Wednesday, March 24, 2021

THE SWALLOW FIELD - SPRING, 2021

FOSS volunteers have readied the Tree Swallow nest boxes in the Swallow Field for the expected arrivals in the next few weeks.  They are cleaned out, sterilized and repairs have been done.

Like last year, temporary covers have been put over the entrance holes to keep House Sparrows out and to give the swallows a, literally, fighting chance to prevail over which species will eventually get to use them.  The covers will hopefully prevent the sparrows from getting established before the arriving swallows have had a chance to feed, rest, pair off, take advantage of the growing insect supply and prepare to nest.  The field will be assessed daily for the right moment to remove the covers

House Sparrow predation has been an ongoing issue.  See previous blog posts on this issue  ....

http://www.friendsofsamsmithpark.ca/2019/04/tree-swallows-and-house-sparrow.html

http://www.friendsofsamsmithpark.ca/2020/05/tree-swallow-nest-box-evictions-of.html

http://www.friendsofsamsmithpark.ca/2020/03/tree-swallow-boxes-now-ready-for-guests.html

We have noticed that seeds (rice, different grains, corn, commercial bird seed etc.) are quite often placed on top of the nest boxes, presumably in the mistaken belief that the boxes are feeding stations.  This practice, along with putting bird seed on the large flat rock in the middle of the Swallow Field, draws in House Sparrows and is counter-productive to the Tree Swallow nesting project.  If you witness this, please inform the person(s) who is doing this or just sweep the seeds into the grass below.

Terry Smith has created a video which gives a detailed look at the Swallow Field programme.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

ALL WETLANDS ARE PRECIOUS!

Credit for the photo goes to the photographer (Mike McEvoy) and the Thickson's Woods Land Trust.

All wetlands are precious. They provide habitat for wildlife and green space for those who revel in the joys of nature. They also play a major role in filtering run-off water and providing flood control. Wetlands everywhere are under threat from development. 

Duffin's Creek Wetland in Pickering has recently been threatened with destruction. Marshes and wetlands everywhere face the same problem.  The one nearest you might be next! Here is some background information:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/amazon-warehouse-duffins-creek-wetland-pickering-1.5947252

https://www.tvo.org/article/poster-child-for-destruction-the-fight-to-save-the-duffins-creek-wetland-from-developers

Please call or write your MPP to express your concerns.