Do you know Maine’s favorite birds?

Maine's Favorite Birds by Jeffrey and Allison WellsJeffrey and Allison Wells do! And they’ve shared that information in a book, Maine’s Favorite Birds, published by Tilbury House.

Linda and I became avid birders twelve years ago, and have found that it adds so much to our travel visits, as well as our time in the wilds of Maine (and even on our front lawn!). While I try not to obsess over it, I do keep a list of the birds we’ve seen, which now totals 504.

Jeff and Allison are well-known birders who lead bird walks and teach people about birds. As they write, “As native Mainers whose ancestors arrived here centuries ago, our appreciation for the nature of our state runs deep and strong. Like millions of others, we take a special delight in birds. Their beautiful plumages, captivating songs, and fascinating behaviors make them relatively easy to find, watch, and enjoy.” That is so true.

And they acknowledge that “keeping our list manageable was no easy task, especially when no two lists of ‘favorites’ may be exactly the same.” That is true too but they’ve done a good job in their selection. And I’m happy to report that Linda and I have seen them all!

Their book provides great advice on how to identify each bird. I still struggle with that. And the illustrations by Evan Barbour are beautiful – and helpful in identifying the birds.

DSCN8590I also appreciated the information at the back of the book, including great places to see these birds. I’m a big fan of the Kennebec Land Trust, and their properties are mentioned. Linda and I also love birding in the spring on Monhegan and that beautiful island is referenced here too. And the most beautiful place in Maine, Lubec, where we spend a lot of time, is listed, including West Quoddy Head Light, where my great grandfather Eprhaim Johnson was the keeper for 32 years.

They also reference the Maine Birding Trail book by our friend Bob Duchesne, who spent four years compiling this book which we carry with us everywhere we travel in Maine.

Bob serves in the Maine legislature and early one morning years ago, he showed up at our house dressed in his suit for the legislative session to do some birding with us in and around our yard. As soon as he stepped out his car, he started pointing here and there, identifying the birds that were calling. We were astonished, and learned that day that the habitat around our house is ideal for warblers.

Maine’s Favorite Birds is a book you will enjoy immediately, use as a reference guide, and have handy anytime you are out and about in this great state of Maine.


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.