Outdoors Bloggers

 
GOOD BIRDING
A pine siskin and a red crossbill share a meal.

Recent cold snap leads to typical winter birding activity

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Feb. 18, 2016, at 11:24 a.m.
I found winter! Admittedly, after last week’s column, a number of readers told me where to look. As you may recall, I lamented the lack of Canadian invaders due to the mild winter so far. Common redpolls weren’t common. Northern shrikes stayed northern. Pine grosbeaks never came south. Bohemian waxwings …
TREES WITH THE FUR ON

Attention Nature Lovers! The Maine Master Naturalist Program seeks applicants for 2016 courses

on Feb. 13, 2016, at 9:22 p.m.
Attention nature lovers! I have good news for you. The Maine Master Naturalist Program is sponsoring three, count them, three Tier One Associate Naturalist training classes here in Maine this summer. Located in Bar Harbor, Bridgton and Farmington, the class runs from May through September and covers a diverse array of …
TREES WITH THE FUR ON

I AM a Ghost driving a Meat Covered Skeleton

on Jan. 30, 2016, at 11:37 a.m.
Stargazing (like parapenting) has been one of those things I’ve been putting off for later in life, when I can’t do other things. I figure when I can’t get out and run and hike as well as I once did, gazing at the night sky and devoting time to learning …
GOOD BIRDING
A bald eagle perches in the shade of a tall oak tree at the edge of Hermon Pond in Hermon in this July 2015 file photo.

What’s the difference between birding and birdwatching?

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Jan. 28, 2016, at 2:09 p.m.
Everyone engaged in actively pursuing birds perceives a difference. You know who you are.
GOOD BIRDING
Northern Cardinal

Counting chickadees on Matinicus isn’t so bad

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Jan. 21, 2016, at 1:57 p.m.
There is plenty of good winter birding in Maine, but islands have their own intrigue. Migrants can get trapped on islands, especially if a rare bird has wandered off course.
GOOD BIRDING
White-winged dove

In reality, pigeons and doves aren’t all that different

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Jan. 13, 2016, at 4:28 p.m.
There are over 300 species of doves and pigeons in the world, and we’ve only got two of them: the city-loving rock pigeon and the ubiquitous mourning dove.
TREES WITH THE FUR ON

Outside Magazine’s elitism: Isn’t it a good thing when people enjoy the outdoors?

on Jan. 05, 2016, at 8:40 a.m.
Who deserves access to trails and who doesn’t? The subtle elitism evident in this “wishful thought” highlights the creep of class and privilege in the outdoor industry.
GOOD BIRDING
Mute swan

About those swans-a-swimming

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Dec. 30, 2015, at 3:40 p.m.
There seems to be some confusion about “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” I don’t know why. Clearly the traditional carol is all about birds. Why else would birds appear on half of the 12 days?
TREES WITH THE FUR ON

Righting the work/life balance

on Dec. 29, 2015, at 7:53 p.m.
Its been a quiet couple of months here at Trees With the Fur On, the yearly collapse of my work/life balance occurred in late October, and it has been a rather long road to climb back out of the crater it left. I found my mind was so intensely focused …
TREES WITH THE FUR ON

Walking in a Warmer Wonderland…

on Dec. 23, 2015, at 9:50 a.m.
All the talk of climate change, combined with the warm warm weather (mid 50’s tomorrow?!?) motivated my theatrical friends and me to finally record the Christmas carol I reworked for a holiday show a few years ago. Strangely it is even more relevant now than it was then. This weird …
Outdoors
One hazard Mainers encounter during the annual Christmas Bird Count: They may end up counting dozens of black-capped chickadees.

Want some holiday excitement? Count somebody else’s chickadees

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Dec. 10, 2015, at 2:10 p.m.
There are only so many times I can count the same chickadees. I crave newness. I’m thinking about straying.
MAINE SKIES
Maine evening sky, December 2015.

Precession: Pole star shifts, celestial age

By Clair Wood on Nov. 27, 2015, at 6:25 a.m.
All the planetary action favors early risers this month as Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Saturn are all in the late night and predawn sky.
THE BEE WHISPERER
Mike Palmer speaks during the 2015 Maine State Beekeepers Association annual meeting and conference recently at Hampden Academy.

Hampden Academy buzzing with beekeepers

By Peter Cowin on Nov. 26, 2015, at 10:05 a.m.
“November saw the highlight of the Maine State Beekeepers Association’s year when its annual meeting and conference was once again held at Hampden Academy.”
GOOD BIRDING
Among Bob Duchesne's 2015 observations: "This was the year that I decided the spruce grouse is my favorite bird. Every spruce grouse has a distinct personality."

Everyone’s got leftovers this time of year. Even birders

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Nov. 26, 2015, at 9:24 a.m.
“I’m getting rid of my Thanksgiving leftovers. These are all of my leftover observations that didn’t fit into columns this year. Take what you want and pass the gravy.”
TREES WITH THE FUR ON

There’s not an app for that

on Nov. 24, 2015, at 7:51 a.m.
I found my self in the car yesterday, driving at midday, and as is my habit, I tuned in to public radio. The topic of yesterday’s midday call in show was technology; various experts were weighing in on hot new essential technology, in anticipation of the post Thanksgiving American shopping …
GOOD BIRDING
Two common ravens

Insight into the spookiest of birds

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Oct. 29, 2015, at 1:10 p.m.
“In celebration of Halloween, I write about ravens. It’s the spookiest bird I can think of. “
GOOD BIRDING
Snow geese

Flight of the snow geese

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Oct. 22, 2015, at 12:30 p.m.
When Canada geese come to Maine, I go to Canada.
GOOD BIRDING
Willow and Alder Flycatchers nest in Bangor, and they cannot be told apart visually. But they sound different.

How many kinds of birds are there?

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Oct. 15, 2015, at 1:14 p.m.
There are only three kinds of birds in the world: black birds, brown birds and eagles. So says my friend Sen. Tom Saviello. Tom opines that biologists make things too complicated, splitting species when they should be lumping them for simplicity. So the state senator from Wilton devised the Saviello …
TREES WITH THE FUR ON

My prayer for the ship lost at sea with one of my students

on Oct. 03, 2015, at 9:31 p.m.
“Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in Peril on the Sea.” -The Navy Hymn
GOOD BIRDING
Rufous Hummingbird

Migration should be called ‘organized chaos’

By Bob Duchesne, Special to the BDN on Sept. 25, 2015, at 4:51 p.m.
Migration is a system of organized chaos. Sure, songbirds fly south for the winter. But they might fly north, west or east, or just fly around randomly before heading south …