Northern Maine is fortunate to have maintained much of its natural character over the years, including its wildlife. Large areas of pristine natural habitat have remained undisturbed over time allowing native creatures to flourish. Moose, loons, bald eagles, and black bears are just a few of the wildlife attractions in northern Maine. There are many opportunities to view wildlife but you might want to hire a Registered Maine Guide to improve your experience.
Aroostook County provides ample open ground consisting of clear cuts and farmland. Its well-watered landscape, with thousands of lakes, rivers and streams are prime wildlife habitat. The abundance of food and large tracts of habitat support a high density of breeding birds, including many Neotropical migrants. Warblers are the region’s premier attraction for many as Northern Maine serves as home to twelve to fifteen different species. In addition to warblers, some characteristic birds of this region include common loon, northern goshawk, yellow-bellied and olive-sided flycatchers, red-breasted nuthatch, winter wren, hermit and Swainson’s thrushes, rusty blackbird, white-throated and Lincoln’s sparrows, purple finch, white-winged crossbill and evening grosbeak.
The black bear is the smallest of the three species of bears inhabiting North America and has the widest distribution on the continent. Bears store body fat during the fall months to supply energy during long winter denning period from late September until May.
Adult males average 250 – 600 pounds, and measure 5-6 feet from tip of nose to the tip of their tail. Females are smaller, weighing 100-400 pounds, and measuring 4-5 feet in length. Black bears in Maine are normally black. Bears walk flat-footed, and their broad feet leave 5-toed tracks that sometimes resemble human footprints.
Black bears require forests for protection and food. They are amazingly adaptable to human presence, and are able to survive in close proximity to housing developments and suburban areas wherever cover to escape cover exists. Bears are long-lived animals, capable of surviving 30 years in the wild.
Historically, bears were found throughout the State of Maine. The statewide population was estimated to be 22,000-23,000 bears in 1998. Today bear hunting is very popular in Maine during the early fall season. They are occasionally seen by visitors to the north woods but are for the most part secretive and hard to find.
Please remember that Maine’s animals are wild and should not be approached, fed, or startled.