Long - Ralph H. Long, Jr. (1932-1992) aka Bud


Long - Ralph H. Long, Jr. (1932-1992) aka Bud

Ralph "Bud" Long was born in Somesville at the Lying-in-Hospital on September 15, 1932 to Ralph Hamilton Long, Sr. and Idabelle Conley Worcester. His grandfather was Ben Conley Worcester a woodsman who took his first grandchild out into the woods at a very young age teaching him to be comfortable in that environment. During World War II, Bud’s father worked overseas with the Red Cross and Bud lived with his mother, brother, Ben and sisters, Molly and Mary Lou with their grandparents in Southwest Harbor.

At a young age, Bud became fascinated with birds – he joined a birding group probably as the youngest member. When in 7th grade, his mother would drop him off at the Wonderland Trail with his binoculars, field guide and his lunch and pick him up in time for dinner. When he was in high school, Hal H. Harrison visited the island to film birds and when he asked the park “who was the best birder on the island?” they suggested he contact Bud. He developed a reputation as the expert in that field. Upon graduation from Pemetic High School in Southwest Harbor, he earned a scholarship to Cornell University where he majored in Ornithology and Biology. Upon graduation, he accepted a job in Duxbury, Massachusetts teaching Biology where he met his future wife, Patricia Redlon. They often returned to Mount Desert Island as they raised their four children: Wendy, Caryn, Tanya and Garrett. While he was teaching at Dean Junior College, his grandfather offered him land on the Cape Road in Tremont where they summered so he was able to continue his love of birding. At some point Hal taught him the art of locating bird nests and photographing the birds.

When the opportunity to return permanently to the island, he accepted the job at Mt. Desert High School while they lived in Southwest Harbor raising their young family. James Bond became aware of Bud at some point and they began a friendship that lasted for many years. When James Bond made the decision to end publishing The Native Birds of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park, he asked Bud to continue to publish the pamphlet which he did. He dedicated the first edition to his wife, Patricia. For a number of years the family had run the Downeast Clam Bake at his uncle’s Smuggler’s Den Campground in the evenings in the summer months. Patricia died in 1982 of lung cancer when Garrett was a senior at the high school.

In 1983, he married Alice MacDonald Potter who was the widow of the President of the Downeast Audubon Chapter. Bud continued to hunt for proof of a bird nesting on the island and photographing those nests. The second edition of Native Birds of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park was completed in 1987 and dedicated to his two mentors, Hal H. Harrison and James Bond. Bud often mentioned how scarce some species of birds were becoming probably due to loss of habitat and how some southern species were showing up on the island. He was an expert who knew the bird calls and what habitat different species needed to raise their young.
He died of colon cancer January 7, 1992. Both Hal and James Bond have died since then ending their years together sharing their love of birds.

Potter - Alice MacDonald (Potter) Long

August 2016


Potter - Alice MacDonald (Potter) Long, “Long - Ralph H. Long, Jr. (1932-1992) aka Bud,” Southwest Harbor Public Library Digital Archive, accessed December 18, 2018, https://swhplibrary.net/digitalarchive/items/show/10902.Item 14849