wild eastern turkey in maine

Maine wildlife is on the move with the eventual melt-off

We haven’t had turkey around for quite a while since a neighbor down the hill started feeding them. With the snow finally melting off, the toms are breaking off into smaller groups and the hens are looking for just the right nesting area. In the past week, there have been coyote, deer, ravens and turkey on the same cam. Spring is here, Maine wildlife is on the move.

Eastern Wild Turkey: Three toms strike out in search of breakfast on a lazy, damp morning. This was a day after I heard the first gobble of the spring.

For the first time, I caught two coyotes displaying mating behaviors. Both of them urinated, making it easy to sex them, and there was even a little ear-biting and frolicking. It was captured during one of (hopefully) the last snowstorms we’ve had this spring. Although hunted for their predation on pregnant deer over the winter months, they are an integral part of Maine wildlife and the local ecosystem.

Coyote: Biologists report an estimated minimum population of 12,000 coyotes currently living in Maine.

The coyotes aren’t the only ones feeling spunky. In this clip of whitetail deer, a late season fawn from the year prior hops around and darts past a large, unimpressed doe. Whitetail deer are likely the first animal many think of when you think about Maine wildlife. Their iconic antlers shed in fall and the first velvety spikes will emerge soon.

Whitetail Deer: These are two groups of deer that usually visit at different times of the day. As the video clearly shows, a dominance display occurs upon the groups meeting.

Moments like these give a greater insight into their daily behavior, which after raising dairy goats for a few years, I found to be very similar to goats in hierarchy-based activities and body language.

We had some stale cereal and leftover fish chowder that I scattered for the cold creatures we call neighbors. The first to arrive were the raccoons.

Raccoons: Though often confused with being related to cats, raccoons are most closely related to bears.

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