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Welcome to The Backshore Bird Blog

Double-crested Cormorants at a Peaks Island Sunrise

My first introduction to Peaks Island was in an old, rusty-tan island car driven by Carlos, who convinced me that this island was perfect for the sheer enjoyment of watching ocean birds. The Common Eider flocks at Spar and Wharf Coves sparkled on the clear ocean surface. However I wanted to explore the other equally beautiful islands in Casco Bay. Obligingly, Carlos transported me in his lobster boat to these islands. Our explorations via bicycles indicated that these islands do not have extensive shoreline access, as does Peaks Island, so Peaks Island was it – bird paradise.

I became a Peaks Island Land Preserve steward for the Backshore with Valerie this year, and Michelle strongly encouraged me to share with you my observations of birdlife there. I am very pleased fulfill this request.

I want to customize this Backshore Bird Blog in such a way that it shares and integrates with the Peaks Island Community - sightings of birds along the shore. My second objective is to investigate through available literature, and information from you, about the Peaks Island birds’ natural history and their unique behaviors. I am not an expert, and do not want to appear as one. I learn as I go along and it is rewarding. Peaks Island is the perfect field station to watch and learn about birds. What are they doing here during the four seasons? How do they adapt to variable weather conditions? How do we affect them? How do they perceive us as we share the shore with them?

There are so many interesting questions. It will be fun to include each of you in the Peaks Island Community - to develop more questions and to find answers to them. The birds are part of our community, and it is rewarding for me to share what I have learned about them with you.

I thank Marty for his design and creation of the Backshore Bird Blog. I thank Michelle for her visions for this Blog.

Thank you for your interest, Patty O. Wainright


American Ornithological Union website

International Ornithological Union website

Additional Information

1. An excellent bird book to read that has received excellent reviews by famous ornithologists is:

Feathers, The Evolution of a Natural Miracle. By Thor Hanson. Basic Books, NY. 2011.

2. Thank you for your interest in our Peaks Island birds, and if you have any bird sightings you would like to share or questions regarding Peak's bird life, you can send them to:

3. Throughout the bird blogs I will use the English common names of birds as recently standardized by the International Ornithological Union and American Ornithological Union – where individual species are capitalized (e.g. Common Eider) and generic references are not (e.g. the eiders). Where names differ between IOU and AOU, I will use AOU names.

Welcome to

The Backshore Bird Blog


The objective of The Backshore Bird Blog is to share the wonder and diversity of bird species seen along the Peaks Island shore.

If you like birds...

take a look at our list of the 100 varieties of birds that have been spotted around the Island here. How many can you spot?

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