A White-tailed Deer in Winter at the Nature Conservancy

Winter at the Nature Conservancy

It’s been a very snowy winter at the Nature Conservancy, but we’ve been out continuing our species inventory nevertheless. We observed four new species at the Fauna Foundation’s Ruisseau Robert Nature Conservancy for the first time in December.

An irruption year for bird species

Have you noticed an abundance of finch species around your neighbourhood over the past months? This winter has been an irruption year for several bird species, such as the Red and also White-winged Crossbills, Pine Siskins, Evening and Pine Grosbeaks, and the Common Redpoll. An irruption year occurs when food sources are limited throughout a species’ habitual range, forcing them to move further south in large numbers to feed themselves. Scientists at the Finch Research Network are even calling this the largest Common Redpoll irruption in almost a decade! Three of these species were spotted at the Fauna Nature Reserve for the first time this fall and winter. These include the Pine Grosbeak, White-winged Crossbill, and Common Redpoll.

Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll
Juvenile male Pine Grosbeak
Juvenile male Pine Grosbeak

Male White-winged Crossbill
Male White-winged Crossbill
Female White-winged Crossbill
Female White-winged Crossbill

Winged visitors this winter at the Nature Conservancy

Earlier this winter we had a Great Horned Owl visit the Reserve, but it quickly moved on due to constant harassment from crows. Called “mobbing,” crows have a tendency to gang up on and chase away owls because owls are predators of theirs.

The fourth new species we encountered this winter was the Bohemian Waxwing. It is very difficult to predict when and where you might encounter this species as they are nomadic and travel great distances in search of fruits.

Great Horned Owl in Winter at the Nature Conservancy
Great Horned Owl

Observing our year-round residents

In addition to observing the less-common species listed above, we’ve had a great time observing our year-round species as well. A winter’s day in nature would not be complete without the enchanting songs of the Cardinal, Chickadee, Blue Jay, Nuthatch, and Juncos.

Dark-eyed Junco in Winter at the Nature Conservancy
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-tailed Hawk in Winter at the Nature Conservancy
Red-tailed Hawk

Check back on our blog for more nature findings soon, as winter at the Nature Conservancy is nearing its end and spring is quickly approaching!

Diverse, thriving ecosystems all year long

Fauna’s focus is on protecting and promoting the return of indigenous flora and fauna on the Nature Reserve. We do this by creating habitable and thriving ecosystems all year long. Our land management program strives in particular to increase local bird populations.

Are you a fellow conservation lover? You can help us restore, preserve and protect the native flora and fauna of our precious surrounding environment. Please consider donating today.