That wonderful season of colour and enjoyment has once again arrived. Many recent walks around the Arboretum of late have provided some wonderful sights.
With respect to wildflowers; Red Trillium, Trout Lilly, Bloodroot, Blue Cohosh, Spring Beauty and others are popping up all over the woods right now, so keep your eyes open, you are surely in for a treat! Don’t forget to swing by the main office on your way in to pick up our new, updated and wonderfully illustrated wildflower guide.
Trout Lilly in it's typical "nodding" pose (photo: Chris Cloutier)
Birds are also very hard to miss at the moment. The forest is a wonderful mix of chirps, whistles, hoots, coos and warbles, as the plethora of spring birds begin their oh-so-impressive spring courtship rituals. Some species of interest which have made some appearances lately are the Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Red-Shoudered Hawks, Wood Ducks, Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, Tree Swallows and a variety of Sparrow species. Remember to swing by the office to pick up a bird checklist, to see what you might just happen to stumble upon on any given day.
Have fun out there!
With spring right around the corner, I thought it might be nice to recap the events of this past winter, of which, there were many
Snow was certainly not in short supply this year, the first really storm occurring between Christmas and New Year’s with nearly 30cm falling in one night! This prompted an immediate response by John Watson, our operations manager to get out the ski groomer and track the ski trails. These conditions led to one of the busiest weeks we have ever seen with skiing and snowshoeing at their peak. The season saw regular dumpings of snow throughout the year which kept the trail quality at a very satisfactory standard.
Great snow conditions for skiing, snowshoeing and of course tobogganing! (photo: Paul Scheiwiller)
With respect to birds this year, the Arboretum had plenty! At the top of the list of spectacular species, was the Great Gray Owl. The Arboretum was home to at least two of these Boreal visitors this year, with many satisfied birders and visitors snapping some wonderful photos all throughout the winter. Below is a wonderful shot taken by Tom Kingsbury, one of our members, and this photo serves as one of the last documented photos of the bird taken in early March before it most likely headed back to its more northern breeding grounds. Other species which made a stir this year were the hundreds of Common Redpolls, several Hoary Redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks and a plethora of Woodpeckers. Several large groups of Bohemian Waxwings also made an appearance hanging around the trees at the Conservation Centre for everyone to see. The Great Horned Owls are probably nesting again this year, and have been very vocal all throughout the month of February. For those of you who have ever watched a horror movie, or quite frankly any movie with a “night scene” you have certainly heard this owl before with its distinctive “hoo-h’HOO–hoo-hoo.” call. Two owl prowl walks this year turned up some interesting sightings as well. One new species which made the list of owls seen was an Eastern Screech Owl. Responding quite vigorously to my imitations, the bird then flew overhead allowing most of the participants a great view of the bird.
Great Gray Owl (photo: Tom Kingsbury)
On February 9th, our 3rd annual Winterfest hosted by the Arboretum and the city of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue was also a huge hit. More than 600 people turned out for the event. Dog sledding, snow sculptures, taffy on snow, tobogganing, skiing and snowshoeing were just some from the attractions from that day. With a sunny day and warm weather smiles were seen in every corner of the Arboretum that day. Here are some of the images from that day, including the three winners of our snow sculpture contest. Congrats to our winners, and thank you to everyone for coming out on that day! A special thank you goes out to our volunteers who made sure that the food was served hot and the day went smoothly!
A dogsled ride around the field (photo: Frans Lecluse)
Cameron and Michael Daoust with their winning sculpture "Deer pair" (photo: Frans Lecluse)
2nd place "Owl" by the Dufresne family (photo: Frans Lecluse)
3rd place, "Pink Heart" by Bernard and Chantal Aube (photo: Frans Lecluse)
Now that warmer days are on the horizon, the snow is beginning to melt. Although the magic of winter is slowly melting away with it, there are still many exciting things coming up over the months of March and April to ring in this spring season. Our trees are lined with aluminum buckets to collect the maple sap, and the syrup is already being made! In fact it is now available for purchase at the main office, come by today to pick some up today! Don’t forget that we are also having two “Sugaring Off” days this year, they are on Saturday March 30th and Saturday April 6th from 12:00-16:00, come by and enjoy some German sausages and hotdogs, as well as taffy on snow and tours of our sugar house. Hope to see you there!
