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In the News: Wildlife On the Move

In Birds by couchiching

A decade ago, we would visit Niagara-on-the-Lake for a glimpse of these species, and marvel that their ranges just barely reached into the southernmost bits of Ontario.

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Roosting Boxes: Building a home for the winter

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

Many bird lovers either purchase or build nest boxes for their favourite wild birds: bluebirds, swallows, chickadees, nuthatches and many more. These boxes vary in size and shapes and in particular, the size of the entrance hole, depending on the desired species. We have had as many as 40 swallow houses on our property, and an equal number of bluebird houses on fence posts along the sides of the roads in our area but only after receiving the permission of the landowner.

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Birding: A Run-in with Double-crested Cormorants

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

Double-crested Cormorants are anything but a pretty bird. They are prehistoric in looks and age, one of oldest bird species at about two million years. Painted images of them have been found in ancient North American caves and Egyptian tombs. There are about thirty Cormorant species throughout the world, the Double-crested are the only species in North America.

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Birding: A Woodpecker Summer

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

Feeding birds in the summer features a different cast of characters from the usual winter crew. Nuthatches, chickadees and blue jays disappear, distracted by the duties of nest-building and egg-sitting. In their place, local woodpeckers have become regular visitors to the peanut feeder just outside our window.

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Birding on the alvar: Wilson’s Snipe

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

One of the more interesting birds in our region is the Wilson’s Snipe. Classified as a Shorebird, this species inhabits flooded grasslands, bogs and marshes. They are frequently seen, as this one in the accompanying picture, standing on a fence post scanning the surrounding area and uttering a very loud and weird “tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck” call!

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Birding: Mallards galore in Ontario

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

Mallard ducks are now so common in our area that they can be found just about anywhere there is water. But it was not always so. When I was a small boy living in eastern Ontario, Mallards were seldom seen and when they were, they were referred to as “western ducks”. The most bountiful wild duck we had at the time was the American Black duck, a close relative of the Mallard. Now we see few “Blacks” and lots of Mallards. Both however are very beautiful birds.