Friday, September 15, 2017

FOSS WORKSHOPS DURING ETOBICOKE "CULTURE DAYS"- ASSEMBLY HALL, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH



SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH - at the Assembly Hall, Etobicoke

10 a.m.                 WILD IN THE PARK”

Presented in partnership by the Assembly Hall and Friends of Sam Smith Park (FOSS)
Come discover the wildlife of Sam Smith Park! Family-friendly activities include the creation of a large wall mural, plus DIY bird feeders and bird nest warmers for you to make and take home. Free.
 
1.30 p.m.              “WILD IN THE PARK” PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS

Presented by Friends of Sam Smith Park (FOSS)
FOSS wildlife photographer Nancy Barrett will share tips on how to take great shots of birds and animals. Bring your camera or camera phone and meet at the Assembly Hall before heading out into the park for this hands-on workshop. Ages 12 and up. Youth under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Free.

Space limited: pre-register at assembly@toronto.ca

Thursday, September 7, 2017

TUESDAY, SEPT. 19TH. - HUMBER BAY BUTTERFLY HABITAT WILDFLOWER PLANTING




Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat Wildflower Planting

When  Tue, 19 September, 10:00 – 12:00
Where  Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat (map)
Description  Join the City of Toronto at the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat to help plant native shrubs and wildflowers. Meet City Staff by the trail near the intersection of Silver Moon Dr., and Marine Parade Dr. Follow signs to planting site. Street parking is available.

REMOVING BURDOCK

Today, FOSS members Monique Fischer, Barbara Keaveney, Sandra Hawkins, Lynda Crowder and Bruce Wilkinson were out helping to provide a safer environment for the park's birds.  Numerous large bags of burdock were cut down and carted away.

At this time of the year, small birds, especially American Goldfinches, get tangled up in burdock seed heads.

clinging burs that were not only the inspiration for Velcro - See more at: http://bcinvasives.ca/invasive-species/identify/invasive-species/invasive-plants/burdock/#sthash.Ba5FMBcO.dpuf
Goldfinches are accustomed to perching on the large heads to eat. As long as only their feet touch the burs they are okay, but, when feathers brush against a hooked bur, the small bird's strength is not sufficient to get free from the tenacious plant.  The plant employs a hook-and-loop system to latch seed heads onto passers-by for dispersal and was the inspiration for Velcro.  

In many parts of Canada, burdock is considered a noxious weed and is eradicated where possible.  In Toronto, because of the danger to birds, there is currently a volunteer effort being organized by the Toronto Ornithological Club and TRCA to remove burdock.

 We have some patches of burdock growing in Sam Smith Park, especially on the outer headlands near the beavers' winter lodge.  On your walks, keep a look out for trapped birds and please attempt to gently release them.