For those of you who are hanging up the skis, don’t forget to take out the binoculars on your next visit as the birds of spring will be back very shortly. For more information on spring bird activities, please visit the “Upcoming Events” page to find out more about excursions coming up in the next couple of months…first of which is Saturday March 23rd, so sign up today!
For those of you with more of a green thumb, our annual plant sale will begin at the end of April, so keep an eye our for email reminders and feel free to give us a call if you need any more information
Have a great spring!
Chris Cloutier, Naturalist
On Saturday Jan 19th, 25 participants joined Chris Cloutier at the Arboretum for a wonderful snowshoe excursion.
For two weeks leading up to the snowshoe walk, weather was a roller coaster ride to say the least. A week earlier, temperatures soared into the posititves with +2oC being the high on at least one day. Rain followed shortly after and conditions were wet and slushy. Nearing the day of the walk, temperatures plummeted to -20oC, with a wind chill factor of -32oC on the Thursday leading up to the Saturday freezing the already wet snow into a solid mass. Outlook was not too good…however with a keen eye on Environment Canada’s forecast, I remained optimistic, they were announcing mild weather again for Saturday with the possibility of 10cm of snow Friday night into Saturday morning. Mother Nature delivered… 10cm of snow in some areas and a wonderful day which hovered right around -1oC all day. The stage was set for an excellent romp through the woods.
Arriving around 8:30 am with snowshoes in hand, eager participants began sharing stories about their snowshoes experiences, and I was glad to overhear that for many, this was their first time on snowshoes. A chance to use some recently unwrapped Christmas presents. I met the group several minutes before 9:00 and chatted up the group while we waited for the last couple of participants to park their cars and slip on their boots. A total of 25 people arrived for the walk that morning and it seemed like a great group right from the outset.
Snow covered trees greeted our guests (photo: Chris Cloutier)
I began with an introduction of myself, as I always do, and looking back now, I can see why they were all chuckling…Most of the walks that I host here at the Arboretum are based on insects, birds, plants or some other form of wildlife or ecology, rarely about betterness and physical activity. My intro began the same as any other, explaining who I was and what my interests are and mentioned that my favorite topic in school was Entomology, the study of insects…let the grinning begin…Just funny to say that you are someone well versed in the world of insects leading a snowshoes walk I guess…wrong season for a guy like me I suppose. This did however line itself up for a joke, and the ice was officially broken (no winter pun intended) for a fun day on the trails.
We began the walk with a little exercise and stretching to loosen up the muscles. Many people don’t realize the importance of this when heading out to go snowshoeing. The movement is deceptively similar to walking and often leads to some very sore thighs the next day if you don’t loosen up first. We did several sets of squats and a few back stretches just to get into walking form. I explained to the group the fundamental differences between simply walking and walking in the snow with snowshoes. Firstly, the difference in weight, yes, it may not seem like a lot but after 5km your legs will notice the difference. Secondly the spacing of your feet; especially for your first time, it is easy not to realize the way in which we overexaggerate the spacing of our feet while trying not to step on our own toes. Thirdly, the height at which you must lift your feet. This is important because if you simply walked the same way you do with shoes on the pavement, you will most likely catch an edge and end up doing some unexpected snow angels. With all of this in mind we headed out on our way.
The first leg of our trek was to cross the field between the two parking areas…simple enough. However for the handful of participants who have never suited up with snowshoes before this was a new experience. The mild weather and decent carpet of snow meant that the snow depth was great for testing the advantages of wearing snowshoes. The depth was about 20cm or so, and was just soft enough to really make them worth wearing. In small groups we headed across the field from the Conservation Centre toward the first parking lot where the start of the Black (Snowshoe) trail is located.
Eager snowshoe participants making their way across the field to the start of the snowshoe (Black) trail (photo: Chris Cloutier)
Less than 100m into the trail I stumbled across some neat animal tracks, tracks certainly worth a pause. With everyone gathered around, I accepted guesses as to what may have made the tracks. Raccoon? bear? groundhog? cat? Fox? coyote?…all good guesses but wrong. These tracks belonged to a Fisher! An elusive member of the weasel family who until last winter was not known to frequent the Arboretum
Photo of a Fisher, captured using a motion sensitive game camera (photo: Morgan Arboretum)
We continued on through the first couple of hundred meters or so admiring the immense size of the surrounding conifers. Eastern Hemlocks and White Pines surround you over this section of woods. Towering high above with our group walking with heads up admiring the sheer impressive size of these beautiful trees. Further still we encountered another type of conifer in abundance, Spruces. One unmistakable area of the black trail is where it meets up with the Red trail for the first time and you see a long alleyway of trees all planted in a row. This collection of spruces has been home to several Barred Owls over the years, but all were still sleeping when we arrived.
