Send us your wildlife story
Have you ever come face to face with a lynx? Have you ever met a moose? Perhaps you have bumped into a bear. Or stumbled upon some goose eggs. If you have a story to tell or photos to share, send them along so others can enjoy your experience as well. Just email to the address below:
As me and my brother,Daniel and sometimes my 5 year old kindergartener brother, Charles are waiting for the bus every morning we are usually making lot's of noise when our 10 year old golden labrador Copper, and 9 month year old maltese, Snowball, are barking as loudly as they can. But now we've discovered something amazing and magical. The forest is like a concert of animals. How do we know that? Well, one amazing morning as we were waiting for the bus with the fresh, cool wind blowing silently in our faces. Daniel caught the sound of a chickadee. Charles stopped laughing and listened. I stopped sweet-talking Snowball and listened. Snowball and Copper were as silent and as still as statues. Three chickadee's called "Chick-a-dee-dee" and crows answered with a caw. A train silently steamed and it made the forest sound more magic. A least 5 different types of birds(it's possible there can be we live very close the forest)joined in at the same time. The train made it's low, soft, sweet tender sound as it made the forest echo with light. The leaves crackled under the small animals feet. Than the most magical thing happened the whole time. A flock of chickadee's came circling around our fence and settled. Me, my brothers and dogs did not move a muscle. We did not want to frighten the birds. They were so beautiful. The crows and other birds called out to the chickadees. Daniel and Charles named the unique ones names. So did I. The one with red on it's wing, the one I called Ruby, the one that Daniel calls Lava-Flame, and also the one that Charles calls Jenny, flew up and sang a note so brilliant that it echoed through the whole forest. The pretty one,Crystal I called her, that certainly did not look like any others, sang a note very high. That's when the sad moment came. The bus rumbled and frightened all of the birds. We got on to the bus, and thought of our magical moment out there in the wonderful breeze. About Ruby, Crystal and so many others. About the forest.
From Elizabeth Rose Lee. Age 8. Grade four.
I have a special story I would like to share:
My story takes place at our family cottage on Georgian Bay. The cottage sits on an acre island about 10 minutes boat ride from the Marina.
Eight summers ago a lone seagull which I have since named Jonathan, (from the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull) flew on to our deck, and kept returning several times a day. After a week or so, I started leaving some
food on our deck picnic table. Of course, this started a tradition of feeding him every day. After a few
discards, his menu mainly consists of grapes, cheese, chicken, and a scrambled egg each morning.
As time went on Jonathan seemed to gain trust in me, and so I found I was able to sit about a foot from him as he ate his food.
My summers have been enriched by my beautiful feathered friend. And now, we will be closing our cottage after Thanksgiving in October. Will Jonathan return for another season.? I hope so!
When I was a kid growing up on a farm in southern Manitoba my brothers and I would often find tiger salamanders while digging in the garden, under boards and on some occasions in the basement of the farm house. The farm house had a sump hole with a sump pump to remove ground water. I suspect the salamanders somehow found there way 7 feet down and came up under the floor and into the basement via the sump hole.
My daughter Karlene 10 was fascinated by these stories so this summer we decided to visit the old farm now a summer home for my Mother. Karlene spent considerable time exploring the fields and bush finding frogs, snakes and other creatures but the elusive tiger salamanders were no where to be found. On the last day of our visit one of her cousins stopped by and ask Karlene if she had seen the salamanders in Grandma's basement. I was totally surprised, it had been more than 30 years since I had been down that basement and I had not considered looking there. The kids ran down and within minutes came running out with at least a dozen Tigers, we took photo's and let them go where they were found near the sump hole.
It was one of those magical moments, totally unexpected and wonderful to see my daughter experience what I had experienced when I was her age. The tigers are back where we found them and its amazing to think how they must have found a way to enter via the sump hole tunneling 7 feet down and 4 feet across.
