IMG_0372These bird essays first appeared in Herb Wilson’s newspaper column, Birding, that appears in the Portland Sunday Telegram, Waterville Morning Sentinel and the Augusta Kennebec Journal on alternate Sundays. Herb Wilson is a professor of biology at Colby College where he teaches ornithology, winter ecology, evolution and diversity, marine ecology and marine invertebrate zoology.


  1. Herbert Wilson
    December 18, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

    Hi Patty,

    I think you are doing about all you can. The suet is a particularly good idea because fat has the most bang for the buck in terms of energy. Birds that winter to our south can deal with our winter weather as long as they have sufficient food. If conditions become too severe, the oriole will likely head south.


  2. Patricia M
    December 18, 2010 @ 5:15 pm

    Mr Wilson, I hope you can help are steer me in the right direction ! It’s December 18th in Bath Maine, for about a week an Oriole has been at one of my feeders I always thought they went south for the winter. I am currently feeding him suet ,raisins, and black oil sunflower seeds. Water is available. Any other suggestions to keep the poor bird alive for the winter??? I’ve contacted everyone I can think of but no one believes he will last the winter. Most sites I’ve checked claim he should have migrated south by now. Beautiful bird, he does not appear to be injured or sick. Plummage looks great awesome orange and black. He comes 3 or 4 times a day. Any help would be greatly appreciated Thank You Patty

  3. Herbert Wilson
    August 19, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    Hi Walter,

    Most Monarchs leave in September, although we have six records of Monarchs lingering into October (as last as October 22).

  4. Walter
    August 19, 2010 @ 9:39 am

    When do the Monarchs leave Maine? I accidentally discovered them one year on the ends of midcoast peninsulas waiting for the wind to shift, but I don’t recall the date. Thank you very much.

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