Friday, August 26, 2011

Animals of Acadia

 When Jim first shot this photo on his way to camp, he thought he was looking into the eyes of a grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus).

 He watched as the small animal chewed on the grass and went about its business.

 After doing a bit of research I found out for sure that it was a red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Although the two animals are similar, the gray fox has a black stripe along the tail that ends with a black tip, while the red fox has a white-tipped tail. The gray fox also lacks the black booties seen on this red fox.

 This handsome warm-blooded mammal is a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). A group was feeding during high tide when this photo was taken. While at Sand Beach, Jim and I talked with a park ranger who told us they get at least one report a week by park tourists of an injured seal. Sure enough when he arrives at the scene, he sees a passed out seal sunning itself luxuriously on a rock during low tide. No injury, just nap time. 

This thrush eludes me, if only I had been there to hear its song.

Pictured here is a Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia) who spends its winter months in the balmy Gulf Coast. This little bird creeps up and down tree limbs searching for insects under the bark of trees.

 In the shadows of a striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum) sits a tiny female Black-throated Green Warbler, a common bird of softwood forests.

One of the last animals I think I'd see at the beach is a porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum). It came wobbling up from the sandy beach shore and slowly climbed up this balsam fir. The porcupine is one of the most docile creatures I know.  

Female Common Eider ducks (Somateria mollissima) are diving ducks that feed primarily on mollusks. During breeding season the males are hard to miss with their bright black and white display.

River otters (Lutra canadensis) in the ocean? Apparently so. They can swim miles out into the ocean to fish, but head back to the main land freshwater to rinse off and have a family. What are they looking at anyway?

 I don't think the otters have much to worry about, the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) usually feeds on carrion, crippled waterfowl, and primarily fish. Although they will drown the occasional duck for dinner.

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