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Tracking wildlife in the winter

In Uncategorized by couchiching

Snow provides a unique way of recording the passing-by of various species of wildlife. Their tracks and trails reveal not only what species are hanging around for the winter, but may also reveal some of their behaviours: Are they solitary or travelling as a family? Eating plants or catching prey? Denning in the snow or constantly moving?

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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.

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At the feeder: Red-bellied Woodpecker

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

In 2012 the Carden Christmas Bird count recorded two individuals during the count. This year Carden had three individuals. Two individuals were recorded during the Orillia count this year. So it seems the species is certainly putting down roots in our area.

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American Tree Sparrow; a welcome visitor

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

Although it may not be as colourful and dazzling as other birds of winter such as chickadees, nuthatches, blue jays, juncos and northern shrikes, The American Tree sparrow is a welcomed visitor. One cannot deny its beauty either, for with its rufous- coloured crown and stripe behind its eye, the streaking on its back and the dark spot on its predominantly gray breast, it is a lovely looking bird.

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Mourning Doves: our year-round visitors

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

Although we do have many different species of birds visit us all winter long, we can always depend on three species to stay around our property year-round: White breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped chickadee and one other favourite, especially in the winter, The Mourning Dove.

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The Black-capped chickadee

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

The Black-capped chickadee, the species found in our area, has been described variously as sociable, industrious, agile, inquisitive, gregarious, trusting and acrobatic, and while they are all true, none of these adjectives fully describe this little bundle of cheerfulness.

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Yellow Warbler

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

One of the most widespread and prettiest species of birds that graces our landscape is the Yellow Warbler! The male is a bright yellow, with reddish stripes on its breast while the female is a much more subtle yellow with a green tinge to the wing and back feathers.