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Animals and Birds available for viewing in mid-September

New Jersey
Level Contributor
22 posts
2 reviews
Animals and Birds available for viewing in mid-September

My husband likes animals and birds. He is particularly interested in seeing puffins, Moose and bear, although his interest extends to all mammals, birds and ocean life such as the denizens of tidal pools. We are contemplating a trip to Acadia and Down East Maine in mid-September and are wondering what animals we might see and what they will be doing. For instance, is it likely that we will see a puffin? I know that the breeding season is over then, but are they around? Are moose likely to be visible and where would we go to see them? I know that in every season local people know what the interesting activities of animals and birds are and where to go experience them, but this information seems to be absent in guidebooks. Another question, if mid-September is not a particularly good time to experience animals or birds in Maine, when is the optimal time?

Lehigh Valley, PA
Level Contributor
986 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: Animals and Birds available for viewing in mid-September

I don't know your timing but you may want to consider the Maine Audubon Pelagic trip out of Bar Harbor on September 10th. (see http://habitat.maineaudubon.org/activities/Bar-Harbor-Pelagic/1095/). We did this all day trip out into the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy a couple of years ago and it was great. It is very possible that you will see a puffin or two out on the open water.

Mid-Sept is also good for the hawk migration. The NPS runs daily hawk watch and counts from atop Cadillac Mountain in Acadia.

Mid-September is also getting into moose rut season. You aren't going to find moose in Acadia (a real rarity). Your best bet would be to head inland to the Moosehead Lake region or Millinocket area. There are moose safaris that you could go on in either location.

Hope this helps.

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
7,246 posts
160 reviews
2. Re: Animals and Birds available for viewing in mid-September

Seeing puffins in Maine requires a boat trip to the islands where they nest. Because they leave Maine soon after the nesting season, most puffin tour operators only do tours from mid-June to mid-August, so it's doubtful you'll find a tour operating in mid-September, and if, by chance, you do, even less likely you'll actually see a puffin.

"Acadia and downeast Maine" is not considered "prime" moose territory. Although there have been moose sightings almost everywhere in Maine, they generally prefer the more forested upland areas of central, northern and western Maine. Areas that are well-known for their moose sightings include a section of Rt 17 between Mexico and Oquossoc, ME and parts of Rt 16 between Rangeley and Stratton, ME. Other frequent sightings are often reported around the Greenville area -- enough so that operators run "moose tours" in that area with reportedly excellent success in finding moose.

Bear-sightings along public roads in Maine are generally rare. Each spring seems to bring a spate of bear-sighting reports, usually in back yards around bird feeders or other food sources as bears come out of hibernation, but as their more natural feeding sources develop over the summer, the number of sightings seems to decrease. In my experience living in Maine for over 50 years, I'd consider bear sightings a very "hit or miss" proposition with little you can do to increase your chances of seeing one from a public road. Others may disagre or have a more helpful suggestion.

Eagle sightings are becoming increasingly frequent in Maine. One area where they are frequently seen is along the Kennebec River Rail Trail, which extends along the banks of the Kennebec River between Augusta and Gardiner. Osprey sightings are also frequent along that same trail.

(This summer/fall, I'd probably concentrate on the area from Augusta to a mile or so south of downtown Hallowell -- the further south toward Gardiner you go, the more likely you'll encounter noise/dust etc from a major reconstruction job on US Rt 201 in Farmingdale and Gardiner).

And while it's not the same as seeing them in the wild, the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, ME, operated by the Maine Department of Fish and Wildlife, is a great place to see virtually every species of animal native to Maine (bear, deer and moose included), You can Google their website for specific info, but we find it's a great way to spend a couple of hours and go over there a couple of times a year.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor
Level Contributor
1,553 posts
10 reviews
3. Re: Animals and Birds available for viewing in mid-September

While you are here you are likely to see a variety of water birds, including eagles and osprey if you take one of the scenic boat trips. In the park, if you travel early in the morning or at dusk, you may see deer, beavers, squirrels, porcupine, and other small woodland animals. There are lots of birding guides in the area if you want an organized trip and there are also Ranger led tours in Acadia that focus on certain wildlife.

Greenville, Maine
Level Contributor
31 posts
12 reviews
4. Re: Animals and Birds available for viewing in mid-September

Mid Sept - Late Sept - Great time for Moose watching in Greenville Maine, Moosehead Lake Region. Bull moose are coming into the rut season and are on the lookout for female cows. This is one of the best time for a bull moose sighting. Private tours to small group tours increase your chance of seeing moose. Moose watching trips offered or you can venture to some moose hangouts on your own.

Many species of birds can be found in the Moosehead Lake. Common birds 10-15 with up to 50 or so species of birds in the area at different times of year. See Canadian Geese, Loons, chickadees, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, goldfinch, purple finch, black duck, merganser, warblers, blue jays, crows, blue heron, sparrows, and nuthatches. Hummingbirds now, how long they stay.. typically stay around thru Sept. Saw my first black backed woodpecker this week. Also saw lots of bear deposits on the trail filled with blueberries, but no bear. Guess thats a good thing :)

There is actually a birding trail here, but everywhere you go is a birding trail. Just listen and look ... Tints and hinges of fall colors are starting to appear. Mid Septmeber is beautiful... Come visit us at Moosehead

5. Re: Animals and Birds available for viewing in mid-September

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