Two rare birds spotted in Maine within six months

This rare bird has its roots in eastern Asia, but has been spotted several times in eastern Maine.

Washington County, Maine – In less than six months, Miners saw two birds from far away making rare visits to the state’s coast. the most recent? Tufted pancake.

“Amazingly rare” are the words the Maine National Resource Board used to describe the recent occurrence of puffins in Maine. This bird is native to Japan and Russia, and its closest breeding field is 2,500 miles away, according to a blog post on the NRCM website.

The bird was first seen in June on Petit Manan Island, two and a half miles off the Steuben coast in Washington County, and then on Machias Seal Island, according to the blog post. The commission said it was likely the same bird was seen earlier in July at Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge off the coast of Rockland.

The namesake feature of the bird is the golden tuft on its head.

This is not the first rare bird to appear in Maine this year. The Steller’s sea eagle, also native to East Asia, was first seen in Maine just before the New Year and immediately began attracting crowds of keen bird-watchers from across the United States and Canada.

RELATED: Rare Stellar Sea Eagle Makes History and Lives in Maine for Three Months

“Rare birds like this are just another of these examples of why humans are so connected to the natural world, and we can’t help but be fascinated and fascinated by the mysteries of the ornithologist,” biologist Jeff Wells, one of the nation’s leading ornithologists who wrote with his wife, Allison, told the NRCM blog post. . “Hopefully people will continue to enjoy birds and continue to look for exotic and also familiar things around the house and garden.”

Wells said seeing rare birds in Maine over the past six months may have been a coincidence – but he said climate change could also be a factor because pressures on the bird’s native environment could cause it to seek new places.

A fun historical twist to a tufted puffin story? According to Welles, John James Audubon painted a tufted puffin based on a bird Audubon wrote that he obtained from a fisherman at the mouth of the Kennebec River in the winter of 1831-1832. Wells said this account has been viewed with skepticism by many because of the distance the bird would need to travel, but now seems more believable.

“[The tufted puffin] It’s always been on Maine’s list ever since, but in the modern era when people understand where they’re supposed to be – in theory, at least – everyone kind of wondered, ‘Was this some kind of wrong? Did someone find it somewhere else and send it to him, with his notes mixed up? “I kind of came up with all kinds of reasons why it could be wrong,” he said. “But all of a sudden now, when we have two sightings in the Gulf of Maine…it makes you wonder if that’s true. All along.”

To read and learn more about the rarity of tufted puffins in Maine, click here.

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