Small robin bird in a nest

Conservancy 2020 Spring Update

The first days of summer are upon us, announcing the end of what will have been a lively and action-packed spring at the conservancy. Week after week from March through June, I intimately explored the rivers, streams, fields and forests of the reserve to discover its wildlife, and in this blog post I will share some of my findings with you.

Bird Species Count

Nine new species were seen between March and June 2020, bringing our total bird species count to 133. These new species are the Wild turkey, Common merganser, Tufted titmouse, Barred owl, American kestrel, Yellow-throated vireo, Ruddy duck, Common tern and the Black-crowned night heron. Other rare sightings included the Wood duck, Ruffed grouse, Wood thrush and the Killdeer.

A black, white, and red bird floats in water
Common Merganser © Justin Taus
Red duck with blue beak floats in water
Ruddy Duck © Justin Taus
Owl sits on a tree branch
Barred Owl © Justin Taus
Multi-colored duck stands on branch
Wood Duck © Justin Taus
A Tern bird flies in front of trees
Common Tern © Justin Taus
Small red bird faces away from camera, perched on a branch
Wood Thrush © Justin Taus

A Reproductive Haven

Our reserve serves as a safe and secure nesting, spawning and denning site for several species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians in the spring and summer. These species include, but are not limited to, the Red fox, Groundhog, American mink, Gray and Red squirrels, Killdeer, Canada goose, Mallard, European starling, American goldfinch, White-breasted nuthatch, Snapping turtle, American Robin, various Redhorses, House wren, Red-winged blackbird, Tree and Barn swallows, and the Bobolink.

The faces of two red fox kits peek out from behind a blue structure
Red Fox Kits © Justin Taus
An adult goose stands with 6 baby geese at its feet
Canada Geese © Justin Taus
A killdeer bird lays on its nest among gray rocks
Killdeer © Justin Taus
Small robin bird in a nest
American Robin © Justin Taus
Four mallard duck chicks lay on a strip of muddy land in water, huddling together
Mallard chicks © Justin Taus

Warbler Migration

The various habitats on our reserve make it an important stop-over site for a variety of migrating bird species. Every year I look forward to the arrival of warblers, which often occur on one specific day, when the temperature and winds are just right and dozens of species arrive at once. This year that day was May 15th. Unfortunately heavy rains interrupted much of the survey that day, but I was able to spot 14 species nevertheless. These species were the Yellow-rumped warbler, Cape May warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Black and white warbler, Black-throated blue warbler, American redstart, Palm warbler, Black throated green warbler, Chestnut sided warbler, Ovenbird, Magnolia warbler, Yellow warbler, Wilson’s warbler and the Northern waterthrush.

Black and white bird perches on a branch
Black & White Warbler © Justin Taus
Small white and blue bird looks to the side
Black Throated Blue Warbler © Justin Taus
A bright yellow bird perches on a branch
Common Yellowthroat© Justin Taus
Small black, yellow, and gray bird stands on a branch
Magnolia Warbler © Justin Taus
A brown and white bird stands on a branch and looks to the right
Northern Waterthrush © Justin Taus
A gray bird with yellow accents stands on a branch, facing away from the camera
Palm Warbler © Justin Taus
A black and white bird with splashes of yellow sits on a tree branch
Yellow Rumped Warbler © Justin Taus

Conservancy Projects

As usual, we undertook the cleaning, maintenance and monitoring of our bird nest boxes. Most of them are now presently occupied by Tree swallows, White-breasted nuthatches and the House wren.

An iridescent blue bird perches on a wooden board
Tree Swallow © Justin Taus
A gray bird holding twigs in its beak enters a small hole in a green wooden structure
White-breasted Nuthatch © Justin Taus

We completed the construction of a Bobolink observation and photography blind, which provides a great vantage point from which to closely observe the nesting birds without bothering them.

A person in camo and a red beanie crouches while arranging tall grasses
Caregiver Claude Desrochers decorating the photography blind.  © Justin Taus
Small black bird perches in tall grass
Bobolink © Justin Taus

Unfortunately a couple of other projects, as well as our birdwatching tours, have had to be put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We look forward to continuing them as soon as it is safe to do so.

Please Consider Supporting Continued Conservation Projects Like the Bobolink Blind!

Support the Conservancy

All gifts made through Canada Helps or Giving Challenge this month (June) increase our chances of winning a $20,000 donation from The Great Canadian Giving Challenge!