Swan’s Island: Loons, kestrels and hawks

Chelsea Riedel relays important information about feeding our beautiful hummingbirds: “It seems there are many who think they are helping hummingbirds by using everything but the recommended ratio of water and pure cane sugar (4 parts water to 1 part sugar) which is the closest substitute of flower nectar.

“The birds cannot metabolize the following items that cause kidney damage or failure and a slow, painful death: dyes, organic/raw sugar, artificial sweeteners, honey, Koolaid, juices, sports drinks. Please do not use these.” John Wheaton adds the importance of boiling the water.

Rich MacDonald, co-owner of The Natural History Center in Bar Harbor, recently visited our island, guiding one of his Weekly Birding Tours. He states that his group of regular birders were “looking for something a little different” and thought Swan’s Island would be a fun destination.

Along with a list of more than 35 birds encountered on this trip, Rich provided me with a written summary and I share snippets from his observations:

“Highlights of the [ferry] crossing were a number of common loons so close to the ferry that we were, quite literally, looking down, over the side, at them. Also, two bald eagles near the Swan’s Island ferry terminal — a striking adult with head and tail glistening white and a first year juvenile — were also exciting to see. Highlights of the walk were a migrating Cooper’s hawk and the first of at least two of our American kestrels this day.

“The highlight of one stop, though, had to be the pair of common ravens that were clearly courting, in synchronized flight, doing an aerial food exchange. We were continuously struck by the paucity of traffic compared to Mount Desert Island and the mainland. Little traffic can be equated with an absence of anthropogenic sound, so we could hear the birds!

“We had a rousing discussion about the name, Fine Sand Beach. I made up a story about plans for a resort development and they shipped in sand from the Caribbean to add to the marketability. I had my group going until they looked at me and saw I was fighting to hold back a grin. Back at TIMS (The Island Market & Supply) I bought the fish hash. Yum! I would come back just for that!” We hope to see you and your groups again.

When Rich comes back for more hash, he can reserve his ahead of time with the hottest new item, a prepaid “credit card” from TIMS. Many have enjoyed this convenient item and it is great to give as a gift.

Donna Wiegle rightfully brags about her main squeeze: “A big shout out to Charlie [Wiegle] for taking a week off from his paid employment to attend five days of EMT training on the Cranberry Isles so that he can be better prepared for his volunteer job as a Swan’s Island EMT. The logistics of traveling from Swan’s Island to Islesford meant two additional nights on the mainland owing to ferry schedules, so he was gone for seven days. I am so proud of his dedication to emergency services, both the Fire Department and EMS.” Charlie, we are also proud of you and thankful for your service to the island.

Happy birthday to Johnny Rozenski, Kathy Burns, and Abigail J. Dy. Anniversary blessings to Steve and Judy Green.

If you have news to share, please email or call me by Sunday noon if you need it to be included in the following edition. E-mail me at [email protected] or call me at 526-4488.


Kimberly Haller

Kimberly Haller

If you have news to share, email or call me by Sunday noon if you need it to be included in the following edition. Email me at [email protected]or call me at 526-4488.

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