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Category: Wildlife

Leucistic White-Throated Sparrow

Leucistic White-Throated Sparrow

Leucistic White-Throated Sparrow A puffy white face caught my attention early Monday morning. I couldn’t get a good look at the bird through the branches of the hydrangea tree in the few seconds before it disappeared. It took until from Monday to Thursday to get a good look and determine that the bird is a leucistic white-throated sparrow. This morning, now that he’s comfortable being here, I was able to stand on the sun porch and take a few photos…

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Have You Ever Seen A Duck in a Tree?

Have You Ever Seen A Duck in a Tree?

heard the familiar noise as soon as I stepped out of the truck. “Jeeeeb. Jeeeb. Jeeep.” I wasn’t thinking about anything other than getting the mail and letting the dogs out when I heard the sound. It kind of caught me by surprise. “Jeeeb jeeeeb.” I know I know that sound….  I looked for the noise and aha, there it was, in the old ash tree across the road. Have you ever seen a duck in a tree? Wood ducks…

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Merlin (Merlin columbarius) on the Homestead

Merlin (Merlin columbarius) on the Homestead

Merlin (Merlin columbarius) “Klee-klee.” I heard the high-pitched call but was too far out the door to stop mid-step.line, The predator, afraid of me, flew away. The garden was littered with the jay’s feathers. It flew, barely, and I lost track of it while I looked for the other bird. I expected to find a Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned hawk; a merlin hadn’t crossed my mind. At the top of a tamarack sat an unusually fat blue jay. I scanned the…

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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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