UNE birders flock to see rare Redwing in Portland

Eight members of the University of New England Birding Club recently faced the cold to observe and photograph a rare bird in Portland’s Capisic Pond Park.

The Redwing’s typical breeding grounds lie in northern Europe, Iceland, and Russia, but one has flown the coop and arrived in Maine for only the second time, according to Noah Perlut, Ph.D., professor and assistant academic director of the School of Marine and Environmental Programs.

The Redwing was first spotted in the Rosemont neighborhood park, not far from UNE’s Portland Campus, on Jan. 29, according to the Maine Audubon, and reportedly remained through 4 p.m. on Feb. 1, though it could not be spotted on Tuesday. The small bird, with its yellow base, orangey flanks, and whitish brow took to the sumac and multiflora rose fruit found in the park.

Club member Morgan Quimby (Animal Behavior, ’21), said it was an exciting experience to see the Redwing pop up from the bushes at the edge of the pond.

“When I heard that a European bird was in Portland, Maine, I knew I had to get there and see it,” said Quimby, who captured photos of the bird. “Being with my fellow UNE birders made it even more special. Even with masks on, I could tell how happy everyone was to see such a rarity in Maine despite the frigid temperatures that morning.”

Redwing photos courtesy of Morgan Quimby. Group photo courtesy of Xander Vitarelli.

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