As we reached the edge of one of the corn fields which borders the Black trail, I noticed lots of deer browse on many of the small maples and tiny birches found along the forest edge. I showed everyone how to tell deer browse from other forms of branch damage. With an animated demonstration showing my own teeth, I explained that deer do not have upper incisors, thus they lack the ability to cleanly “snip” off the branches. Instead, the bottom incisors will cut into the branch slightly and then the deer will simply pull off the desires piece. This leaves a distinct “L” shaped branch tip and often some bark which shows obvious signs of being pulled.
After another short hop, we decided to stop for a break just shy of the halfway point. The snowshoe trail is 4.4km from start to finish and if not done in short increments can seem very long indeed. Just before leaving our sheltered break spot, I received a call from Dr. Titman, long time member of the Arboretum and professor of Ornithology at McGill’s Macdonald campus. He called to let me know that he had just seen a Great Gray Owl, a species that has eluded me for my entire birding life and a species which no one on the walk had ever seen before. He gave me it’s location and thankfully it was found in very close proximity to the snowshoe trail. With hopes high we began to pack our things. After refueling on water and power bars, we headed out to continue our walk. Shortly after hearing about the Owl we had arrived to where it had been seen. Unfortunately it had already left…a common occurrence for me when searching it out. Thankfully two days later I spotted one in the Arboretum, unfortunately I could not share it with all of our dedicated snowshoers (photo below).
Great Gray Owl seen January 21, 2013 (photo: Chris Cloutier)
Once we crossed the large field (commonly known as Bobolink field) we set our sights on the home stretch, a little over a kilometer until we would be back at the Conservation Centre. Before reaching the sugar house, I had a little surprise in store for everyone. I had them all line up along the dense corridor of Cedar trees. Standing shoulder to shoulder they anxiously anticipated the surprise. I walked the line and handed everyone a handful of sunflower seeds. I instructed everyone to hold their hands outstretched and within seconds the surprise arrived. Chickadees! Everywhere. This small stretch of woods is probably home to one of the largest groups of chickadees in the Arboretum. Despite having a feeder no more than 100m away, this small band of forest dwellers can’t resist the sight of people with a handful of goodies. After about 10 minutes, nearly everyone was able to feed at least one bird, it was a great experience for many who had never done this before.
Waiting with outstretched hands (photo: Chris Cloutier)
Black-Capped Chickadee grabbing a snack (photo: Nicole Dumas)
After passing the Chalet Pruche we proceeded to blossom corner where we were able to catch glimpses of many Common Redpolls, Mourning doves, Downy woodpeckers and a fleeting look at a Pileated woodpecker at the feeders.
A Mourning Dove watches as we pass (photo: Chris Cloutier)
We made our way passed the quarry and through the spruces until we ended up the bottom of the toboggan hill at Dale field. At this point I mentioned to everyone that their final “surprise” of the day was waiting at the top. Inside the Conservation Centre, two volunteers and friends of the Morgan Arboretum were waiting.
Free hot chocolate and baked goods! What a reward for a great walk. Thank you to Jennifer Anderson and Carolyn Fletcher for the refreshments!
Thank you to all of the participants on the walk for your enthusiasm and support
Have fun out there!
For most, a holiday bird is found in the oven, slowly roasting at about 20 minutes per pound, but for the nature enthusiast it takes on a whole different meaning.
It is winter, and for those who seek to observe wildlife it is a great time of year to do so. This year in particular promises to be a great winter for observing, among other things, birds. This is what is being called a “finch year” where various species, including a large number of finches, owls, waxwings, buntings, larks and others will be coming down to our region for the winter months. Typically, in any given year we have these visitors, although sometimes they are few and far between. Because food plant crops in the boreal forest are somewhat lower than usual, we can expect more of these northern visitors this year as they search for food elsewhere.
The Arboretum has already reported (within the last 2 weeks) various northern visitors including White-Winged Crossbills, Pine Grosbeaks, Common Redpolls, Pine Siskins and Bohemian Waxwings. Some of the more “resident” birds which have been making lots of appearances lately are the Red-Tailed Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Barred Owls, Nuthatches, and multiple Woodpecker species, including the rare and delightful, Red-Bellied Woodpecker.
