Yearly Archives: 2023

Hepatic Tanager in Maine . . . On December 30

Tanagers are some of the planet’s most beautiful birds . . . often a combination of bright reds and yellows.  There are 386 species of Tanagers scattered across the world, but only four are found in North America.  The most common of these is the Scarlet Tanager which nests throughout the northeast and into Canada. […]

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Day of the Dovekie

The Dovekie is a tiny ocean bird, in the same family as our charismatic Atlantic Puffin.  About the size of a pigeon, this black and white bird spends its entire life on the open ocean, only coming to shore to nest. Because of their deep sea habitat, Ingrid and I only see a few Dovekies […]

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Blue Grosbeak – Ingrid’s 300th Maine Bird of the Year

Today, Ingrid and I drove down to Kennebunk, Maine to visit a lovely beachfront community.   Our mission was to find the Blue Grosbeak that has been seen moving through the landscaping in this eye-catching neighborhood. Imagine if you lived in one of these beautiful homes and looked out your front windows to see strangers […]

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3 Weeks Until Our Big Year

Ingrid and I are not doing a lot of birding right now.  Most of our energy is going into planning of our 2024 Big Year across the Lower 48 States. This long anticipated, 366 day adventure (thank you Leap Year for one extra day!) to see as many species of birds as possible is only […]

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The Odd Couple

Those of us of a certain age remember a 1970s sitcom called “The Odd Couple.”   The show was based upon the hit 1965 hit Neil Simon movie of the same name.   The show’s opening credits are still classic. Ingrid and I haven’t been doing a lot of birding recently as we plan for […]

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Spotted Towhee in Maine

November is an interesting time for birding in Maine.  Virtually all of our summer birds have packed their bags and headed for points south.  Some like the Red-winged Blackbird only retreat to Massachusetts while Arctic Terns fly over 9,000 miles to their winter home off Antartica. Meanwhile, our winter birds have arrived . . . […]

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Lobster Trap Birding

To quote from my favorite television show . . . “Winter is Coming!” In Maine – it has dropped into the teens at night,  most leaves are off the trees and there is snow on the ground in some places. And our iconic lobsters have begun to migrate away from the coast into the deep […]

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Assateague Island National Seashore

Last week Ingrid and I visited my baby sister and her husband at their vacation home in Delaware.  It was a wonderful trip and including a Halloween costume parade and contest which we won!!! One of the highlights was a trip to the Maryland side of the Assateague Island National Seashore. Assateague Island is a […]

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Purple Gallinule in Maine

January 2011, my son Bradley and I took a trip to southern Florida and the Everglades. This was a couple years before Ingrid and birding entered my life . . . so Bradley and I were on the airboat to see alligators. While deep in the swamp, the airboat driver slowed to see a monster […]

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Dickcissel in Maine

Ingrid filmed a Dickcissel this afternoon near a community garden in Brunswick, Maine.  This charming visitor from the Midwest  United States is a rare sight in Maine. During the breeding season, Dickcissels are primarily found on the Great Plains and throughout the Midwest. Their preferred breeding habitat consists of grasslands, prairies, and open fields, where […]

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Cashes Ledge Pelagic

Cashes Ledge is an underwater mountain range, about 70 miles off the Maine coast, roughly halfway between Bar Harbor and Provincetown, Massachusetts.   Covering 550 square miles, it rises to just 24 feet below the surface.  This dramatic climb from the Gulf of Maine’s ocean floor creates an upwelling of nutrients . . . attracting […]

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Ingrid gets a Hudsonian Godwit

Ingrid and I are approaching our 10th anniversary.  Her youngest daughter just had a beautiful baby boy.  Last month we spent two weeks in Europe and we are both comfortably retired. One would think everything is great . . . except today she photographed a rare Hudsonian Godwit as it paused to feed in Portland. […]

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American Pipits in the Wrack

When most of us hear the term “Beach” we think of pristine sand . . . ideal for sun bathing and sand castles. Birders want none of that pristine sand!!!  We want seaweed or a “wrack” running from the surf up onto the beach.  Ideally the wrack should have started to decay and be full […]

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Swainson’s Hawk in Maine

Wedding Anniversaries come around once a year . . . thank God. Each year: I have to remember the Anniversary. Buy a card for the Anniversary. And buy a present for the Anniversary. For someone as scatter brained as I am . . . a Wedding Anniversary can be a real challenge. Most years I […]

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European Non-Birding Vacation Continues

Day 3 of our two week European Holiday did not disappoint.  Today we visited the sights of London . . . Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Rose-Ringed Parakeets, West Minster Abbey, St. Paul . . . What??? Wait??? Rose-Ringed Parakeets???  In London???? This latest birding distraction began in front of Buckingham Place as we posed for […]

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Ravens of the Tower of London

Ingrid and I are in Europe on a non-birding vacation (gasp).   Our first stop was the Tower of London . . . old fortresses, the crown jewels and . . . RAVENS!!!! At least 6 Ravens (currently 9, including a non-captive breeding pair) live on the grounds of the Tower of London . . […]

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Peregrine Falcon Shuffling the Deck

Yesterday, Ingrid and I visited Morse Mt (Seawall Beach), a nature preserve owned and managed by Bates College . . . my beloved alma mater.  When I was in college, a bunch of my friends were geology majors.  While I was writing 100 page papers and arguing the finer points of Federalist #10 . . […]

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Birds of Leah’s Rock

Ingrid and I live beside a saltwater river along the coast of Maine.  Even though we are a good ten miles from the ocean, we have a huge tidal swing. Lobstermen pull their traps in front of our home, and we regularly see harbor seals. As a matter of fact, this week a humpback whale […]

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Marbled Godwit in Maine

Today Ingrid and I drove down to Hills Beach and Causeway in Biddeford Pool, Maine . . . one of the states premier places to see migrating shorebirds. We found a Marbled Godwit, one of the larger and more interesting of the migrating birds.  It has an enormous bi-colored bill that it uses to probe […]

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird Dogfights

Ingrid and I have five hummingbird feeders scattered around our yard . . . each one could easily accommodate a half dozen birds at the same time. But Ruby-throated Hummingbirds don’t like to share and the hummers in our yard spend most of the their late August days chasing each other away from these feeders. […]

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Haikubox

In mid-June our Haikubox was delivered after what seemed like an eternal product backorder. I ripped open the box like a little kid at Christmas!!!! A Haikubox is an AI-enabled device that identifies bird species around your home by their songs and alerts in real time when it recognizes one. This technology has been available […]

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Shorebird Migration Has Begun

When I first started birding, I figured that birds migrated north in the Spring and migrated south in the Fall. Boy was I surprised to learn that shorebirds (Sandpipers, Plovers, etc.) start their migration in mid-summer. In the spring we don’t see a lot of shorebird.   That’s because they are moving from their wintering […]

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White-winged Crossbill

Each winter, Ingrid and I hope to locate a White-winged Crossbill high up in Maine spruce trees.  Some years we are lucky enough to see one or two . . . some years none at all. The White-winged Crossbill, is a stocky bird with a large head, a unique bill and it lives most of […]

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2024 Big Year Planning Continues

With our 2024 Continental USA Big Year now just 167 days away . . . Ingrid and I continue our planning. We now have a three ring binder of pelagic trips, plane flights, guides, target birds and maps.  Its a bit overwhelming. Today, a couple dear friends from New Hampshire gave us a couple “Birder” […]

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