Sunday, August 31, 2014

SAM SMITH PARK BIRD WALK - SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH

Note that the CCFEW poster advertising this event features a photograph of the Yellow Crowned Night Heron.  Hopefully, it will still be there on Saturday.

Friday, August 29, 2014

INVASIVE SPECIES THREAT TO WETLANDS

The Toronto Star recently published this article about the growing threat of the invasive species "phragmites" on wetland areas.  Sam Smith Park visitors will have noticed that this plant is now present in our own wetlands, displacing native bulrushes.   

This poses, for example, problems for nesting Red Winged Blackbirds who find the long, slender reeds too weak to support nest building.

Click on article title below to read more and to see the Conservation Authority's response to the issue.

"Invasive phragmites hurting bird population on Leslie St. Spit"


The invasive species crowds out native vegetation that waterfowl and shorebirds use for food and shelter, threatening to put a dent in the birder's paradise .....

Phragmites australis, known as "phrag", has spread rapidly along shorelines in Ontario and crowds out native growth .....

Feasting on moisture, the plant proliferates in wetlands and marshes, along lakeshores, and in the disturbed soil bordering highways ..... 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MORE PHOTOGRAPHS OF YELLOW CROWNED NIGHT HERON

Thanks to Ed McAskill for sending us these pics of our southern visitor.  You can see more of Ed's work on his Flickr website.

The Yellow Crowned Night Heron is a nocturnal heron of the
southern swamps and coasts.  The range map for the species explains the interest local birders have shown in this bird's unexpected presence in our region.  This bird is a juvenile or immature.

The Black Crowned Night Heron is native to our area - a number of them feed and roost in Sam Smith Park.






Thursday, August 21, 2014

RARE JUVENILE YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON IN SAM SMITH PARK

Birders have been delighted over the last week  by the appearance of a very unusual visitor to our park.

Many thanks to Heather Jack for the wonderful photographs.

Report from David Pryor posted on ONTBIRDS ...

"The juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron has been roosting in a tree along with an adult and juvenile Black-Crowned Night-Heron, low to the water, on the north east side of the island in the marshy cattail overflow pond located about 50 yards due east of the southernmost parking lot.   The bird was best seen from the gravel path which runs north and south on the east side of the pond
In comparison to the other juvenile bird (which is clearly a Black-
Crowned), the bird's upper mandible is largely blackish while the lower mandible, other than the tip, appears somewhat pale.  The bird has grayish rather than brown upper parts, has much more finely spotted wings, seems to be longer-necked and legged, as well as showing a blunter, thicker bill. This bird's call was is relatively high-pitched, almost like a scream."