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> The River > River Culture > Wildlife > Benefits to Birds

Benefits to Birds of a Free-Flowing River

Restoration of the Penobscot River offers tremendous benefits to fish and wildlife throughout the watershed and in the Gulf of Maine. An increase in forage fish, insect diversity and abundance, and staging areas means greater feeding opportunities and habitat for a wide variety of songbirds, birds of prey, and waterbirds. A healthy river system will lead to enhanced recreational and wildlife viewing activities, as well as related economic benefits to communities along the river. In 2008, a poster was developed by the Penobscot River Restoration Trust to provide information on how birds will benefit from a free-flowing river. Excerpts from the poster along with links to related news articles are provided on these web pages. Click here to view the full pdf of the poster.

We participated in the Acadia Birding Festival for two years to highlight the benefits of river restoration to the larger Gulf of Maine system. John Banks, Director of the Department of Natural Resources, Penobscot Indian Nation (partner in the project and Trust member), participated in a panel that included discussion of the significance of river restoration to birds. We also helped coordinate a literary forum focused on rivers, fisheries restoration and the important ecological connections between birds, fish and free-flowing waterways. A video of the forum is posted on the College of the Atlantic web site HERE.




Eddies and Riffles

Black duck by Pam Wells


Riverbank Corridors

Photo by Pam Wells

Lakes and Ponds

Eagle by Pam Wells

Eddies and riffles are a key habitat for migratory and resident birds. After dam removal, insect diversity will be increased in these areas, and the restored sections of river will provide resting and spawning habitat for sea-run fish. Read more about the benefits of these fast moving waters for birds, particularly migrating waterfowl ... READ MORE



Riverbank corridors are a significant resource to songbirds during migration. Learn more about opportunities and benefits of a restored river for songbirds by clicking here ... READ MORE



Lakes and ponds are an important part of the watershed. When alewives are coming out of lakes and ponds, they provide easy feeding opportunities to young birds just learning how to fish. Learn more about benefits to fish-eating birds, including great blue heron, eagle, and osprey ... READ MORE.





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