I was out strolling along the cracks and crannies of the natural world in Orangeville for a couple of hours at dawn this morning. In this Covid-19 isolation time, the town was — thankfully! — so quiet from a human perspective. So few cars out; the lineup for Timmies near where I live was down from the typical dozen cars wound around the place to one or sometimes none at all. But the trails and stream valleys were often filled with the morning cacophony of bird song and screeching. The gangs of Grackles and the swirlings of Starlings were especially noisy! What struck me was that the Common Grackles and European Starlings were still in flocks. Not in pairs carrying nesting material. They were in remarkably large groupings, perhaps hundreds of grackles and several swirls of fifty or more starlings. Why? I’m wondering if these birds are not quite ready for… Read more »
The 120th annual Christmas Bird Count is run by the Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. Counts can be done on any single day between Dec 14 and Jan 5 and are conducted within a circle of diameter 24 km (15 miles). This year we counted on 2020 January 04, marking our 28th count as several years were missed. Since 1987, the UCFN/HN have been responsible for the Caledon circle, which includes Orangeville.
On Saturday December 30th, we completed our annual Christmas Bird Count. The Numbers: 23 + 7 participants; 715 km driven; 10.5 km walked; 2.5 hrs owling; -14ºC minimum; 38 species overall; estimated 3983 individual birds overall; most populous: American Crow 931, Snow Bunting 740, European Starling 342, Dark-eyed Junco 335, American Goldfinch 300, Black-Capped Chickadee 272, Wild Turkey 223, least seen: Ruffed Grouse 1, Northern Harrier 1, Sharp-shinned Hawk 1, Cooper’s Hawk 1, Snowy Owl 1, Belted Kingfisher 1, Northern Shrike 1, Christmas Bird Count participants: (23 participants): (Area 1): Ron Jasiuk, Bill, Mike, Russ, Cynthia, Leo; (Area 2): Mark Whitcombe, Jerry, Paul, Katherine; (Area 3): Linda Lockyer, Mike, Dilys, Debby; (Area 4): Ron Ritchie, Mary Lynn, Betty; (Area 5): Dawn Renfrew, Darcie; (Area 6): Rob Best, Kevin, Anne-Marie, Suzanne Christmas Feeder Watch participants: (7 participants): Doug & Jane, Jean, Joan, Robin, Rachel, Liz Comments (by a botanist …) Of… Read more »