Black & White: The Sea Ducks of Winter

golden-eye duck painting by John James Audubon

By mid-November on the Maine coast, the great migration of shorebirds is complete and the warblers and other songbirds have departed (weeks ago) for their overnight exodus to the tropics. The leaves have fallen, but ice has yet to form on lakes and rivers. Just when it seems that all is dead, dying, or ready to freeze, the ducks arrive. They flow into the Atlantic in a steady stream from the Arctic, some from boreal lakes and others from the cold northern sea. They travel hundreds of miles to the relatively warmer waters of the Maine coast, where food is still plentiful. Some will stay; others will continue their migration south… (read more in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors)