Nicholas Lund

nature and science

Into the Wild: Know what to do when animals attack | The Portland Phoenix

We don’t have to worry too much about dangerous wildlife in Maine. Mountain lions were killed off long ago (I don’t care what your great-uncle thought he saw crossing the road outside Millinocket) and we don’t have any venomous snakes or spiders. But you still need to be prepared. Here are some important tips to protect yourself out in the woods: • Black bear — Wikipedia’s certainly reliable list of fatal bear attacks in the United States includes just a single entry from Maine: a captive black

Into the Wild: Will you be arrested for picking up a feather? | The Portland Phoenix

Let’s just get this out of the way up front: Yes, it’s illegal to collect the feathers of native birds, even if you just found them on the ground. The law says that you are not allowed to collect feathers. The technical reason is that native birds and their parts are covered under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The act is one of our most important wildlife protection laws, put in place around the turn of the 20th century in part to help stop the rampant hunting of egrets, whose feathers were us

Into the Wild: Maine’s Top 10 rare birds of the past year | The Portland Phoenix

Birders tell themselves that it’s fun to bird in December, but c’mon. Wiping ice out of your binocular eyecups while you try to identify gulls in the whipping wind? Not great. Waking up before sunrise for a Christmas bird count where you find six total species? Not great, either. Birding in December is best for talking about how good birding is in the spring, and also for reminiscing. Let’s look back now on the rarest birds found in Maine last year. 10 — Ash-throated flycatcher, Nov. 8-17, Bi

Into the Wild: Wintry Portland a destination for snowbirds | The Portland Phoenix

Every Mainer knows a snowbird: Someone who is here for the summer, but spends the winter somewhere warm, like Florida or Arizona. You may even be one yourself, but do you know Maine is actually a winter destination for some actual snowbirds? Many birds spend their summers in the Canadian boreal forests or the Arctic tundra, feasting on the plentiful insects, or breeding on remote water bodies. But when winter hits the Arctic gets a whole lot loss enjoyable, so lots of these birds escape to the

Into the Wild: Meet the Cooper’s hawk, Portland’s deadliest bird | The Portland Phoenix

Have you ever seen a flock of pigeons flying over Portland and thought about eating one? Just grabbing and chowing down on one of those little bread-crumb-fattened birds on your way to the office? It’s not such a crazy idea – after all people pay through the nose for a squab dinner at a fancy restaurant – but I’d guess that wild-caught pigeon is not on the menu for most of us. It’s a different story for Cooper’s hawks, the most fearsome aerial predator in the city of Portland. These birds love

Into the Wild: Where to find a wild phoenix | The Portland Phoenix

I’ll write about a lot of animals in this column about Maine wildlife, but I won’t write much about the phoenix. Because, you know, it’s not real. The phoenix is a part of ancient Greek folklore, a giant bird associated with the sun. It’s said to have lived for 500 years before dying and being born again, though there’s disagreement about whether that rebirth occurs in an explosion of flames or after regular decomposition. There’s also disagreement about what the phoenix looked like. It was of