We have since learned that tigers are one of the largest land-dwelling salamanders in the world. They are members of the mole salamader species and spend much of there time underground occasionally coming to the surface after heavy rains. Their diet consists of beetles, earthworms, snails, frogs and even small mice which may in part account for the seemingly mouse free farm house.
Here I am pictured, in 90's, in Alberta, at the Polar Park. I am holding a six month old wolverine, one of two that I had the privilege of raising and studying- Along with other orphaned animals, this was my most memorial job ever!
- Brigitte Labby, Sudbury, Ontario
I live in Nova Scotia and every year there are these 2 ducks that come and we feed them and made them this sand pit thing and they always have ducklingsand they are not scared of anything. They swim with me in my pool and they have sat on our door step before. They love us and come back every year! Their names are Bonnie and Clyde and I pet them every time and they eat out of my hands and sit beside when im out in the sun ! I LOVE THEM! The picture I have attached is my cat and the ducks!
One day as I was going on a trip to Banff, we stopped to look at a bear. It was crowded! People and cars were stopped. Lots of people had gotten really close to the bear and took his picture. Poor thing. He must have been really frightened. I wanted to do something, but I couldn't. So, instead, I just sat in the vehicle and enjoyed the view.
I'm Elizabeth and I'm 8 years old. I come from Alberta, one of the habitats for many animals.
I have a story to tell you about one day,where everything was about to change.
Me and my brother, Daniel, asked my mom if it was okay to go out into the woods and play for awhile. We love exploring in the woods, and it was the perfect day to do it. So my mom said yes, and we got into our favourite game. Detectives!
Luckily, I had my research book on leaves with me as I walked around my favourite spot. I picked up a branch to study it. Suddenly, I heard a rustling sound. Daniel turned around. I did the same. A strange red thing frolicked around in the bushes. It was such a playful thing that I thought it was harmless. Wrong idea. The creature got up and snarled. It seemed very frightened. Daniel got out his book on animals and started searching for the creature. Finally, he found it.
''That was a Red Fox,'' he explained. ''It says it is an endangered speices and it should be protected."
From now on, I never go in the woods.
Hi! I'm Anna-Lee and I come from Calgary, AB. I saw a grey fox in my backyard. It was amazing when it ran up to me, licked my hand, and ran.
Today, we found a baby robin on our lawn... without its mother! We started feeding it with tongs, first with bread (it didn't eat it which is good because later we learned later that that isn't good for young robins :( ) , then we gave him strawberry pieces and he ate one. We also tried water which he didn't drink. Finally, his mother came and we were all relieved.
On May 17 I saw a grey fox right near the abandoned factory by my house. I thought it was a cat and then it looked at me and it was a grey fox. My sister and I looked at it and we knew. The grey fox had a fox tale, a coyote body, and a fox face. When I saw the grey fox it was running with its tongue hanging out and I thought it was looking for water or food.
- Wyatt, age 8, in Cobourg, Ontario
A monster of a moth
Cecropia moths are both beautiful and amazing! This spring my Dad and I found this large (4 inch) cocoon on shrubs near the cottage on the North Shore of Lake Erie:
A large female (about 6 inches across) emerged on April 26th. She crawled up my arm and onto my head before flying off. I had to be careful not to touch her delicate wings:
The cecropia moth is North America's largest Moth. They have super senses – the female produces a chemical scent called a pheromone and the males use large feathery antennae to zero in on this scent from as far as 10 kilometers away. Now that’s amazing!
Cecropia moths have no mouthparts and do not feed. The adults’ sole purpose is to mate and lay eggs.
Caterpillars feed on the leaves of apple, ash, beech, birch, cherry, dogwood, maple, poplar and others.
From Karlene, aged 10, in Ontario.
My old playground
My name is Alex. I’m 12 years old and from Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada. I want to tell you about a pond my friends and I always used to play at all day. One day my friend and I went there to go play and catch some tadpoles, but when we got there there were tractors everywhere. I went home to tell my dad and he said, “The town’s mayor has sold the property to another company, and they’re going to build a lot of houses and turn it in to an intersection.”
