Category Archives: Wildlife

Wildlife in Acadia National Park.

Climate change consequences hot topic in Acadia, US news

With the United States planning to pull out of the Paris climate accord and Al Gore’s new movie, climate change is a hot issue this summer.

climate change research

Topography map of Acadia and Mount Desert Island at the Nature Center shows the potential impact of climate change on shorefront, roads, plants and wildlife.

The topic is also sharply in focus at Acadia National Park, where an exhibit at the Sieur de Monts Nature Center explores current and future climate change consequences at the park including the flooding of salt marshes, the survival of a parasite that is killing hemlock forests and the threats of rising temperatures on summit plants, trees like red spruce and balsam fir, and nesting sites of Puffins, Arctic Terns and Loons.

Lynne Dominy, chief of interpretation and education at Acadia, said it is important that the exhibit helps people understand the environmental changes that may occur over the next several decades in the park.

Dominy said the displays are based on science, but they allow people to make their own decisions about climate change.

“The main message is to be educated and to make responsible choices,” she said. “You have to understand we live on a complex planet and that things change. It is important to be a part of that and to understand where we are going and make responsible choices.”

Scenes of climate change consequences are also on the big screen in Maine and elsewhere in “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” the new movie by the former vice president that’s being released 10 years after the Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth.”

The movie trailer includes President Donald Trump pledging during the campaign to end the federal EPA and cut billions in climate change spending. In a speech on June 1, Trump said he was ceasing all implementation of the Paris accord – a global agreement aimed at reducing global warming and pollution – because he said it imposes too many draconian financial and economic burdens on the United States.

The Trump administration has also opted to dissolve the 15-member Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment, after its charter expired, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The panel is intended to advise policymakers on how to incorporate the government’s climate analysis into long-term planning, the Post reported.

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Five peregrine falcon chicks fly at Acadia, but one nest fails

UPDATE 8/01/2017: Park today announces that trails associated with the Precipice, Jordan Cliffs and Valley Cove will reopen on Thursday, Aug. 3, after five peregrine falcon chicks fledged this year — down from 11 in 2016. Trails were closed on March 17.

Five peregrine falcon checks have fledged at nests at two sites in Acadia National Park this year, but for unknown reasons a nest failed at a third site that has yielded chicks in recent years, a biologist at the park said Friday.

peregrine falcon chick

Acadia National Park wildlife biologist Bruce Connery holds a peregrine chick that has just been lowered from its scrape, or nest, for banding. (NPS photo)

Bruce Connery, wildlife biologist at Acadia, said there was a pair of adult falcons at Jordan Cliffs and it is believed they started a nest but then one of the adults disappeared around the middle of June, and the nest failed. Connery said he does not know why the nest at the Jordan Cliffs failed but he said it was not related to the chicks or the nesting.

“My guess would be that one of the adults either left or was killed by a predator like a great horned owl,” Connery said.

On the positive side, the peregrine falcon chicks at the Precipice and Valley Cove have been flying since about July 1, and seemed alert and healthy when they were spotted by researchers, he said. At least one chick at each of the two sites was flying before the others, he said. “They are all flying now and they are doing great,” he said.

Three peregrine falcon chicks fledged at the Precipice and two at Valley Cove, he said.

The park usually waits for the peregrine falcon chicks to fly for five weeks before reopening trails, including the wildly popular Precipice Trail, that are closed in the early spring each year to protect the nesting falcons and chicks. The trails opened July 29 last year and usually open by early August each year.

peregrine falcon chicks

Peregrine falcon chick being banded in Acadia National Park this year. (Photo courtesy of Erin Wheat)

Connery said the nest failure at the Jordan Cliffs was disappointing because the birds were there and everything seemed to be going along pretty well.

“It would be more understandable if we knew what caused it to fail,” he said, such as the male being attracted to another place.

“We just know we started seeing only one adult …. There was no real rhyme or reason to why it happened.”

Male and female adult peregrines both play vital roles in nesting. Females usually lay eggs in early spring and females incubate the eggs while males hunt and bring food to their mates, according to the web site of the Chesapeake Bay Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Researchers at Acadia don’t know if it was the male or female adult peregrine that disappeared because the feathers of both sexes are mostly similar, but Connery said he would guess that it was the male that left or was killed.

