winter

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Pink Valentine Squirrel

Messy Eater Blood on the Snow We’ve noted before that the berries on the native Viburnum triloba are eaten in the fall while those on the similar European species (Guelder rose) are left until well into the New Year. Obviously those of the native species are more palatable while the [...]

2020-02-15T16:04:02-05:00Sunday, February 16, 2020|

Lunchtime Acrobatics (video)

As faithful followers of this journal will have gathered, there are a lot of squirrels around here. Although most of our gardening is designed to provide food and shelter to birds and insects it is a given that squirrels will take advantage ... as do raccoons and skunks and mice and all sorts [...]

2020-02-02T08:22:13-05:00Sunday, February 2, 2020|

Northern Hawk Owl

Ten Years Ago If you are a birder or a photographer, please don't get excited - this bird was found ten years ago and the photographs were serendipitously resurfaced whilst I was cleaning out unrequired pictures from my too large digital archives. The Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) is a very rare [...]

2020-01-14T16:02:58-05:00Sunday, January 19, 2020|

Beautiful Natural Playground

Walking in the Snow with Birds There was some gentle snow overnight on Wednesday and so we had to go out and make the most of it Thursday morning. The temperatures were not too cold (they will be exceptionally cold by the weekend) and we had a good tramp. This wooded and [...]

2020-01-16T15:52:35-05:00Sunday, January 19, 2020|

January Bluebirds

Bluebirds in Mid-Winter !!! It's the 17 January, the sun is shining from a clear blue sky, temperatures are -16C (with windchill -27C) and there we are, sitting in the warm reading the papers when a small bird lands in the viburnum bush just outside. A quick glance, not expecting anything other [...]

2020-01-18T15:03:45-05:00Friday, January 17, 2020|

Hawks and Wolves

Feed the Birds Every Thursday in Winter we start a morning's birding by visiting the nearby MBO bird banding station and filling the bid feeders followed by taking a census of the birds to be seen in the cold snow. This is quite a special thing for us - the station is [...]

2020-01-03T17:51:08-05:00Sunday, January 5, 2020|

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl on the Winter Solstice We spent all of a very cold (-14C) and breezy Winter Solstice doing "our" route as part of the annual Christmas Bird Count. There were not as many birds as we usually expect - the absence of Snow Buntings was particularly badly felt as they are favourites [...]

2019-12-21T17:15:58-05:00Sunday, December 22, 2019|

Winter Sparrows

Sparrows are perhaps my/our favourite birds. From the point of view of nostalgia I would say especially the House Sparrows that I grew up with but otherwise one of the great things about living in Canada is the number of other sparrow species (most of them more strictly Buntings, but we won't go [...]

2019-11-28T14:18:00-05:00Sunday, December 1, 2019|

Cold Weather Moths

Bruce Spanwing Moth A couple of days ago we saw a pale moth flying across the garden - late November, snow on the ground, temperatures around zero or below - and shrugged as it flew away. This morning we got a closer look at it, or a relative. I am reasonably confident that [...]

2019-11-26T10:03:09-05:00Tuesday, November 26, 2019|

Wonderfully Cold Birding

On Saturday morning, Bird Protection Quebec organised a birding field trip in the Arboretum to which Arbo members were invited and which several joined. For my sins, I was delegated to organise and lead the outing. I don't go on many field trips (I have problems with more than six people together at once) [...]

2019-11-17T12:09:49-05:00Sunday, November 17, 2019|