Piping Plover Scientific name: Charadrius melodus Cool fact: A Piping Plover parent will attempt to lure a potential predator away from its nest by feigning a broken wing. A small, pale-brown bird that nests on sandy beaches, the Piping Plover, along with its sand-colored eggs and chicks, can be difficult to see. Thus camouflaged, they Read More
The Natural Resources Council of Maine works to protect important wildlife habitat for our vast array of animals that live in our state. Our Creature Feature is a way to highlight those animals and share "cool facts" and other important information about them.
NRCM's Creature Feature highlights birds, fish, mammals, and other wildlife that play an important role in the nature of Maine. We have featured "creatures" that are directly affected by our work to protect our clean waters (sea lamprey, Atlantic salmon, lobsters, etc.) and protect wildlife habitat in Maine's North Woods, including in our new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (moose, Canada lynx, black bear, etc.)
Eastern Bluebird Scientific name: Sialia sialis Cool fact: Bluebird houses aren’t just for nesting! Several bluebirds will roost together in a bird box for warmth in the winter. Does any songbird elicit a smile more readily than a bluebird? “The bluebird of happiness” has long been a trope in our popular culture, and the belief Read More
Common Redpoll Scientific name: Acanthis flammea Cool fact: The Common Redpoll has a pouch in its throat that enables it to store food. Thanks to this adaptation, on a very cold day the bird can quickly collect seeds, then remain in a sheltered, warmer spot for several hours while it eats. Many of our songbirds Read More
Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) Cool Fact: The shell of a snapping turtle is full of nerve endings and sensitive to scratches. First, about that snap. Snapping turtles can’t pull their head and limbs into their shells, so they use their powerful jaws in self-defense. They can raise up on their hind legs, stretch out their Read More
Striped Skunk Mephitus mephitus Cool fact: Skunks are active year-round, but during the cold of winter they slow down and stay inside their dens, which are insulated with leaves and grass, sometimes with other skunk families and friends. The striped skunk, Mephitus mephitus, occurs throughout most of Maine, from open fields and farms to city Read More
Canada Warbler Scientific name: Cardellina canadensis Cool fact: A flurry of feathers rustling in ferny, shrubby thickets is all that is often seen of the bird, as Canada Warblers are secretive. The Canada Warbler is one of the latest arriving of the 26 warbler species that split their lives between Maine and the tropics of Read More
Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina Cool Fact: The Portland Sea Dogs, a minor league baseball team, are named after a slang term for the harbor seal. Anyone who has spent much time on the coast of Maine has probably seen a harbor seal. Seals haul out on rocks to rest and sun themselves, often posing with Read More
Did you know that the red fox is the most widely distributed carnivore in the world and one of the most common animals in the Northern Hemisphere?
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Bombus affinis Cool Fact: Bumble bee queens hatch in the fall and spend the winter a few inches below the snow. In the shortening days of late August and September, the bumble bees are ever-present in the garden. Deliberate in their flight, they hover and land on the oregano, arugula, butterflyweed, Read More