Connery said he was pretty positive it was a “natural event” that caused the nest to fail. He said there is no evidence that human interference was a factor in the nest failure.

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If not for Earth Day, imagine a silent spring in Acadia

As millions around the world mark Earth Day, imagine what Acadia National Park would be like without the banning of DDT, the Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts, or any of the other changes since that first massive showing of environmental activism in 1970:

peregrine falcon

Peregrine falcon chicks, like this one being banded on the Precipice of Champlain Mountain, would not be taking flight in Acadia, if not for the banning of DDT and the passage of the Endangered Species Act in the 1970s. (NPS Photo / Erickson Smith)

  • – No peregrine falcons nesting on the Precipice of Champlain
  • – Hazy views atop Cadillac
  • – Declining loon populations
  • – Acidified ponds that can’t support certain aquatic life
  • A silent spring in Acadia, with no birdsong

On this Earth Day and beyond, whether you’re marching for science in Washington on April 22 or for climate change action in Bar Harbor on April 29, or you’re volunteering for the Friends of Acadia’s annual roadside clean-up later this month, just imagine what a silent spring in Acadia would be like.

clean air act

Acadia webcam images show the impact of air pollution on the views. The Clean Air Act has helped improve visibility. (NPS Photo)

And imagine, too, what rising sea levels could mean to Acadia, as climate change worries join the ranks of environmental concerns like pesticides, mercury contamination, acid rain and acid fog, and air pollution.

As our way of marking Earth Day, of science’s contribution to protecting the environment of Acadia for people, plants and wildlife, and of the challenges like climate change still to be faced, we gather here some resources to remind us of how far we have come, and how much further we have to go.

May this listing, although not exhaustive, help spur reflection, respect, and action, in honor of Earth Day and Acadia. Continue reading

Jordan Pond a special fall experience at Acadia National Park

One in a series of historic trail highlights celebrating the Acadia Centennial

The path around Jordan Pond is an ideal hike for any time of year but it is especially beautiful in the fall.

acadia national park hiking

Fall colors light up the shore of Jordan Pond and the Bubbles.

The fall colors around Jordan Pond are spectacular if you catch them at peak, as we did on Saturday, Oct. 15.

We especially enjoyed the classic view of the North and South Bubbles, looking north from the southern shore near the Jordan Pond House, the only restaurant in Acadia National Park.

The pond is crystal clear, maybe because it is a public water supply and no swimming is allowed. The authoritative ” Guide’s Guide to Acadia National Park” says Jordan Pond is the “clearest lake” in Maine, but that could be difficult to corroborate.

The twin mountains called the Bubbles rise from the shore of the pond. North Bubble, at 872 feet, is ranked No. 13 for highest among Acadia National Park’s 26 peaks and South Bubble, at 766 feet and home to the iconic Bubble Rock, is No. 16.

acadia national park hiking

South Bubble bears a bit of a resemblance to The Beehive from this angle on the eastern shore of Jordan Pond. Both were shaped by the same glacial forces.

Like other lakes in Acadia, Jordan Pond is glacial, formed in a valley and then walled by debris.

The  “Guide’s Guide” says the Jordan Pond area contains a beautiful collection of glacial features. The massive valley between Penobscot Mountain, on the west side, and Pemetic Mountain, on the east side, filled with water to create the pond.

“The southern shore, where the Jordan Pond House sits, is a glacial moraine formed from glacial debris deposits,” the guide says. “These deposits form a wall at the southern end of the valley and create a natural dam that holds back the waters of Jordan Pond.” Continue reading

The peregrine falcon has “great” year in Acadia, 11 chicks fly

UPDATE 7/29/2016: Park today announces reopening of Precipice, Jordan Cliffs and parts of Valley Cove Trails, and closure of 1-mile section of Valley Cove Trail between Flying Mountain and Man o’ War Brook because of deteriorating trail conditions.

A biologist at Acadia National Park said several popular hiking trails at Acadia National Park should open by early next week, following “a great” year for the peregrine falcon at the park.

Peregrine falcon chick

A peregrine falcon chick is held for banding in the spring (Photo by Keith Wozniak/Acadia National Park)

Bruce Connery, wildlife biologist at Acadia, said 11 peregrine falcon chicks fledged, or took their first flight, at the park’s three main nesting sites this year. That’s up from 7 for each of the prior two years at those sites.

