Weekly Notes, August 18, 2013

“Don’t Move Firewood!”

Q: What’s all the fuss about not moving firewood in Maine and throughout the northeast?

A: Invasive pests are tourists we don’t want.  They have the potential to destroy trees in local communities and large tract forests.  They are not picky and that is exactly the reason why we need to be.

Critters like the Asian Longhorned Beetle can expand into new territory by catching a ride in firewood.  To learn more about the dialogue of non-native forest insects and diseases click here  Dontmovefirewood.org…

This beetle has 6 legs, is Shiny Black with White Spots, the Antennae are Longer than the body with Black and White bands.  It can be confused with the native White-spotted Sawyer that has a White Dot between the top of it’s wings and has a rough bronze body.  The White-spotted Sawyer does not do significant harm and is fairly common to find near woodpiles.

Other indications of the Asian Longhorned Beetle are dime-sized exit holes in standing trees

alb_pink nhbugs.orgAs cooler weather becomes the norm and we head uptah camp this fall keep in mind the rule of thumb, 50 miles is the limit any firewood should be moved and absolutely no wood moved across state or international lines.  Currently Massachusetts, Ohio and New York have quarantines in place and the entire northeast has restrictions.

The Asian Longhorned Beetle is currently residing as close as Boston where they have launched an eradication plan and it has already destroyed many neighborhood trees in Worcester and Shrewsbury, MA.  We do not want this creature in Maine, so please, during August check your trees for the Asian Longhorned Beetle.

This beetle has a similar story to the Emerald Ash Borer that we learned about in last week’s notes.  Only recently in the last decade it was discovered in the United States having traveled from Asia.  In it’s native ecosystem, this beetle does not do significant damage, but the trees here in the U.S. have not adapted a resistance to this pest.  Unlike the EAB, the ALB is not finicky about the trees it attacks nor where they are located.  It has the potential to destroy a street-lined neighborhood of trees or a country hillside or a north woods forest.   A weeping willow in a park or an entire stand of sugar maples is equally at risk with the potential economic loss in wood and other products not to mention the cost of eradicating the pest in the effort to minimize the extent of it’s destruction.

 Click for the State of Maine Dept of Agriculture information and reporting links

  Click here to learn more on the USDA website www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com

Mourning Dove Kill Site

Mourning Dove kill site

Joan in Skowhegan Dma&g map 21 found evidence of a hawk feasting on this Mourning Dove in her back yard.  Both the Mourning Dove and Rock Dove or Pigeon play an important role in the food chain.  As ground feeders they are targets for birds of prey and mammals such as fox and coyote among others.

In looking closely at this photo you can see the outer tail feathers with white and solid color center tail feather to the left of the shoulder or wing clump of feathers.  When you find a kill site, look closely to see of the feathers were picked out or bitten off leaving teeth marks, that will help in identifying the predator.

An interesting fact about Mourning Doves is that they produce and feed their young ‘bird milk’ a secretion that is produced in both the male and female’s crop.  It is an exclusive food source for several days after hatching and the male Mourning Dove produces crop milk for 4-6 days longer than the female.

This past week delighted us with beautiful August weather.  The nights are getting cooler and the days are filled with warm sunshine.  There is a full moon on the 20th.


Least Tern

Least Tern Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge DMA&G map 3

Please report Monarch Butterfly sightings to info@mainenaturenews.com Monarchs are down this year and I am looking for sightings for an upcoming report.

Monarch butterfly