Weekly Notes – May 19, 2013

Baltimore Oriole Male

 A male Baltimore Oriole is shown in this photo courtesy of Paul Cyr Photography

The male Baltimore Oriole  is easily recognized by its solid black head and orange flame body accented with black. The female is olive-brown above with burnt yellow below.  Orioles are members of the Blackbird Family Icteridae  Their call is a distinctive hew-li with a whistling single or double note song.

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

The Gray Catbird is in the Mimidae family that includes the Brown Thrasher and Northern Mockingbird.  These birds are slate gray in color and have a curved bill.  They are found in undergrowth and shrubs in suburban backyards.  They are named for the cat-like mew call but also can have a repertoire of mimicked phrases.

 Seaside Sparrow

The Seaside Sparrow is one of two sparrows that inhabit Salt-Marshes along the southern coast of Maine.  A dark olive-gray bird with a white throat has a yellow area from the bill to just above the eye.  It shares a similar voice with the Saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow described as  cutcut zhe’ -eeeeeeeee  or tuptup-sheeeeeeeee  This Seaside Sparrow was captured for banding on Appledore Island at the Isles of Shoals Dma&g map 1.  Click here to learn more about the Appledore Island Migration Banding Station....

Also observed this week were a Northern Parula zeeeeeeee-up and a Magnolia Warbler weeta weeta weetsee

Moose have moved down off of the hardwood ridges where they spend the winter months.  The pictures show a cow with her yearling calf standing in the shadows of mixed evergreens.  Their winter coats are shedding making them appear scraggly.  Often seen along dirt roadways, these animals will lick salt and other minerals their bodies crave after the winter depletion.

This time of year the black flies will drive the moose to seek open areas where a slight breeze will bring relief from their relentless bites.  Maine is fortunate to have a healthy Moose population estimated to be about 76,000 animals.

In Woodland Dma&g map 64 this Moose was observed with her newborn calf.

Moose with Newborn

It is a rare week that the weather is not news in Maine and this past week was no exception.  There were reports of frost across the north and west while temps in the southernmost part of the state reached the low 80’s.  On Thursday there were reports of golf-ball sized hail near Calais in Washington County.

This week watch for the evening Waxing Gibbous moon that will be full on the 25th.

 Black fly dance

Doing the Black Fly Dance?  Send in your observations to be listed on the weekly Black Fly Report!  blackfly@mainenaturenews.com

Click here for the weekly Black Fly Report...


Fiddleheads are a spring delicacy of the Maine woods.  If you are collecting, please be certain to take only 1/2 of each clump of fiddleheads so the plant will remain alive and continue to  produce in following years.  Be certain to have landowner permission before picking on private lands.  Click here to learn more facts about the edible fiddlehead from the University of Maine Extension…..

Fiddlehead Fern