He said the peregrine falcon nests at the Precipice on the east face of Champlain Mountain and Jordan Cliffs each produced four fledged falcons and the nest at Valley Cove, three.

“It is great,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. “We usually have good success at one site, sometimes two. It is a rare to have that kind of success at three sites.”

He said there was also a chick of the peregrine falcon at Ironbound Island this year with a photo taken by the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. The park holds a conservation easement on Ironbound, a privately owned island in Frenchman Bay.

Sign for closing Orange & Black Path for the peregrine falcon

This trail closure sign on the Orange & Black Path, shown in early July, will soon be coming down.

The Precipice Trail, the Jordan Cliffs Trail, part of the Orange & Black Path and the Valley Cove Trail, which were closed early this spring to protect the falcon chicks, should all open maybe this weekend or by early next week, he said. The trails usually do open in early August every year.

The park has not officially announced the date for reopening the trails and trail crews still need to approve some trail sections for safety reasons for hikers, he said. The park announced the trail closures in March. Continue reading

Endangered falcons take the stage at Acadia National Park

Endangered falcons gave birth to 11 chicks this year at Acadia National Park and now are putting on a show for hundreds of visitors to the park.

endangered falcons

Park Ranger Andrew Wolfgang shows visitors the location of the endangered falcons and their nest during peregrine watch in Acadia National Park.

On Saturday alone, about 160 people stopped to catch the action of  the state-listed endangered falcons  at a “peregrine watch” site in the Precipice Trail parking area below a nest high on the east face of Champlain Mountain.

“We got a bird up,” said Park Ranger Andrew Wolfgang, pointing to the cliffs when one of the endangered falcons flew back to the nest after a brief absence. “It’s a really nice look at an adult in this scope right now.”

Wolfgang and Samuel Ruano, a peregrine falcon interpretive guide and raptor intern, supervised the use of two spotting scopes that allow visitors some excellent views of the peregrine falcons. Wolfgang and Ruano also spoke frequently to visitors about the history of the peregrines in the park and the need to temporarily close popular hiking trails to give the nestlings time to mature.

With the scopes, visitors could clearly see a peregrine falcon perched upright on the cliff face outside the nest or even the nestlings themselves.

“Amazing,” said Keith Spencer, a grade 7 English teacher in the public schools of Everett, MA, after he looked through the scope and saw a falcon. Continue reading

A slideshow menagerie of wildlife in Acadia National Park

We dug deep into our archives of wildlife in Acadia photos, to add to the growing Anecdata.org citizen science database, “Wildlife Sightings in Acadia National Park.”

Here’s a  slideshow of the photos we’ve just uploaded, of Spruce grouse, Double-crested cormorants, loon, garter snake, Red Admiral butterfly, porcupine, turkey and deer.

wildlife in acadia wildlife in acadia wildlife in acadia wildlife in acadia wildlife in acadia schoodic woods campground wildlife in acadia wildlife in acadia wildlife in acadia

We also uploaded some historic information for garter snakes, dating back to 1939, just as we did earlier for snapping turtles, so that the citizen database could perhaps serve as a baseline of wildlife in Acadia.

In 1939 and 1987, the common garter snake was considered “to be the most common and widespread snake on Mount Desert Island,” according to the 2005 National Park Service report, “Acadia National Park Amphibian and Reptile Inventory.” With 138 such snakes encountered during the course of the inventory, on Mount Desert Island and Isle au Haut, “it still appears to be so.” Continue reading

Happy Halloween from Acadia on My Mind!

Here’s the 2015 edition of Acadia-o-lanterns, a great way to keep Acadia on our mind even during the off-season. Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween

Moose-o-lantern and Bear-o-lantern keep Acadia on our mind for Halloween.

We’ve had wildlife in Acadia on our mind, with recent blog posts about the topic, as well as a citizen science database we created on Anecdata.org, “Wildlife Sightings in Acadia National Park.” And we’ve also written about Bates-style cairns.

So why not a couple of Acadia-o-lanterns that incorporate those themes? Continue reading

Fall a season of comings and goings for wildlife in Acadia

For wildlife in Acadia National Park, the crisp cold air and shorter days of fall signal a time to move, stockpile, hibernate or otherwise prepare for the coming winter.

baby snapping turtle

Craig Neff and Pamelia Markwood, owners of The Naturalist’s Notebook, found this baby snapping turtle in September, while they hiked along Long Pond. (Photo courtesy of Craig Neff)

Visitors who come to the park this time of year may not be able to ride the Island Explorer or sunbathe on Sand Beach, but they may be treated to sightings of wildlife in Acadia that the typical summer tourist rarely, if ever, sees – like baby snapping turtles hatching and making their way to water, Snowy owls migrating south from the Arctic tundra or, perhaps, moose in rut.

