Maine’s Favorite Birds by Jeffrey V Wells and Allison Childs Wells
Written by experienced birders and lifelong residents of Maine, Maine’s Favorite Birds is a comprehensive guide designed for bird enthusiasts eager to identify and learn more about the birds in their surroundings. Unlike complex field guides, this book simplifies the process, allowing readers to focus on Maine’s well-known and beloved bird species.
The stunning illustrations in Maine’s Favorite Birds capture each bird’s beauty in a large format, making it easy to appreciate their unique characteristics. Accompanying the illustrations are clear and concise identification tips, habitat references, and memorable descriptions of their songs. This practical guide even highlights the best birding spots in Maine and offers suggestions for contributing to scientific research and conservation efforts.
Whether you’re a child or a grandparent, a teacher or a tourist, Maine’s Favorite Birds is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of the avian creatures they encounter in their own backyard, local parks, or natural reserves. Say goodbye to confusion and unnecessary expenses with this all-in-one guide that caters to bird enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.
Birding in Maine: Discovering Maine’s Favorite Birds
Thank you all for joining us today! My name is Todd Martin, and I am the Grassroots Outreach Coordinator at the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM). We are a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and conserving Maine’s environment. In today’s web post, we will be discussing an important topic that brings us all joy and hope: Maine birds.
The NRCM has been working for over 60 years to protect Maine’s environment and its diverse habitats. We have over 25,000 supporters statewide who help us in our mission. Today, we have gathered here to talk about the beauty of Maine birds, and we are pleased to have our hosts Jeff and Alison Wells, who are resident bird experts, with us.
Although we are unable to physically see each other during this webinar, we encourage you to participate by using the question-and-answer box feature at the bottom of your screen. We will have plenty of time for questions after Jeff and Alison’s presentation. Additionally, this webinar is being recorded, and we can provide the recording for you to watch at your convenience.
Meet our hosts
Our hosts for today, Jeff and Alison Wells, are lifelong birders and experts in the field. They have written a number of books about birds, including “Maine’s Favorite Birds,” which is a great resource for learning about Maine birds. Jeff is the Vice President of Boreal Conservation for the National Audubon Society, and Alison is the Senior Director of Public Affairs for the NRCM.
Jeff and Alison will be sharing slides, sounds, and videos of popular Maine birds. They will also be asking interactive poll questions throughout the presentation to keep you engaged. So without further ado, let’s hear from Jeff and Alison Wells as they share about Maine’s favorite birds!
Before we begin, we would like to share the results of a poll question. The question was: Among these four Maine bird species, which is your favorite? The options were black-capped chickadee, common loon, Atlantic puffin, and American robin. The majority of respondents chose the common loon as their favorite bird. All of these birds are beautiful and have unique qualities that make them special.
Introduction to Maine’s Birds
Maine is a special place for birds due to its varied habitats, including mountains, grasslands, wetlands, coastal areas, lakes, and rivers. It is home to over 400 bird species, including a diverse range of breeding birds and migrants. Some of the iconic birds of Maine include the common loon, white-throated sparrow, blackburnian warbler, and Atlantic puffin.
Migration is a key aspect of Maine’s bird population, with many birds passing through the state on their way to and from Arctic and boreal regions. Warblers, in particular, are known for their colorful plumage and are a highlight of spring migration. Other migrants, such as raptors like hawks and eagles, also inhabit Maine during certain times of the year.
Spotlight on Maine’s Birds
One of Maine’s most iconic birds is the common loon. Its haunting call is familiar to many, and it is often associated with Maine’s lakes and coastal areas. Another bird that is characteristic of Maine but less well-known is the blackburnian warbler. This bird spends its winter in the Andes Mountains of South America and breeds in Maine’s beech forests. Maine is estimated to harbor 15% of the world’s population of blackburnian warblers.
The black-throated blue warbler is another beautiful Maine bird. It winters in the Greater Antilles of the Caribbean and arrives in Maine in May. It nests in Maine’s beech forests and makes a distinctive buzzy sound that resembles “I’m so lazy, sue me.” Another highlight is the common eider, which is typically found along Maine’s coasts. They are unique ducks that are only found in saltwater and are known for their striking black and white plumage.
Maine also serves as an important breeding ground for birds like the ovenbird and black-billed cuckoo. These birds make their nests in Maine’s forests and are known for their distinctive songs. The Atlantic puffin is another well-loved bird that nests in Maine on islands like Eastern Egg Rock. It is the only state in the US where Atlantic puffins breed, and efforts by organizations like Project Puffin have helped to restore their populations.
Throughout the presentation, Jeff and Alison shared various bird songs and sounds to help you identify these birds. Listening to and recognizing bird songs is a fun and important part of birding, and there are many resources available online to help you learn and improve your birding skills.
Enjoying Birds in Your Backyard
If you want to attract birds to your backyard, there are several simple steps you can take. Planting native plants, putting up bird feeders, providing water sources like birdbaths, and creating brush piles or leaving dead limbs for nesting and shelter are all effective ways to create a bird-friendly habitat. Avoid using harmful pesticides and try to create a diverse and natural environment for birds to thrive.
Additionally, participating in citizen science projects like eBird can help contribute valuable data for bird research and conservation efforts. eBird allows you to record your bird sightings and submit them for scientific analysis. It’s a great way to contribute to bird conservation and learn more about the birds in your area.
Supporting Bird Habitat in Maine
If you’re passionate about bird conservation and want to make a difference, you can support the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program. LMF purchases and protects land for various purposes, including wildlife habitat. However, the program is currently out of funding, and efforts to pass a bond to support LMF have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We encourage you to take action and ask your legislators to prioritize passing the LMF bond when the legislature reconvenes. Supporting LMF is crucial for conserving and protecting vital bird habitats in Maine for future generations.
In conclusion, Maine’s birds bring joy and hope to all of us. By appreciating and protecting their habitats, we can ensure that these beautiful creatures continue to enchant us for years to come. Thank you for joining us on this journey through the world of Maine birds, and we look forward to seeing you again in the future!