Weekly Notes – November 3, 2013

bear in tree

Dawn at Second Chance Wildlife reports that the cubs are slowing down and will be entering ‘torpor’ soon.  Maine’s black bears in the wild will continue to search for food by climbing Beech and Oak Trees for beechnuts and acorns in order to add as many calories to their diet as possible before going into their dens for the winter months.

 Red Bellied Woodpecker

 Joan in Skowhegan, Dma&g 21 reports:  Yesterday. 10/29, while I was walking to my mailbox,a huge  flock of grackles flew into my yard and settled very briefly in an oak tree, making quite a racket. In only a minute they swirled away off the the southwest, probably a hundred of them or more.

Off and on during the rest of the day I tried to get a good photo of the Red-bellied Woodpecker that has been here for several days.

Note that the Red-bellied Woodpecker like the Flicker has a White rump but with a black and white back and clear undersides.  Considered common in Peterson’s Field Guide to Eastern Birds, they have expanded their territory north into Maine only within the past decade.  My 2002 edition does not show them as Maine residents.  If you have not yet seen one, keep an eye out!

In the Audubon Rare Bird report, a Red-headed Woodpecker was observed in Casco Dma&g 5 and on Monhegan Dma&g 8.  Much less common, the Red-headed woodpecker has a full red ‘hood’ covering its head with a black back.  Click here to see the full report….

Do you find the field guides a bit overwhelming and need to narrow down your choices of birds found in Maine? Click here for the Official List of Maine Birds…...

Winter weather officially arrived this past week.  St. Agatha Dma&g 68 reported 4 inches of snow.  Looks like Mount Katahdin will be wearing its white winter cap until spring.

Today is the New Moon and since we turn the clocks back this week will afford us an opportunity to view the star studded sky in the evening hours.  Click here to read Bernie Reim’s Astronomy Report...

The next four weeks are Maine’s open season for hunting deer using firearms.  Maine Nature News encourages everyone to take responsibility to be safe and respectful to others while in the woods.

Those who choose not to hunt are encouraged to wear orange while in or near the woods, best to be safe always.

Those who choose to hunt are required by law to have landowner permission and to wear orange.  Specific requirements are in the Law Book and can be found on the IF&W website here….

Traveling in Washington County this past week, I saw help-wanted signs for wreath making and ‘Tippers Wanted’.  ‘Tipping’ starts soon after the first frost ‘sets the needles’ on fir trees.  ‘Tippers’ then go out and cut the outer branches off of the fir and pine trees that will be used in making wreaths.

The photo below is courtesy of the Maine Forest Rangers who are responsible for checking permits and enforcing Maine’s laws regarding the harvesting of Christmas Trees and evergreen boughs on private property.  The photo shows fir boughs or ‘tips’ that have been legally harvested in Athens, Dma&g 31.  Click here for more info

Fir Tree Tips