With 37 species of mammals known to exist in Acadia (and another 18 types of mammals unconfirmed or lost to history), 11 known species of amphibians, 215 known species of birds, 33 known species of fish and 7 known species of reptiles, according to the park’s online species lists, there’s plenty of opportunity to see wildlife in Acadia, whether during the fall or any other season.

We feature here some of the things you can watch for, and how you can keep track of wildlife in Acadia, by posting your own sightings on a citizen science database we started at www.anecdata.org, or on other databases like www.eBird.org, or by checking the postings of others. Or you can download the park’s checklists of known species, for your own paper-and-pencil record.

schoodic woods campground

The elusive Spruce grouse can be found along the new Buck Cove Mountain Trail that connects to the new Schoodic Woods Campground run by Acadia National Park.

We’re about to add our own recent sightings of the elusive Spruce grouse, and of a garter snake, to the “Wildlife Sightings in Acadia National Park” database on Anecdata. Thanks to fellow blogger Jeanette Matlock of A Picky Traveler for recently adding her sightings of White-tailed deer, Wild turkey, Common eiders and Hairy woodpecker in Acadia to the database.

And thanks, too, to Craig Neff and Pamelia Markwood of The Naturalist’s Notebook, with locations in Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor, for letting us share some of their photos and insights about wildlife in Acadia in this blog post.

buck at schooner head overlook

Jeanette Matlock, blogger at A Picky Traveler, took this photo of a buck with golden antlers at Schooner Head Overlook in October 2014. She recently uploaded it to the citizen science database we started on Anecdata.org, “Wildlfe Sightings in Acadia National Park.” Thanks for sharing, Jeanette! (C) MDIBL, Anecdata and contributors

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Tales of beaver in Acadia National Park, and other wildlife stories

Whether it’s moose or beaver in Acadia National Park, rare and unusual wildlife sightings can sometimes become the talk of the town, the chatter on Facebook, and the lore of the islands.

Take the cases of beaver on Isle au Haut, or the young bull moose that once wandered all over that remote island outpost of Acadia, and then the moose that followed hikers in the woods of Mount Desert Island.

Are there beaver on Isle au Haut? A management plan by the National Park Service says that beaver are absent from the Maine island, but a newly-released photo and recent sightings suggest otherwise.

One island resident says he has long seen beaver activity on the island, half of which is included in Acadia National Park.

beaver on isle au haut in acadia national park

A lone beaver, thought to be absent according to Acadia National Park’s recent management plan for Isle au Haut, was caught on camera in July 2014, apparently wary of Eli’s Creek, swollen by rains that month. (NPS photo taken by Ana Casillas and  provided by Ranger Alison Richardson)

Other compelling evidence includes a recent photo of  a beaver on the banks of Eli’s Creek on the southwest side of Isle au Haut.

The photo of the beaver was taken during a rain storm in July 2014 near a work cabin for Acadia rangers, said Acadia National Park Ranger Alison Richardson, who provided a copy of the photo.

Isle au Haut is in Penobscot Bay in the Gulf of Maine, about 7 miles south of Stonington. Richardson said she did not know how the lone beaver made it to the island.

“I don’t know if I would say beaver live on Isle au Haut,” but the single beaver was on the island somehow, she said. Fellow Ranger Nick Freedman said he thought it might be a transient.
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Look, up on the Precipice of Acadia – peregrine falcons!

UPDATE 8/6/15: The Precipice, Jordan Cliffs and Valley Cove Trails opened today, according to the official park news release.

While we wait for the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park to reopen any day now, and as a follow-up to our blog post on the 7 peregrine falcon chicks that fledged this year, here are some never-before publicized photos of peregrine falcons, taken by Erickson Smith, biological science technician with the park.

peregrine falcon

One of the female peregrine falcon chicks banded this year in Acadia National Park, on the Precipice of Champlain Mountain. Looks cute and fluffy now, but once mature will dive after prey at more than 100 miles per hour. (NPS Photo / Erickson Smith)

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7 peregrine falcon chicks fledge at Acadia National Park

UPDATE 8/6/15: Precipice, Jordan Cliffs and Valley Cove Trails reopened.

