Nature

  • Squirrels and eagles and shrikes, oh my!

    It gave me great pleasure to hear from several column readers that they got to see flying squirrels at their feeders this week after reading my column. They had no idea that these appealing mammals were visiting them regularly until they turned the lights on outside and watched them glide into the feeders and enjoy

  • Nature: Red squirrels can eat poisonous mushrooms

    Even though our deciduous trees look stark and naked now, they are certainly not dead! Even in the summer they have already begun their next year’s leaves and flowers. These are miniaturized and hidden in the scale-covered buds. In late summer the trees keep these incipient leaves and flowers from growing. At the same time,

  • Nature Angry squirrel stamps its feet

    The daily search for food to sustain life sometimes makes animals do strange things. A friend this week watched a crow dragging a dead squirrel it had found on the road up into a tree. Very often, as any driver knows, crows are seen on the road tearing apart and sometimes eating road kill. Especially

  • Nature: Sorting out the woodpeckers

    A unique visitor has been appearing in Manset recently in the form of a red-headed woodpecker. These birds are not at all common here. We do have several resident woodpeckers on Mount Desert Island which live here year-round. They are the downy woodpecker, the hairy woodpecker, the pileated woodpecker and the rare three-toed woodpecker and

  • Nature: Leave the leaves. The wildlife will thank you

    Snowshoe hares are wearing white “coats” now so they blend in nicely with the wintry scene. They are sought after as food by many other mammals and birds. Being white in a snowy landscape helps many to survive. Sometimes this hare is also called the varying hare because it does change it brown summer coat

  • Nature: Sea colander grows in winter

    November brings to Mount Desert Island a struggling mixture of summer and winter moods. Frosty mornings contrast with afternoons so warm you may hear a peeper hopelessly calling for a mate! Nature is winding down but as we know quite well there is always something of interest going on in the out-of doors. Watch these

  • Skunks and the food web

    Among the many wild mammals living on Mount Desert Island is the well known and most misunderstood skunk. Their only defense against an enemy is to use their powerful scent glands. Skunks can’t run very fast, and they are not good fighters. Spraying the well known scent from glands near the tail is their only

  • Nature: Thousands of birds on the wing

    Slow down for the thousands of migratory birds passing over this island now. You no doubt have noticed all the small birds flying up from the sides of the island roads recently. These are migratory juncos, song sparrows, fox sparrows, chipping sparrows, and palm warblers. Coming along Route 102-A through Seawall and on into Bass

  • Nature: Myths about wooly bears

    Buffleheads are back on MDI! A small flock was seen this week in Bar Harbor near Bar Island. These birds are right on schedule after nesting and raising their young far to the north. Most of the wintering buffleheads left here at the end of April or first part of May. These just seen in