July 2016 – Wildlife Watch

How are the birds doing in North America? To answer that question, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, a consortium of forty conservation organizations and government agencies has just published an important new document titled “The State of North America’s Birds”. More than 350 species of our migratory birds, such as the gray catbird, Baltimore … Read more

June 2016 Wildlife Watch – Marian Harman

Last fall was a huge “mast” year in Westford. In other words, there were a lot of acorns on the ground. We predicted that there would be a lot of chipmunks this spring as a result of the abundant food source, and that prediction has certainly been realized. “Lots of chipmunks” would be an understatement. … Read more

Ravens are making a comeback

May 2016 Wildlife Watch

by Marian Harman

Image of raven feeding nestlings.
Raven feeding nestlings. Photo courtesy of Doug Pederson.
Ravens are making a comeback in eastern New England, specifically in Nashua, NH and Westford. This spring, and for the past few years, ravens have been nesting under an overhang at the Lowe’s store in Nashua, and in the Westford Highway Department’s salt storage shed. This is great news for a bird that had not been seen here since the early 1900’s. At one time, ravens were quite common in the northeast, and were even considered pests. But, with the clearing of forests and increased agriculture, they were extirpated here. There were none left here by the 1920’s. In the late 1990’s the first confirmed nesting of ravens in Massachusetts was reported from central Massachusetts. It seems that ravens are now expanding into eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Just in the past few years, ravens have once again begun to nest in our area.

Read more

Trails at Lakeside Meadows

by Marian Harman Lakeside Meadows, a subdivision built in 1995, on an approximately one hundred acre hayfield, abuts Lake Nabnasset and Shipley Swamp. Because of the sensitivity of the land, so close to water, the subdivision was carefully planned to retain as much open space as possible. Lakeside Meadows includes sixty-eight acres of conservation land, … Read more