By Nathan Hall and Fleur Hopper, photos by Fleur Hopper
Spring has sprung again in Deering Center, and it’s been a great season for observing and enjoying all of our abundant local and migratory birds. The annual parade of stunning wood warblers has been proceeding through Evergreen Cemetery and Capisic Pond park. Some highlights include multiple sightings of a Cape May Warbler (though sadly not by the authors!), a beautiful sunny yellow bird with a rosy face who winters in the West Indies and breeds in the Boreal forests of Northern Maine and Canada. Cape Mays’ population fluctuates depending on the availability of their favorite food, the spruce budworm. Their population fluctuates year to year, and seeing one in your yard or local park is a truly special treat! Continue reading SPRING HAS SPRUNG→
For this issue we are looking at the wonderful, active, curious, social, and ubiquitous Maine state bird: the black-capped chickadee. The Maine state bird since 1927, the black-capped chickadee is a common, tiny and thoroughly fascinating bird. Continue reading THE BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE→
In the deep freeze of January, starting to plan a spring garden can bring welcome relief from the winter doldrums. It may not feel like it right now, but spring really isn’t too far away! And garden planning presents a great opportunity to support our feathered friends. One of the greatest threats to bird populations in our area is loss of habitat. Go out with any long-time local birder and you will hear story after story about how this park or that neighborhood used to to be rich with bird habitat, now lost to development. We humans aren’t going to stop building houses or shopping plazas anytime soon, but we can attempt to offset habitat loss in our own yards by selecting native plants that help birds thrive. Continue reading Plan your spring garden→
As the weather turns chilly and the holidays approach, we say goodbye to our late departing summer migrants: White-throated Sparrows, Turkey Vultures and Great Blue Herons, to name just a few. It’s time to stock up on birdseed and get ready to hunker down with our local stalwarts. Black Capped Chickadees, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, Red and White-breasted Nuthatches all keep us company throughout the long winter, and make it just a little more bearable. So why not honor the birds (and birders!) in your life with some special gifts and goodies? Continue reading Suet and Birdseed Wreath→
Birding in the field is a special experience. The joy of tracking down a hooting Great Horned Owl or a singing Wood Thrush is hard to beat, but viewing birds from the comfort of your very own backyard has its own unique appeal. Bird lovers and casual birders alike can enjoy playing host to local and migrating birds with minimal effort. With a small initial investment of time and money, a well-placed bird feeder can provide you with a large diversity of birds. We have several feeders at our house and depending on the time of year and the type of food we provide, we can easily host over a dozen different species in one day. Continue reading Feeders, Feed and Foes (Squirrels)→
Tennessee, Connecticut, Cape May, Nashville, Canada– what do these have in common? They are all species of eastern warblers! The arrival of these small, beautiful, and often perplexingly named birds is considered by many to be the highlight of the birding year. From late April to late May, southern Maine is visited by at least 25 different warbler species, many of which can been seen in Evergreen Cemetery or Capisic Pond Park with a little luck and effort. You may even end up with a few passing though your very own backyard! We were thrilled to have a Canada Warbler–distinguished by its overall yellow coloring and black “pearl necklace” markings–visit our yard this May.
Welcome to Deering Tweets, an on-going occasional column about some of our most populous non-human neighbors: birds! We are Nathan Hall and Fleur Hopper, birders and Deering Center residents since 2012. In each column we will be sharing some basic birding tips, as well as interesting local sightings.
In Deering Center, we are very fortunate to be close to two excellent spots for urban bird watching: Capisic Pond Park and Evergreen Cemetery. Birding is a great family activity, fun for kids and adults alike, and a wonderful way to develop a deeper sense of connection to the local environment, even in our urban neighborhood. Continue reading APRIL BIRDING→
Celebrating and informing Deering Center and surrounding neighborhoods of Portland, ME