One of the activities, that I have always enjoyed, is watching the comings and goings of the enormous variety of birds that frequent our bird feeders. While many of our visitors are commonly know (Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal and Blue Jay), there are occasional “perching birds” that I cannot identify. Sure I could dig out my enormous copy of “The National Audubon Society Guide to North American Birds” but that means I have to wade through page after page of birds that don’t even live in Maine, an activity that I find annoying. For months, I had been looking for a quick reference guide that I could use to identify common Maine birds and that the kids could easily use as well. While in the bookstore the other day, I stumbled upon: A Pocket Naturalist Guide to “Maine Birds - An Introduction to Familiar Species" by Waterford Press and was immediately impressed.
The guide is a single laminated (laminated by the way equates to almost indestructible, a valuable trait around little ones) page featuring small photos of approximately 150 bird species knows to inhabit Maine. Additionally the guide identifies 22 birding “hotspots” across the state, from Lake Josephine in Aroostook County to Mt. Agamenticus in the south. Since we began using the guide, the kids and I are now able to successfully identify Tufted Titmouse, American Goldfinch, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe and American Tree Sparrow. Our quick education proves that you don’t have to be an ornithological nut to appreciate Maine’s rich birding possibilities, so get out there today and see what you can see!