When he told me that, I felt really sad for all the animals that are going to have no homes and all the wildlife that will get destroyed. I want to do something so bad, but my older sibling says that even if I tried to do something they're just going to tear it all down anyway. That’s so sad isn’t it?
Love: Alex, one of the people who loves the earth and all that’s on it.
Curiosity and the Canada Lynx
My first glimpse of the feline was at 110km per hour on the right hand side of the highway. The cat’s sun bleached golden brown body appeared to be resting with only the long black tips of its ears giving any indication of life.
I quickly decelerated and pulled over to the side of the road. I hastily grabbed my camera and carefully approached the animal. Sure enough, it was lying in a bunch of small mixed vegetation, near a small ravine. I then called out to the cat to let it know I was near.
As I got closer it became evident this cat was a lynx; a big pawed, furry faced lynx. Unconcerned, it stood up, stretched its back like an old house cat, and faced me. In this motion I realized that this cat was at one time quite large for a lynx and likely a male. His thin frame suggested he weighed only 15 or 20 kilograms. Even at that, most of him was likely fur. However, in his prime with an extra few kilograms on him, he was probably a king of the medium sized carnivores of the forest. Now though, he was old, gaunt and not the least bit ready to sprint away. Instead, as I snapped away several frames from 15 metres away, it started to assertively step directly towards me.
I should tell you that I was on Alberta’s Highway 40 heading northwest between Hinton and Grande Cache, Alberta—an area rich with wildlife of all shapes and sizes. Having lived in this area for some time before, and spending countless hours exploring it for15 years or so, I have had my share of wildlife encounters with all sorts. This however, was quite different.
The cat came within 10 metres of me before I loudly told it to stop; which it did. For the ensuing few minutes we gazed at each other from a respectful mutually agreed upon distance. The lynx even sat back down and started cleaning itself!
Though I am fit but small, and speculating on the age and observing the physical condition of this cat, I still did not want to take any chances. It could be starving, have distemper, or be thinking I might be a threat. I then turned and briskly walked back to my truck. Interestingly, as I turned to walk away, so did the lynx!
Once back in my truck I decided to drive back to the lynx and park nearby in the event of the lynx’s unpredictable nature turning hostile. I don’t want to give the impression that I normally approach wild carnivores, but in this particular case I went back with my camera and a large, solid hiking stick. I had only ever seen a lynx once before on the same highway in the thick of winter. This time it just so happened to be a late July afternoon and this lynx was more than willing to pose.
In no way did I feel threatened, nor did I threaten the animal. I tried to continue conveying a sense of the same non threatening curiosity this cat was showing to me.
I walked confidently towards it calling, “Here kitty, kitty.”
Its big serious faced turned to me as I stepped closer. As soon as I stopped he started taking slow confident footsteps towards me.
I called out, “That’s enough!” and it stopped.
I then waved my hiking stick around to make myself appear larger. Unimpressed, the lynx just sat back down and started liking its paws. Typical cat!
For a few more minutes we just stared back at each other from a few metres (by this time we were both sitting). Finally, I had an idea for some amusement. As I was sitting on a hill, and the lynx was below me I started rolling some large rocks down the hill well away from him. The cat would then ‘chase’ the rocks and bat them with its paws. We repeated a round of this game with a plastic bottle, which after biting a few times, kitty didn’t so much like the taste of.
Soon, there were no more toys for the game to continue and the lynx resumed its nap. After some time, I called out to it again, and stepped a little closer. The lynx reciprocated. This continued until it was a mere two metres away, and we were now attracting the attention of passing motorists. The exhilarating urge to let it sniff my fingers was clouding my better judgement. The idea of touching a lynx seemed all too real and one step too close.
I called out, “Stop!”
We gazed at each other. Those big paws stood in front of me like oven mitts, and his wild magenta eyes stared intently at me with his grizzled face connecting to the body of a cat that had likely seen many experiences in the bush. Its loose skin draped over long, tired leg bones that now only wanted to rest. He looked peaceful and wise.