UPDATE 7/31/15: Statistics provided by the park state that in 2014, there were 9 peregrine falcon chicks hatched at Acadia including 1 chick at Jordan Cliffs, 2 at Ironbound Island, 4 at the Precipice and 2 at Valley Cove.

A biologist at Acadia National Park said he is pleased that 7 peregrine falcon chicks fledged at the park this year and that popular hiking trails in the nesting areas should reopen around the first week of August.

peregrine falcon chick

Park wildlife biologist, Bruce Connery, holds a peregrine chick that was lowered from its scrape, or nest, for banding, in this file photo. (NPS photo)

Bruce Connery, wildlife biologist at Acadia, said the Precipice on the east face of Champlain Mountain is now home to three fledged peregrine falcon chicks; the Jordan Cliffs, two; and Valley Cove cliffs above Somes Sound, also two.

The Precipice Trail, the Jordan Cliffs Trail, part of the Orange & Black Path and the Valley Cove Trail, which were closed early this spring to protect the peregrine falcon chicks, should all open in early August as is usual each year following the falcon nesting season, he said.

The park has not officially announced the date for reopening the trails and still needs to check some trail sections for safety reasons for hikers, he said.

“We are still watching chicks,” he added. “They are getting to be pretty good fliers but they still have a ways to go. They still all come back to the cliff every night. They are dependent on it. They seem to still be pretty much in a group dynamic. They go off for a little bit, but an hour later they will be back perched within 20 to 50 feet from each other. That cliff is still important to them.”

peregrine falcon

Peregrine falcon on the cliffs of Champlain Mountain this spring, with the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park closed until early August. (NPS photo from Acadia National Park Facebook page)

He said the number of fledged chicks is around average for the park.

“It is right in the middle,” he said. “It’s pretty much what we should hope for and expect.”

Unlike last year, Connery said, no peregrine falcon chicks were likely born this year on Ironbound Island, which is located in the park’s legislative area and is protected with a park conservation easement.

“It’s hard to say,” he said. “Some people said they saw them but we never saw them. We were only out four times. If you pick the wrong day, you could be off. I don’t know. It seems odd we would not have seen them if they had chicks but it is possible.”

Also, there were no peregrine falcon chicks on the Beech Cliffs above Echo Lake, a fifth location where falcons have nested in the past.

According to Erickson Smith, biological science technician at the park, there were 9 peregrine falcon chicks hatched at Acadia in 2014 including 1 chick at Jordan Cliffs, 2 at Ironbound Island, 4 at the Precipice and 2 at Valley Cove.
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New way to track sightings of wildlife in Acadia National Park

If you’ve ever taken photos of wildlife in Acadia National Park – whether of turkeys, a barred owl, a butterfly, a porcupine or a snapping turtle – and wanted to share it with the world, not just with family and friends, there’s a new online citizen science project to allow you to do just that.

wild turkeys

When we saw this flock of wild turkeys near Acadia National Park’s Sieur de Monts entrance, we had to stop and take a photo. We just uploaded this photo to Anecdata.org. (C) MDIBL, Anecdata and contributors

“Wildlife Sightings in Acadia National Park” is the name of the project, which we here at Acadia on My Mind just created on Anecdata.org, the online citizen science portal by the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory’s Community Environmental Health Lab.

While there have been ways to upload sightings in Acadia of birds like Snowy owls, to the online database eBird, we haven’t found a way to keep track of other Acadia wildlife sightings. That’s why we decided to start this wildlife sightings project. Continue reading

Of snapping turtles, citizen science and Acadia National Park

UPDATED 7/11/2015: Added map from 2005 National Park Service report showing 29 sites where snapping turtles were found in Acadia and excerpts from conclusion, along with link to full report. And also created a new Anecdata project, Wildlife Sightings in Acadia National Park.

Perhaps you’ve seen a snapping turtle on the trails of Acadia National Park or along the roads of Mount Desert Island this time of year, and wondered if it was a female looking for soft sand or gravel to lay her eggs.

snapping turtle and anecdata

Baby snapping turtle seen while we were hiking near Hadlock Brook in July 2014, uploaded to Anecdata. © MDIBL, Anecdata and contributors

Or maybe you’ve seen a snapper sunning itself on a rock, or a baby turtle making its way toward water, and wondered if such sightings are common.

