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Category: Wildlife

Relocating Bird Feeders – Bird Protection Program

Relocating Bird Feeders – Bird Protection Program

Relocating Bird Feeders I’m relocating bird feeders today because of a merlin. This merlin. It’s taking advantage of the bird feeders a couple of times a week. Yesterday’s hunt was a disaster. This is the best way to put an end to the merlin’s opportunistic hunting and help the small birds. Predators have to eat but enough is enough. The merlin bombed through the 15 foot space between the house and my truck, where the bird feeders are located, and…

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Lynx Tracks – Exciting First for Us

Lynx Tracks – Exciting First for Us

Lynx Tracks in the Snow We’re making the most of our backwoods road riding this month while we wait for winter to give up and let spring move in. The roads are still frozen and the frost hasn’t started working its way out of the ground yet. From last weekend to this, the ice has gained rather than lost area at the outlets and along moving water. It’s moving backward. Finding lynx tracks in the snow last weekend was a…

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Moose Browse – Late Winter in Maine’s Woods

Moose Browse – Late Winter in Maine’s Woods

Moose Browse It’s still very much winter here in northeastern Maine. Snow is measured in feet in parts of our woodlot. Branches I don’t notice when the ground is bare have to be ducked under now. The bobcat is still hunting snowshoe hare in sight of the house and now, there’s a fisher passing through. I find their tracks in the snow. And speaking of tracks in the snow, last weekend I found tracks that made us stop the truck…

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Bobcat on the Homestead

Bobcat on the Homestead

Bobcat on the Homestead I’ve been waiting for him. Let’s call this bobcat “him.” Could be a female, I don’t know yet. I’ve been waiting for a bobcat to show up. We know they’re here year round but we don’t see them until mid to late February, when it’s been a hard winter or the snow is deep. The blizzard and subsequent storm provided the deep, soft snow. It’s unusually warm so the snow is compacting and dropping but still,…

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Feeding Deer in Winter – Keep it Natural

Feeding Deer in Winter – Keep it Natural

Feeding Deer in Winter (My February column in Maine Woodlands) Feeding deer in winter is tricky. We mean well but we can kill deer with kindness if we aren’t careful. Farmer’s Almanac said we’d have a lot of snow this winter, and they were right. We had more snow on the ground in December here in Talmadge than we had all last winter. Steve built a new food plot for the wildlife and the deer came. There were three bucks…

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Ermine, Nature’s Mouse Trap

Ermine, Nature’s Mouse Trap

Ermine – Short-tailed Weasel We have an ermine, called a short-tailed weasel or stoat when from spring through fall when its coat isn’t white. I mentioned it before. It still comes around now and then even though it’s wiped out the mouse problem for us. There’s been some concern by folks who get a glimpse of him about the safety of our ducks and chickens. So far it’s fine. If it’s going into the hen house it isn’t causing a…

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Track Maker – predator on the homestead

Track Maker – predator on the homestead

The Track Maker I waited until it warmed up before going out this morning. Six below. -6°F, “feels like” -17°F (feels like needles on bare skin) when I went out. The ducks peeked out the door. A hen waddled out, looked around, stretched her right leg behind her, wings out straight, turned around and waddled back inside. I closed the door behind her and filled the water pans. The chickens are pecking at a pan of bacon fat I gave…

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Snowy Food Plots and White-tailed Deer

Snowy Food Plots and White-tailed Deer

Snowy Food Plots We’ve been waiting for snowy food plots to learn how to the wildlife will react to the food we’ve provided. There are turnip and radish tops above snow but as you can see, the deer are pawing through the snow to get to grass. Unfortunately we don’t know what kind of grass seed was in the seed mix. The deer have flattened one food plot, their favorite, and moved into the larger plot behind the house. The…

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Hibernation in the Woodlot

Hibernation in the Woodlot

Hibernation Hibernation is underway in our woodlots. We can let the dogs out in the evening without worrying about them bumping into raccoons, skunks, porcupines and bears. Or…can we? Sometime during the night a small animal chewed the bottom out of the mesh bag and dropped the suet to the porch floor. Late one December I stumbled upon a soaking wet carcass.  I assumed from its black fur that a neighbor’s cat had fallen prey to a coyote or fox…

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Beaver Damage in the Woodlot

Beaver Damage in the Woodlot

Beaver Damage Beaver damage – a problem that creates beauty. Now what do we do? We had a surprise, unwelcome discovery in the woodlot late in the summer. Steve discovered a beaver lodge and bog a few hundred yards from the house. It looks like I need to spend more time poking around in the woodlot to see what’s happening out there. Beaver damage can happen fast and I don’t want the little buggers to get any further ahead of…

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