However, by now a concerned motorist had stopped in his car to ask if I was okay. I was starting to feel somewhat foolish, as the lynx was still sitting only a couple metres away from me. I turned to walk up to the motorist, and the cat slowly stepped back to the location of its original nap. After assuring the gentleman I was fine, we watched as the lynx continued his lazy saunter back to the ravine. I thanked the man and his companion for stopping, and jumped into in my vehicle.
I drove away wondering if my curiosity had gone too far and whether or not I had put my safety and that of others as well as the cat’s in jeopardy. Sure, it was a lanky, ultra senior citizen lynx still fully capable of inflicting severe harm. Though, at no time was this cat threatening me, nor did I give any sign of being intent on harming it. Moreover, despite being much bigger and healthier than it, plus the fact I had in my possession a big stick, I doubt he felt threatened by me. Rather, I felt at ease in his presence. It was a big house cat that typically kills nothing larger than a snowshoe hare.
While I do not by any means recommend for people to pursue close encounters with wildlife, the ability to experience such a marvellous and normally shy creature so close and for so long makes one truly appreciate what a precious gift we have in the remaining wilderness around us. From this experience I feel it is our curiosity of the natural world and wildlife which rewards us with an overwhelming sense of awe, gratitude and even spirituality. In turn, such a connection can be enhanced and reciprocated safely through increased authentic education and conservation methods.
Yes, my encounter might have been a gamble, but in this case I truly feel curiosity was worth it.
I live on Gould Avenue, North Bay, Ontario and this morning around 8 a.m. ; one of my dogs started to bark and the little one, Cleo, ran towards the end of my backyard and right there behind my fence was A White Tail Deer (large) with I believe the horns were straight up, not curved.
Anyways, once my dog started to run towards it, it turned around and took off.
This Spring we had 3 Moose early morning around 4 a.m. in the morning; however, my dogs woke up because those 3 Moose walked onto my front lawn and then, into the neighbours yard; however, I told my little dog to go back to sleep and to come downstairs, so she did. And I didn't personally, see the Moose, because I thought my dog was barking for that stray cat that roams the neighbourhood.
However, my neighbour saw them, and the other one; knows a lot about animals and he showed me the tracks in his yards.
Right behind our houses is the Highway 11 heading to the Northgate Square Mall (Walmart); so for those animals to get to our street; they had to cross 6 streets and the very busy street of Airport Hill.
I'm an animal lover; however, I'm glad that my backyard is fenced in; so my two dogs won't get hurt; and neither will the wild animals.
Thank you for listening,
J. , North Bay, Ontario
Hi and thanks for the info on your site. Its been helpful!
Please see the picture attached. I took this picture on Monday from the roof of the office tower I manage in Old Montreal. It’s a young one and the mother tried to dive bomb my mechanic that morning for being on the roof.
Just thought you might find this cool.
Have a great day!
Hey everyone. Isn't it surprising what turns up in our backyards sometimes?
My Dad made a pond in our backyard - in the suburb of Whitby ontario - about 8 years ago. It is kept in a natural state, it's about 1 ft. deep on average and about 10 ft. long. He did this with the intention of beautifying the backyard and enjoying the ambience a pond creates... To our surprise it has done much more!!
We have fish in the pond, and there is a constant flow of new minnows to be found in every corner of the pond. Every June, dragonflies are born in our pond and can be seen flying around or resting on the lily pads. It's a year round water source for birds and local rabbits.
This year, 1000 or so tadpoles have hatched! The pond is a safe haven for them - no really serious predators out to get them... It's so fun to watch their behaviour and watch them grow so rapidly.
We live in the middle of a city, and it surprised us all to see a great blue heron the other day hunting at our pond. I was scared for our fish but at the same time I was thrilled to know we are helping out the amazing great blue heron in some way. Sure, it took a few fish, but that's nature!
Bottom line: Make a pond! Or have fun in your backyard by incorporating a little more of mother nature.
