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.
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.
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.