Join us on Friday, May 22 – Saturday, May 23 for the 10th Annual Carden Challenge. The goal is of the Carden Challenge is simple: raise funds to support the stewardship of Carden’s alvar and bird habitats by counting as many bird species as possible during a 24-hour period.
The Carden Plain is part of the “Land Between,” an area bordered by the Canadian Shield and Great Lakes Lowlands. An alvar is characterized by a limestone base with a small or no amount of soil. The birding in this area is world renowned and it is recognized as an Important Birding Area. Also, it supports unique plants that adapt to the harsh conditions of wet springs and very dry summer conditions. An open alvar vista in bloom will take your breath away with its delicate, harsh beauty.
Each year, we seem to hear the same question: Where have all the birds gone? A report released this month by the World Wildlife Fund provides some of the answers, and its conclusions are not for the faint of heart.
Pileated Woodpeckers, named for the large crest on the top of the head, are the largest of our woodpeckers. They are almost prehistoric much like pterodactyls in appearance, with their deep undulating flight pattern and their weird calls. However they are strikingly beautiful with dark blue/black, white and crimson feathers.
The bluebird is doing well in Carden, thanks to two things: first, a local man named Herb Furniss has spent the last few decades building and distributing white bluebird boxes throughout the region, quietly making a huge difference for these little birds; second, Wylie Road rolls through an area where more than 6,000 acres of grassland, forest and wetland has been conserved as natural habitat.