Articles by Chris Corio


Snapshots of birding experiences

By Chris Corio on Oct. 08, 2010, at 6:36 p.m.
I’ve had a few interesting birding experiences recently, so here are a few snapshots. As usual at this time of year, I enjoy writing about nocturnal migration. It is a phenomenon that never ceases to amaze me and which I never tire of writing about. The alert had gone out …

Taking in a view of Canada geese

By Chris Corio on Sept. 17, 2010, at 7:12 p.m.
Earlier this week, I had a textbook perfect sighting of the most recognized symbol of the coming of autumn. Although technically it is still “summer,” fall seems to have arrived early with …
The purple sandpiper is seen on the Rockland Breakwater in the winter.  (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOSHUA BRIGHT)


The Purple Sandpiper is seen on the Rockland breakwater in the winter. Joshua Bright

Phenomenon of migration never ceases to amaze

By Chris Corio on Sept. 03, 2010, at 7 p.m.
As I was driving over the bridge into Falmouth, a small flock of birds suddenly flashed into view. During the two-second look I had of them I was able to determine they were shorebirds. Then, in a …

Plants to keep birds humming

By Chris Corio on Aug. 28, 2010, at 12:55 a.m.
I’ll never forget my introduction to ruby-throated hummingbirds when I first moved to Maine. I was living in Blue Hill and had been invited over to my landlord and landlady’s house. A …

Secretive Cooper’s hawk pays visit to neighborhood

By Chris Corio on Aug. 13, 2010, at 5:57 p.m.
As I rounded the corner and started up the slight hill, the silhouette of a bird on top of a telephone pole immediately caught my attention. It was crow-sized, but it certainly wasn’t a crow. …

Perfect day for looking at terns

By Chris Corio on July 10, 2010, at 12:56 a.m.
It was a perfect day at the beach. The temperature was hot enough to make swimming enjoyable. The water was a vibrant blue-green and from the hazy blue sky dotted with clouds, terns wheeled …

Chicks battle to survive

By Chris Corio on July 02, 2010, at 8:19 p.m.
It’s that time of the year — the breeding season is in full swing and young birds are appearing everywhere.

Cedar waxwings bring bright red color to dreary afternoon

By Chris Corio on June 18, 2010, at 9:13 p.m.
I went out to do a bit of birding one afternoon earlier in the week. As always, the cloud cover, temperature, and wind conditions contributed to the overall “mood” of the day. I never fail to take this in and it makes each day unique—even when birding the same spot over and over again. This particular afternoon was overcast and somber; heavy clouds promised rain any time, and a fitful onshore breeze made the seaside trees and shrubs whisper and rustle. The mood this created

Tracking bittern can be difficult

By Chris Corio on May 21, 2010, at 9:32 p.m.
The light breeze rustled the newly emerging leaves on the trees as we walked the path heading toward the third pond off Taylor Road in Orono.

Hawk display proves puzzling

By Chris Corio on May 14, 2010, at 10:55 p.m.
Making the most of a short visit to Orono, I went out for a quick bit of birding with my friend Paul Markson one afternoon recently. As we exited the car in the parking lot on Taylor Road in Orono, the blackflies found us immediately. But, we were determined as …

Pushaw Lake kicks off Neighborhood Bird Walks

By Chris Corio on May 07, 2010, at 7:24 p.m.
A visit with friends in Orono earlier this week happily coincided with the first of Maine Audubon’s Neighborhood Bird Walks. The fact that it was led by my friend Paul Markson, and co-sponsored by the Orono Land Trust, was an added bonus. The group of people that met at Gould’s …

Woodcock calls back some memories

By Chris Corio on April 23, 2010, at 7:27 p.m.
Earlier this week I’d gone to the barn to ride. The facility is surrounded by rolling hayfields bordered by patches of forest: very peaceful and picturesque. It was about 20 minutes past sunset as I ambled down the long, winding driveway on my horse. The evening was warm and filled …

Migrant birds’ return offsets dreaded tax day

By Chris Corio on April 16, 2010, at 7:30 p.m.
The middle of April can be a trying time for many people as the dreaded “tax day” approaches.

Migrating birds are arriving early

By Chris Corio on March 12, 2010, at 7:51 p.m.
Although this year seems to be proving the exception to the rule, the arrival of spring in Maine is often not marked by warm weather but by the arrival of migrant birds.

Crows may not be sign of spring

By Chris Corio on Feb. 26, 2010, at 7:08 p.m.
As I was about to walk into work one morning last week, several crows began cawing loudly as they flew toward a stand of white pine trees across from the entrance. The person behind me commented, “That’s often a sign of spring, isn’t it?” Not necessarily — but I didn’t …

Birding helps ease midwinter blues

By Chris Corio on Jan. 22, 2010, at 7:24 p.m.
I’ve always found this time of year to be the hardest to get through. Although we are on the other side of the winter solstice and days are slowly getting longer, they are still not long enough. I’ve not quite kept up with local bird sightings, as was my New …

Red-tailed hawk graces N.J. walk

By Chris Corio on Dec. 18, 2009, at 6:53 p.m.
I’ve often written about my trips back home to New Jersey and what delightful bird sightings I have while there. This last trip proved no different. As always, I had returned to my favorite …

Red-throated loon different in every respect

By Chris Corio on Dec. 11, 2009, at 10:23 p.m.
Each cold season I look forward to seeing our winter visitors, always hoping for something new—or at least something I haven’t seen in a while. This year I was not disappointed. I was privileged to see a red- throated loon. This petite loon breeds in the circumpolar regions of the …

Majestic turkey vultures always on the hunt

By Chris Corio on Nov. 27, 2009, at 8:26 p.m.
The large, dark bird flew just above the tree line near the road, circling around and back to one particular area. I noticed its wings were held upward in a shallow angle — what’s referred to as a “dihedral” — and it seemed to teeter in the air.

Eiders, bluebirds, hawks fulfill day

By Chris Corio on Nov. 20, 2009, at 6:33 p.m.
A recent visit to Spurwink Farm in Cape Elizabeth produced a few delightful surprises. I had gone there to try out a horse, and ended up doing a bit of birding as well.