About

The Maine Birding Field Notes Blog by Derek Lovitch.

Co-owner, with my wife Jeannette, of Freeport Wild Bird Supply.

This blog began in 2013 with the apparent demise of my Field Notes blog on Mainetoday.com. As of November 1, 2020, I’m going to be reinvigorating the blog with some changes.

We continued to use Facebook (www.facebook.com/freeportwildbird) for “micro-blogging,” including daily bird sightings and short trip reports, conservation news, store news, and more. But this blog was the home for the lengthier essays, and especially photo-filled trip reports. I also archive many of my rare bird sightings in posts here.

But, for a variety of reasons, we have noticed that the “views” (a truly wonderful feature of business Facebook pages) on our Facebook page have been declining dramatically . It could be less people active on Facebook, it could be a change in the algorithms, or it could be Facebook trying to extort us for money to make sure people see our posts again (the “boost post”) feature.  Regardless of the reason(s), less of you are seeing our birding reports and observations of note there as well.

We go birding a lot, and many people like to know what we have seen. We’ve certainly had enough feedback over the years to know that bird sightings reports are a big part of what people like about what we do.

But I’m spending less time on Facebook, too – not out of principle, but just due to a lack of time. And while we’ll continue to post breaking news there (it’s still the easiest and fastest way to reach folks who are interested, and, it saves all of the posts so you can scroll back and catch up with what you missed), but we wanted to rethink where we send people to check out what we have been seeing.

Enter my blog.

Relegated of late as a repository for trip reports – a valuable function indeed – its’ time to get this thing fired back up. From here on out, ALL of our birding sightings will be posted here.  I’ll try to spice it up with more photos, too – we’ve been bad at that on Facebook of late.

We’ll continue to post to the Google Group (aka “the listserve”) and Facebook, for now anyway, but we might phase out those efforts if the issues continue or increase.  But this blog will now serve as a viable archive to reports and offers one additional feature: IT’S SEARCHABLE!  You can search by species, location, date, etc. No archive for the Google Groups allows that. You can also easily send (or we can easily send) a direct link to a specific report, as opposed to having to send someone to scroll through one of the other repositories.

Of course, this is only for our sightings since we don’t use eBird.  But at least it gets stuff in one place for you to see if you are interested. If not, no worries, I’m not offended!  But for those who want to know, everything I post about birding in Maine, and likely a little more from beyond, will now be found here for all the world to see.

Who I am. 

My wife, Jeannette and I own and operate Freeport Wild Bird Supply, a retail store that caters to birdwatchers of all levels and interests. Opened in 2004, the store continues to serve as a vehicle for us to share our enthusiasm for birding, birds, and bird conservation.

I have made a career out of his lifelong passion for birds. After graduating with a degree in Environmental Policy from Rutgers University, he worked on avian research and education projects in nine states from New Jersey to Hawaii and from Florida to Michigan. He also spent three summers as a tour guide on Alaska’s Pribilof Islands; he served as tour director in 2003, and organized and conducted the first comprehensive Fall Avian Survey in the island’s history.

I have also served on Pownal’s Conservation Commission and on various boards including the Bradbury-Pineland Corridor Trail Advisory Board, and with Jeannette founded the Bradbury Mountain Raptor Research Project, and is active with many birding and conservation issues in Maine. Yet somehow I still find to time to bird just about every day: whether leading tours, as a private guide, or simply working on my local patch list while walking our dog, Bonxie, hardly a day goes by when I am not in the field.

My first book, titled How To Be a Better Birder, was published in March 2012 by Princeton University Press.  My second book, Birdwatching in Maine: A Site Guide was published in May 2017 by the University Press of New England. He was also the “Tools of the Trade” Department Editor for Birding magazine for 6 years and remains a regular contributor to it, and its companion magazine, Birder’s Guide. His writing has also appeared in Birder’s World, Bird Observer, Bird Watcher’s Digest, NJ Audubon, North American Birds, and Winging It. He is the author of A Birder’s Guide to Whitefish Point (Michigan) and wrote the text and designed the Birds of the Maine Backyard folding guide. Along with birding, I enjoy hiking, exploring new natural areas, developing his native plant garden, good food, beer, and being tormented by Rutgers athletics.

Learn more about Freeport Wild Bird Supply by visiting:
http://www.freeportwildbirdsupply.com/

Thanks for reading and following!  Now, back to birding.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Georgiana Rock

    We live on Potts Point in Harpswell. There are a group of about 20+ birds down here we haven’t seen before. They have been hanging around below the bird feeders. They’re quite active, quick, beautiful birds. Lots of white on their chest with a pale tan stripe from one wing across the chest to the other wing. They are a bit bigger than the common sparrow. We’re the first house on the left and the birds are also at the first house on the right.

    Reply
  2. Anne Williams

    Hi Derek,
    Thinking about resident birds and how they are faring in polar vortex weather.
    Do you have any data or references about survival of cardinals, chickadees and other residents in these extreme conditions?
    Hope you and Jeanette are safe and warm.
    Best wishes,
    Anne

    Reply
    1. Derek Post author

      Hello Anne,
      Nice to hear from you. I do not know of any specific data or actual research in regards to effects of extreme winter conditions. Anecdotal data is a’plenty, from instances of waterfowl freezing (and dying) into ice on the Great Lakes to mass exodus of facultative migrants before and after such extreme weather. But I am unaware of any legitimate quantification of this.
      Thanks for thinking about it, though!
      -Derek

      Reply
  3. Jeff M.

    I came here from Maine to identify a rose breasted grosneck but then I saw your cattle dog our just recently passed away and looked like she could be your dogs twin where did you get your dog?

    Reply

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