A Barred Owl shys away from the camera along the Snowshoe trail (photo: Chris Cloutier)
Our feeders are filled regularly thanks to Bird Protection Quebec for providing the seeds, and the help of dedicated volunteers who brave the cold and snow to keep them filled. Check out the feeders often as there are many surprises to be had this winter. Make sure to swing by the office as well to ask about great spots to go to in order to feed chickadees by hand!
If you would like to learn more about our winter birds and where to find them, please visit the “Upcoming Events” page from our home page. Several bird related walks are going on this winter, so sign up today and come out for a little holiday birding!
Have fun out there!
Although spring rains may dampen our desire to venture outside, it certainly doesn’t slow the emergence of life in the forest. The pleasant mix of mild weather coupled with the on and off rain have produced some favorable growing periods for both plant life and for some early woodland critters. Everyday that I venture outside I am hearing new bird species which mave returned from a long migration down south, they return in numbers now that the days have warmed and the snow is gone.
For those of you who like to venture out in the spring on a nice hike or nature walk, you know that often the onyl thing louder than the birds are the frogs. This year is no different. Several species of frogs have already begun their elaborate courtship ritual of bellowing out peeps and chirps to attract mates and stake claim tho their preferred wet area. One species in particular is particularly vocal in the Arboretum at the moment, and that is the Wood Frog.
Wood Frogs in breeding posture known as Amplexus (photo: Tom Kingsbury)
Wood frogs are an amazing frog for several reasons; perhaps the most interesting feature of this amphibian is it’s ability to withstand freezing. It is only one of a handful of amphibians (or animals in general) which is able to allow it’s entire body to freeze during the winter months. It does this with the help of a special protein found within it’s cells. This protein acts to prevent the formation of ice crystals within the cells which if left uncontrolled would eventually lead to the cells being destroyed and liquifying the body of the frog. Because of thei amazing ability, the Wood Frog is the onyl frog which can be found in the boreal forests of Northern Canada
All wetter areas of the Arboretum lately have echoed with the call of this species which sound similar to a deep rolling chuckle. Listen to the following video by clicking on the link below. This video was shot near the end of March by Tom Kingsbury, Arboretum member and avid naturalist. The area pictured below is the quarry located adjacent to the Yellow trail near blossom corner, a temporary wetland which acts as one fo the principal breeding grounds for the Wood Frog in the spring.
Have Fun out there!
This past Sunday (February 19th) was our annual Winterfest celebration, hosted in part by the City of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and the Morgan Arboretum. For the past three years this wonderful event filled day has been held at the Arboretum, and every year it gets better and better. Some of the events include Dog sledding, tobogganing, and a snow sculpture contest.
The snow sculpture contest from this past year was a huge success, many artists from all around the greater Montreal area participated and came up with some wonderful designs. In all, a total of 24 sculptures were created using giant blocks of snow which were prepared ahead of the event by the city of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. The selection of this year’s winner was not easy, we could have easily had a “top 6″ instead of a top three, but there could only be three winners. Measuring nearly a cubic metre each, all of the blocks were carefully carved, coloured and accented into this year’s top 3 and honourable mentions, here they are:
1st place: The Squirrel, by Cameron Daoust and family (Photo: Frans Lecluse)
2nd Place: The Yellow Car, Annie Lefson and family (Photo: Frans Lecluse)
3rd Place: The Dinosaur, Emma Ibrimov and family (Photo: Frans Lecluse)
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the participants of this event. As well, we would also like to thank the hard work of all of our volunteers that came out to help on this wonderful day. Thank you to those who came out in support of the Arboretum, and special thanks to the city of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue for helping us put this wonderful day together.
Have fun out there!
Great Backyard Bird Count
(February 17th, 2012 until February 20th, 2012)
Attention all birders, welcome to the 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count. Visit the Morgan Arboretum from Friday February 17th to Monday February 20thth for our second year at participating in this event. If you can’t make it out to our forest, you can participate from the comfort of your own home! Anyone can take part, from youngsters to experts, if you know your birds then come on down. We will supply the tally sheets while you can supply your knowledge about birds.
