Tag Archives: hybrid herons of Maine

This Week’s Highlights, June 10 – June 17, 2022

An amazing behavior to witness, this femaleYellow-bellied Sapsucker was collecting beak-fuls of insects (primarily crane flies, family Tipula spp.) and then dunking them in flowing sap before feeding nestlings. This is not a behavior I can remember having witnessed, and it was absolutely fascinating to watch.
We observed this at the Hunter Cove Preserve in Rangeley on a walk for the
Rangeley Birding Festival over the weekend (with Cameron Cox).

My observations of note over the past eight days included the following:

  • Rangeley Birding Festival, June 10-12. Cameron Cox and I led a total of four tours, and while none of them expected to find “boreal specialties,” our group did hear 2+ CANADA JAYS at Hunter Cove Preserve on 6/13. Otherwise, we mostly basked in the glow of Blackburnian Warblers and other area denizens, like the above Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
  • Proposed* TRICOLORED HERON X SNOWY EGRET X LITTLE EGRET(S) in Scarborough Marsh, 6/16 (with Ted Floyd and Hannah Floyd).  The saga continues!  Although I have spent dreadfully little time in the marsh this summer, reviewing photographs has led me to consider that there are now two of this proposed three-way combination – one distinctly whiter (especially on the wings) than the other. On the 16th, we observed both birds distantly (darker bird off Eastern Road, whiter bird at Pelreco Marsh).  In both cases they were very far and even phone-scoped photos were worthless due to heat shimmer.  If you have great photos of birds from this year, I would love to see them!

*Hybrid combo as proposed in:

Lovitch, Derek J. 2022. Photo Salon: Hybrid Herons of Maine. North American Birds 72 (2): 28-40.

  • 22 Semipalmated Sandpipers, Eastern Road Trail, Scarborough Marsh, 6/16 (with Ted Floyd and Hannah Floyd).
  • 6-8 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 2 ad. Little Blue Herons, Pine Point, Scarborough, 6/16 (with Ted Floyd and Hannah Floyd).
On 6/16, I set out with visiting friends to study “sharp-tailed” sparrows.  In one of those rare days, we saw and heard numerous Saltmarsh (here), Nelson’s, and hybrids thereof. If only every day is that easy for studying these birds! And all of our views came without any use of recordings or stepping into the marsh.