultures are a common sight, but that was not always the case. When ornithologist Ralph Palmer published his “Maine Birds” in 1949, he cited only 12 state records over the . . .
  • The old saying that birds of a feather flock together is actually true. From nesting activity to emergency escapes from predators, flocking behavior accomplishes several important objectives for bird survival. Examples abound. . . .
  • Here’s a question for all sharp-eyed bird and feeder watchers: Are you repeatedly seeing the same individuals each day at your feeders? Have those familiar chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, hummingbirds and woodpeckers that show up . . .
  • For some folks, sparrows are merely an after- thought — those “little brown jobs” that inhabit our neighborhood yards and bushes. Certain ones, such as the ubiquitous Song Sparrow, nest in a broad range of habitat types across . . .
  • How quickly the years (and decades) do pass. Between 1978 and 1983, I was an eager, young(er) participant in the previous “Atlas of Breeding Birds in Maine” project. Recently I browsed a slightly yellowed paper copy of the finalized results . . .
  • For the majority of birds, the nesting season is zinging along these days! And so is the Maine Bird Atlassing project. Of the current 175 confirmed species statewide, Lincoln County has 87, with 85 for Knox and 81 for Waldo so far. . . .
  • As the Maine Bird Atlas project progresses into late June, the number of confirmed breeding species found across the state has reached 160 (as of June 22). Locally, Knox County atlassers have confirmed 667 species, while Lincoln . . .
  • By the second week of June, spring migration has largely achieved its yearly goal of placing birds at their intended nesting destinations. There are always some tail-end stragglers, of course, and intriguing species of out-of-range birds that . . .
  • BREEEP! BREEEP! That’s not the sound of a beeping vehicle I was hearing. No, it’s that noisy Great Crested Flycatcher that arrives behind my house each mid-May. A relatively large, vocal species that utilizes natural tree cavities . . .
  • With the onset of spring nesting season, songbirds become the major avian focus for many birders. After all, a brightly plumaged Canada Warbler or fire-red Scarlet Tanager is definitely a visual treat. But other less conspicuous species . . .
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