Now, you might be asking why we’re doing this, well the reason is simple, to help the birds. The way this works is very easy, you can take as little as 15 minutes out of your day, the whole day or even all four days and look out your window. Count the highest number of birds of each species that you might see at any one time, this avoids the same bird being counted twice, and write them down on piece of paper.
As was mentioned earlier, this event is to help the birds. It does so by allowing researchers to have a picture of where the birds are across the continent. Because bird populations are so diverse and constantly changing, scientists need our help in order to map out the distribution of birds as well as answer many other unsolved questions. It doesn’t matter how many species of birds you see, any number of birds will help.
The way it works:
- -Come to the Morgan Arboretum Office and ask for a tally sheet, and please bring your own pencils!
- -Choose one of the trails that you’d like to walk, snowshoe or ski and count the highest number of birds that you might see at any one time.
- -Once you have finished your beautiful stroll, return your tally sheet to the office or enter your sightings at ( http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/ ).
If you decide to participate from home, please follow these instructions:
- -Take as little as 15 minutes on one or more days of the event to count birds.
- -Count the highest number of birds that you might see at any one time.
- -Enter your sightings on the website ( http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/ ).
You can find a list of the most common species of birds that are found in and around the Arboretum as well as the birds that you might see in your backyard by visiting our website (http://www.morganarboretum.org). We will be looking forward to seeing you between Friday February 17th and Monday February 20th so you can play your part in helping the birds.
A Downy Woodpecker, a commonly encountered feeder bird (photo: Chris Cloutier)
No registration required
Free to participate (but parking fees still apply)
Have fun out there!
Nature’s fridge, that is! In the fall, insects prepare for the long winter ahead in many different ways. Some burrow far beneath the soil, others remain in developmental stages that are tolerant of sub-zero temperatures, and other still wait out the winter as undeveloped eggs, just waiting for a warm day to hatch out and explore the world. Some of our more social or colonial insects, such as bees, some wasps, and even ladybugs (Multicoloured Asian Lady Beetles) group together in numbers in suitable overwintering locations.
While out on a walk in early February, I made a discovery which surprised me. While snowshoeing along the Black trail, I noticed a lot of woodpecker activity in the vicinity of an old dead Hemlock. Pileated and downy woodpeckers were at the scene and were busy working on this particular tree. As I got closer, I noticed that the ground was littered with wood chips, probably left over by the busy woodpeckers, however on closer inspection, not all the pieces of wood were actually wood. Some of them were honeybees!
an old Hemlock stands with the handywork of many woodpeckers (photo: Chris Cloutier)
Honeybees will sometimes overwinter in large numbers, it is not uncommon to see worker bees remain in the nest in a state of suspended animation until spring returns. During this state however they are vulnerable to predators, in this case, hungy woodpeckers. The bees are kept frozen by the chilly temperatures, or in the woodpecker’s viewpoint, they are kept fresh and ready for the taking.
Frozen bee uncovered by woodpeckers (photo: Chris Cloutier)
Aside from this incident, I have also noticed many left-over wasp nests still lingering in the trees. Some of which are completely lacking the outer paper covering. Many would assume that since they are papery in texture that they would simply degrade with time, but the real culprits may surprise you. On quiet days you may hear rustling, the same sound that you would expect to hear on a nice autumn day, however if you look up, you might catch a glimpse of tiny birds, namely chickadees, ntuhatches, and even Jays tearing through what remains of a wasp colony. These birds have begun to recognise that food may be stored away in these dangling diner bells. The birds will eat any left over individuals that may have stayed behind to wait out the cold.
What remains of a wasp nest after having been discovered by hungry birds (photo: Chris Cloutier)
Have fun out there!
You’ll remember from our last post, we discussed how many birds species are difficult to spot due to their cryptic colouration and ability to remain motionless. Owls in particular fit into this category. As a group, owls are probably the most sought after birds, not only in the Arboretum, but anywhere, for birdwatchers, photographers and the like. They are spectacular birds, mysterious, and always a treat to find. Finding them however is never easy. Often it is a matter of being “in the right place at the right time” but if you know what you are looking for, “owling” can be a very challenging, yet rewarding experience. It all starts with searching the right habitats. Most of our owls prefer a particular habitat…Northern Saw-Whets like the cover of dense coniferous trees, Eastern Screech-Owls like to be concealed in the cavities of deciduous trees and Snowy owls like the flat, open country of agricultural fields. Of course, knowing these facts does not always produce the owls, to do that you must be prepared to do lots of searching and waiting patiently.