John, Whitby, Ontario
Some days are simply crammed with enough experience to last a lifetime. Even before breakfast.
The bedroom was dark in the early morning hours but I awoke gasping for air. As usual, my companion cat, Crawford, was snuggled into the valley of bedding by my arm; but instead of the smell of fresh fur, he was reeking of skunk. The bedroom atmosphere was suffocating and with this four-legged cuddlier, the whole house would soon be unbearable. Gasping, I threw off the covers and stumbled into the kitchen. Quickly, pouring tomato juice into the laundry tub, I grasped the offending fur ball and firmly placed him in the basin. There was a yellow patch on his right shoulder which appeared to be a direct hit. With a vice-like grip on the scruff of his neck, I energetically sloshed the tomato juice into the fur. His black-and-white coat changed to black-and-pink. He was not a happy cat but, strangely, he seemed to appreciate my efforts. As he was placed out the door, the musky smell was still noticeable but bearable.
Outside, the mares were happy to see signs of their breakfast. Two piles of sweet green hay, placed two horse-lengths apart in the field, elicited a frisky romp from the barn to the pasture. But when I lifted the water hydrant handle to fill the tub only a discouraging dribble came out. Our clean, fresh water comes from high up the mountain, down Hillsong Creek through pipes to a series of settling boxes and reservoir. Low water pressure is an ominous sign: it means a problem somewhere in the system so an investigative hike up the waterline becomes necessary. Breakfast would have to wait. I strapped on my tool pouch and set off through the pasture and followed the deer path up the mountain.
The first stop was at the reservoir. Not even a gurgle echoed in the empty tank. So on up the mountain I went, following the creek bed to the collecting pond and waterfall. Scented cedar, hemlock and fir canopied the path. Lacy patterns of morning sun were embroidered on the thick soft mosses and fragile forest plants along the sides of the creek. After the second portion of step and strenuous climbing, using hands and feet to search out footholds and cling, I stopped for a breather. The morning forest was quiet.
Clambering over the last log, the sound of splashing gurgling water greeted my entrance into a small ravine headed by a waterfall which contained the pond shaped by nature and dammed with sandbags. The backed-up water was low and silt on the bottom had clogged the intake pipe so lifting the end of the pipe, I started scooping silt out of the pond with an old coffee can. As air in the can was replaced by thick sloppy silt, bubbles burped to the surface followed by a loud slosh as I flung the sludge into the forest beyond the pond. Dip and slosh, dip and slosh. Kneeling on the sandbag dam, I began to sense I was not alone. Perhaps my neighbour who shares the creek water? I hadn’t heard anyone approaching but then, I was being rather noisy. Straightening, I looked around to where the steep trail tipped over to enter the clearing. Standing across the centre of the trail, watching me, were TWO COUGARS like a visual echo. They were beautiful. I was stunned with admiration. Young, but fully grown, their coats looked soft and perfect. Such dignity. Such promise of power and confidence of instinct. Time stopped.
There was no aggression in their eyes, the second one even looked a bit wary. The splashing had attracted their attention and the strange antics of this human animal held their curiosity. As we watched each other, the realization of my vulnerability stole into my mind. I was in a ravine with a waterfall behind, steep sides and the fastest way out was down the trail where the two cougars were standing. They were less than 20 feet away. As an adult, I would be tough to eat but might be fun to play with. I reviewed what I knew about dealing with cougars and spoke to them, softly, to assess their reactions. The second one, more cautious, moved off as if released from a hypnotic spell. The closer cougar moved a few steps, and then paused.
We couldn’t just stand there staring at each other now could we? By rushing back down the trail I would create a challenging situation she couldn’t back out of. So I returned to my task. Taking off boots and socks, I stepped into the shallow pond with the silt can. The can gurgled and swooshed and the water thickened with stirred up silt. From the bottom I dug out rocks and old sandbags while considering my next move. Rather than becoming bored, the cougar appeared to be entertained.
