Undeterred by winter weather, the first robin appeared at about the same time as the previous two years, around the beginning of April. However, not all species were as eager for spring. Leaf-out of our maple species came weeks later than prior recorded years. Learn more about data comparisons across the country by viewing the National Phenology Network’s Summary of Spring recorded webinar or compare your site to other Maine sites using the visualization tool.
Image Description: Graph of the first appearance of robins by year
Elissa Koskela, an assistant coordinator of the Signs of the Seasons program coordinated by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant, wrote an opinion piece for the Portland Press Herald about the decline of the monarch butterfly population. Signs of the Seasons is a phenology program that helps scientists document the local effects of global climate change through the work of volunteer citizen scientists who are trained to record the seasonal changes of common plants and animals in their communities.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a youth 4-H club focusing on entomology from 9 to 11 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, Aug. 4–20, at the UMaine Extension office, 28 Center St., Machias. Activities are designed to teach youth ages 8–10 about the environment through bugs. Cost is $10 per child; registration is limited to 10. For more information, to register or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.255.3345 or email email@example.com.
Monarch butterflies have been challenged in recent years by habitat loss and a lack of food and water along their migration route. To aid these travelers, some homeowners have decided to leave a patch of the monarch’s favorite host plant, milkweed, in their yards. True observers can then track their sightings in a national database, such as Nature’s Notebook. Read more
Imagine finding an attic full of journals detailing leaf-out, returning migratory birds and bloom times for species in Oxbow, ME. Between 1940 – 1957, L.S. Quackenbush kept detailed phenology records that have become the focus of modern day research. When scanned copies of these records were sent to Boston University, Caitlin McDonough was given the opportunity to examine change over time. Read more
For generations of folks returning each summer, the varied habitats within Acadia National Park may appear stable. However, a closer look at the historical record shows changes in both species abundance and the timing of life cycle events. Researcher Caitlin McDonough is focused on the phenology at this local site. Read more
Frank Drummond, an entomology specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and a UMaine professor of insect ecology, spoke to the Bangor Daily News about a five-year, $3.5 million research project on the role bees play in blueberry production. Drummond is leading the project that involves biologists, economists, anthropologists and graduate students from UMaine, as well as researchers from other states. Drummond said renting commercial beehives is, on average, the most expensive production cost for Maine’s blueberry growers. The project aims to study the role native bees play in blueberry pollination, the status of native bee populations, and which species of bees are best for adequate pollination. “The whole purpose of this project is to look at what are some of the best pollination strategies that growers might be able to use,” he said. The project also includes outreach to blueberry growers in the form of workshops hosted by Drummond to teach growers about pollination.
Through the process of photosynthesis, trees take in water and carbon dioxide and, in the presence of sunlight, produce oxygen. A new report in Nature Climate Change shows that Northeast forests are starting this process earlier in the spring and extending further into the fall, adjusting their phenology based on warmer temperatures. The short term result of these changes is an increased uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, the long term results are not fully known. Read more
Curious about trends and anomalies from the spring data? If you have been tracking red maples or sugar maples, your observations are part of the Northeast Green Wave. Learn how scientists are using the information from this and other campaigns in a Nature’s Notebook Webinar on Tuesday, June 10th from 2-3:30PM. Advanced registration is required.
Elissa Koskela, an assistant coordinator of the Signs of the Seasons program coordinated by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Sea Grant, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “Wondering how climate change is affecting us now? Citizen scientists have a role to play.” Signs of the Seasons is a phenology program that helps scientists document the local effects of global climate change through the work of volunteer citizen scientists who are trained to record the seasonal changes of common plants and animals in their communities.