Sometimes though, finding a magnificent owl can be as simple as listening to the chickadees. Chickadees?… Yes! Chickadees and other small birds such as Nuthatches are usually on the menu for owls, and I’m sure that they aren’t pleased to be… Because owls present a threat to these birds, they and many other species have adopted a method for reducing their chances of being captured and consumed by raptors. The method involves forming a large group, gathering in an area where the owl is hiding, and make as much noise as they can! This behavior is known as “mobbing”. Mobbing a would-be predator removes the element of surprise, making it very difficult for the raptor to capture any of the birds in the area. Excessive mobbing can actually drive the predatory bird away from an area and thus remove the potential threat. Many birds use mobbing in the spring as a way of protecting their nests and to keep unwanted visitors at a comfortable distance. Often during a mob, the birds tend to change their typical voice; chickadees for example will add more Dee Dee Dee notes to their song and often have a raspier voice than normal. Some birds have taken mobbing to a whole new level; species such as the American Crow, Blue Jay and Red-Winged Blackbird even resort to physical contact. It is not uncommon to see these birds engaging with a hawk or owl to the point where they will actually nip at their feathers with their beaks. This behavior is commonly seen with hawks in flight. A group of crows will follow the hawk making a tremendous amount of noise and will actually peck at the back of the hawk as it makes a hasty retreat.
Alain Magnan a new member here at the Arboretum, as well as an avid naturalist and photographer witnessed just such an event last week involving crows and a Great Horned Owl. While out searching for some interesting birds to photograph, he was drawn to the call of several crows. Following the sound, he was lead to a stand of spruces along the Black trail where he then discovered a beautiful Great Horned Owl. With his camera at the ready he was able to snap this wonderful shot. Thank you very much for your photo Alain.
A Great Horned Owl searches for shelter while it is mobbed by several crows (Photo: Alain Magnan)
T’is the season for some great birdwatching, so keep your eyes and ears on alert the next time you are out at the Arboretum.
Have fun out there!
Even though the leaves are gone, wildlife observation in the canopy can still be a challenge. The birds and mammals which live here have done so for a very long time and have found ways of camouflaging themselves, and some, despite having some very vibrant colours or patterns, still find the way to elude even the most patient observer. This cryptic behaviour is way that these animals remain unseen by predators (although predators have come up with ways to exploit this still…a real life arms-race).
Today while taking a stroll down by the Conservation Centre to check out the feeders, I encountered many different bird species. Many fruit-eating species such as Cedar Waxwings, American Robins and European Starlings were rustling about. Purple Finches, Juncos, Chickadees, Cardinals and Mourning Doves rounded out the party of avian critters hanging around the feeders and trees which surround the building. It was only as I got closer to them that I realized how numerous they truly were. Because many of these individual birds see people regularly, they are not as timid as their more “wild” counterparts. This means that you can often get quite close without flushing them (flushing refers to the act of scaring birds from a perch). While simply scanning the branches of the trees, my initial hunch of about 20 American Robins turned into close to 80 birds. Moments later a large group Robins descended to the edge of the forest where they began busily searching through exposed leaves. These birds were sitting in a tree right above my head and I had not seen them until they flew. The total count is now over 100 American Robins for the day.
Birds such as the Mourning Dove (given the name MOURNING dove because their call sounds reminiscent of weeping) seem to simply materialize out of thin air. They are a medium sized bird, not a tiny chickadee by any means, but their motionless roosting and bland colouration allow them to often slip by without detection, even to the observant eyes of a birder. Often times mourning doves remain motionless in the trees until you get too close then they explode in a flash producing an ominous bellowing whistle as they fly as far as they can. Even after the intial flush, some will often remain in the tree from which the other fled, so be prepared to get tiny scare twice.
A Mounring Dove remains motionless in the tree top, trying to avoid detection (photo: Chris Cloutier)
If you are interested in observing these and many other species, please Join myself and Richard Gregson for an introductory bird walk and lecture on Saturday January 7th. The presentation begins at 9:00am and the whole workshop will conclude at about 12:00. The main topics to be covered are winter adaptations of birds, as well as where to see them and how to attract birds to the home. Richard will be discussing the finer points of bird photography and equipment. After the lecture, we will head out on a short walk to visit some of the winter bird hot spots.
If you are interested in this of any other workshops, please call the main office to make a reservation at 514-398-7811