Maine’s great blue herons are flying out of the state and heading for warmer climes before the snow starts to fall.

But the birds are not wintering in the Carolinas or even Florida. They’re heading farther south – into the Caribbean.

According to a post Monday night on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Facebook page, some great blue herons are spending the winter in Haiti.

“Through the Heron Tracking Project, we have learned that some of Maine’s herons travel as far south as Haiti for the winter,” the post says. “Nokomis is a female (heron) tagged in Palmyra who has just returned to her wintering area in a remote part of Haiti for the third year in a row, demonstrating her fidelity to this area and thus its importance.”

Nokomis, who was tagged with a GPS transmitter in the spring of 2016, left Maine sometime between Sept. 5 and Oct. 7. Her transmitter is solar-powered. She landed in Haiti on Oct. 29.

Fall is a migration time for many species of Maine birds, including great blue herons, which must travel to warmer climates to find plenty of frost-free wetlands for feeding.

For updates and instructions on how to track tagged herons, go to the The Heron Observation Network of Maine’s website.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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