Herb Wilson’s recent column “Birding: Unusual sightings spicing up the summer” (July 9) covered a number of rare and unusual bird sightings in our area.

As Wilson said, the recent sightings of a snowy owl and drake king eider are unusual, since both these species should be in the Arctic at this time of year. It is a reminder that many of the birds and waterfowl we enjoy seeing and listening to here in Maine rely on distant areas for summer breeding grounds.

The Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a critical breeding ground for hundreds of species of migratory birds from around the world. I applaud Rep. Chellie Pingree for supporting legislation that would designate this critical habitat as wilderness.

Andrew Cadot

Portland