Summer and Fall at the Fauna Conservancy

Summer and Fall at the Conservancy, 2020

As the first snowflakes start to descend upon us, we are taking the time to reflect on the seasons of summer and fall at the Conservancy. It was a special year that brought along its lot of challenges, but also some great surprises. Due to the ongoing pandemic we unfortunately had to cancel our birdwatching tours, as well as other research initiatives and events. However, this did allow for a bit of extra time in the field to continue our wildlife inventory. Several new species were catalogued for the first time! Here is what we discovered at the Fauna Nature Conservancy during the summer and fall seasons.

Bird Species Count

Between June through to December, 2020, we observed eight species for the first time at the Conservancy. This brings our grand total here at Fauna to 141 species. In the summer we spotted the American Woodcock and Pied-billed Grebe feeding and foraging around our lake. The fall was particularly busy, with many new bird species seen utilizing the reserve as a feeding and resting site during their southward migrations. Some of these species had travelled from as far as the Arctic and the northern reaches of the Boreal forest. These included the Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Shrike, Common Redpoll, and the Merlin. Two others were the American Widgeon and the Northern Pintail. The Garpike, a species of fish, was also seen for the first time. We also spotted the Wood Turtle, a species considered to be “threatened” according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
American Woodcock
American Woodcock
Rough-legged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Northern Shrike
Northern Shrike
Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll
Merlin
Merlin
Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail

Other rare sightings include the Wild Turkey, Tufted Titmouse, and the Ruffed Grouse.

Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey

Bobolink Blind

This year, we built an observation blind at the reserve in order to get a more intimate look at the Bobolink’s nesting behaviours. Our newly-built bobolink blind was put to good use in June and July. Several dozens of individuals nested in our fields again this year and we were able to observe and document their reproductive process from start to finish. Read more about the Bobolinks at Fauna on our blog post, A Refuge for the Bobolink.

Bobolink
Bobolink

Species that nested at the Conservancy in 2020

Aside from the Bobolink, many other species chose the variety of different habitats at the Nature Reserve to nest and to raise their offspring this summer and fall. These species include the Mallard, Canada goose, Eastern Phoebe, Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser, Great Crested Flycatcher, House Wren, Spotted Sandpiper, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, White-breasted Nuthatch, and the American Robin. Other animals that nested, spawned or raised their young at the reserve include the Snapping Turtle, Red Fox, White-tailed Deer, and the Shorthead Redhorse.

For a better look at the Redhorse spawn, check out our blog post, Redhorse: Life Below the Surface.

Hooded Merganser
Hooded Merganser
Wood Duck
Wood Duck
Red Fox
Red Fox
White-tailed Deer Fawn
White-tailed Deer Fawn

As summer and fall have concluded

We look forward to continuing our wildlife inventory into the winter and planning our Fauna 2021 birdwatching tours, research, and events. Please stay tuned for further details in the coming months!

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