Now there’s a citizen science database with a snapping turtle project to satisfy your curiosity, as well as to allow you to upload photos and document observations of the reptiles, or of any other aspect of the natural world on Mount Desert Island and beyond.

Anecdata.org, developed by MDI Biological Laboratory’s Community Environmental Health Lab (CEHL), allows crowd-sourcing of data to better create a picture of the changing environment, whether it involves eelgrass, wastewater outfall, the MDI coastline or snapping turtles.

“What I like most about citizen science is that it fundamentally shifts the balance of information, and therefore the balance of power in the favor of ordinary people – in this period of climate change, I think this is extremely important,” said Duncan Bailey, lead developer of Anecdata, which is so new, it is still being beta tested.

snapping turtle

Don’t get too close to this snapping turtle, seen by the side of the road in Brooksville, ME, in May by Anecdata user Acadia. © MDIBL, Anecdata and contributors

So far, the snapping turtle project has 8 contributors with 9 photos, including 2 that we at Acadia on My Mind recently uploaded, of a snapper sunning itself on a rock off the shores of Lower Hadlock Pond, and of a baby turtle near Hadlock Brook.

The project isn’t limited to Mount Desert Island, although Anecdata is based there. One spectacular close-up photo of a snapper by the side of the road was taken in May in Brooksville, ME, by a citizen scientist going by the screen name Acadia. The project lead, going by the screen name NUMAHA, said he came up with the idea because “I wanted to find out where the snapping turtles in Maine are because I think more of them are being killed.”
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No GPS-tracked Snowy Owl to fly over Acadia this season

Despite multiple attempts and close calls since February, Maine wildlife researchers have been unable to capture and outfit a Snowy Owl with a GPS transmitter. The possibility of tracking one of these majestic raptors of the Arctic flying over Acadia National Park will have to wait.

snowy owl on cadillac mountain

Flight of the Snowy Owl over Cadillac Mountain, no GPS transmitter tracking available. (Photo courtesy of Michael Good and Down East Nature Tours)

“No, we did not have any luck before the winter window ‘closed’ on 3/15,” said Lauren Gilpatrick, permit and band manager for the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) in Portland, in an e-mail. “We are waiting until next winter to try again.”

Gilpatrick, along with BRI colleague Chris Desorbo and USDA Wildlife Services’ John Wood, have been stalking airports in Portland and Brunswick, hoping to relocate a Snowy Owl out of harm’s way, while also outfitting it with a GPS transmitter as part of Project SNOWstorm, a national volunteer research effort to better understand these mysterious denizens normally of the Arctic tundra. Their efforts are detailed in Project SNOWstorm’s blog.

“These owls are very intelligent, powerful, and absolutely gorgeous. It has been an honor to spend so much time watching them,” Gilpatrick said in an e-mail. Younger owls may linger into May in Maine, but the adult owls tend to head north by early March, and would have provided the most valuable data for better understanding their wintering habits, Gilpatrick said.

snowy owls in acadia national park

Snowy Owl spotted on Sargent Mountain, no GPS transmitter tracking available. (Photo courtesy of Rich MacDonald and The Natural History Center)

Beginning with the 2013-2014 winter, Snowies have migrated into the United States in such record numbers – a result of a population explosion up north with plentiful lemmings, a favorite food – it prompted the founding of Project SNOWstorm. Nationwide, more than 30 owls have been outfitted with transmitters since then, providing insights into the bird’s winter ecology, according to the project’s Web site.

March 27 was the last day to donate to Project SNOWstorm’s Indiegogo campaign, to fund more GPS/GSM transmitters and other aspects of the research.

Although there are no plans to capture and tag a Snowy Owl in Acadia National Park, according to researchers, it’s possible that any owl that may be captured next winter at Portland, Brunswick or any other Maine airport, outfitted with a GPS transmitter and relocated, could very well fly over the park.

But even without GPS data for a Snowy Owl in Maine yet, it’s evident that Acadia National Park is a hospitable environment for the birds. A record number of Snowy Owl sightings, 17, have been reported so far this season to the online eBird database this winter, with Sargent and Cadillac among the hot spots.

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