It’s a simple trick. Find water — an ocean or river, bubbling brook or vernal pool — and you’ll find a bit of wildlife.
Many of Maine’s most charismatic creatures rely on water not only for hydration, but for food and transportation. Moose wade through water all summer, munching on pond vegetation while escaping blackflies. The state’s beloved loon hardly ever leaves the lake or ocean. And our majestic bald eagles are often spotted perching in trees along the edge of rivers, hunting the water below.
Of course, this isn’t the only way to find wildlife. Different animals are attracted to different habitats. But it’s a good start.
Recently, I’ve gotten in the habit of stopping by different bodies of water while driving from one place to the next — if I have time. And usually, I’m rewarded for the small effort by getting the opportunity to watch a bird or two. Below are a few photos of wildlife I’ve come across during these little random stops. I’m sure there will be more to come as spring thaws the rivers and lakes of Maine.