Normally, humans are fearful creatures or predators and shoot cougars so, from the cougar’s point of view, it wasn’t good for her to become comfortable being near people. Stepping out of the pond, I placed my hands on my hips and gave her a loud and firm lecture about how BA..A..AD people are to cougars, putting growls into the words and assertiveness into the body language. She listened, and then leapt away into the deadfalls and brush. To give her the opportunity of a dignified retreat I went back to work, finishing the pond cleaning.
Still not feeling alone, I looked along the ridge above. There she was, lying down relaxed and enjoying the show. Time to get tough. I built up a steam of anger, looking big, yelling and waving my arms about, slapping a tree with a rotting stick lying beside the pond. That did it. She disappeared behind the ridge. Giving her time to leave, I cleaned up the last of the silt and watched the pond level rise, then replaced the intake pipe. My gaze searched the ridge on both sides, and then replaced the intake pipe. My gaze searched the ridge on both sides, wondering if she had found a more discreet spot from which to watch. No sign of her, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t there. Remaining alert but not rushing, and putting deliberate confidence into my actions, I found another stick and made my way back down the creek bed to a filling water reservoir and to home.
Once home, I was overwhelmed with joy. The cougars confirmed that respect was a positive reaction. Unless the animal is trapped or starving, fear begets aggression. Fear is sensationalized by the media. So many stories of cougars attacking people but, according to Canadian Wildlife authorities, in the past 100 years in Canada, only 17 people have been killed by cougars. There are more deaths caused by man’s vehicles each year. Even so, two days later when I had to check the pond again, I let the neighbour know where I was going and I called her when I got back. Climbing into the forest may be safer than driving to town but it still makes sense not to be foolish
Gail, Canyon, BC
On your delightful site, you write of the back bear,
"Although rarely heard, the black bear has several distinct calls. These include growls, whining, jaw snapping, and loud snorts of many kinds. These sounds are usually emitted when the bear is afraid or threatened. A female with cubs may warn them of danger with a loud woof-woof and call them in with a whining or whimpering sound. The cry of a young cub in trouble is similar to the crying of a human baby."
We hung our food high on a Ponderosa on the Tuolumne River one summer in the less traveled northern part of Yosemite National Park in California. We were aware that a hoary old bear was watching us. At midnight she brought her cubs, whom she had clearly trained to open hung food. They were extremely noisy, bleating with excitement just like sheep! It was a very strange but joyful cacophony. While their mother watched, they scampered up the pine to open our "piñatas." They leapt out, ripping the sacks with their claws as they fell, landing unscathed on the springy forest floor far below. They utterly demolished the sacks on the second try.
It was quite a haul, as two folks on their honeymoon had joined us with fudge and brownies! We persuaded them to let us hang their food. We have awesome tooth marks on our mess kits, but the Gatling-gun-like bleating really stands out in our memories of the event. It was clearly a very special outing for the two young cubs. (I'd guess they each weighed over 40 lb.)
Thanks for the marvelous website!
Lisa, Livermore, CA
My story is about urban wildlife. One summer day I was travelling up Connors Road in Edmonton. It was a beautiful day and I was enjoying the scenery when for some reason I slowed down.
I suddenly noticed what my mind had subconsciously seen... a family of skunks crossing the road in front of me. I stopped and even the oncoming traffic stopped. No one honked or moved. I'm certain we all didn't want to be sprayed.
But as I sat there I became enchanted with the line of kits. The mother was leading them across and the kits were following nose to tail. I counted 10 kits. Is that a normal amount for skunks?
Anyways, the last kit was particularly slow and he got lost. He started wandering around. Soon his mama came looking for him and all 9 of his brothers and sisters. Now the line was a hilarious circle of confused kits. Mama Skunk and all the drivers stayed patient and she eventually got them sorted out and continued across the road.
I checked my clock and realized it was 8 minutes and not a impatient honk from anyone. I wouldn't need a tomato bath that night!
A great day of cross country skiing along a remote trail in the Grey Bruce Conservation area in in Ontario, the afternoon sun sparkled through the snow covered trees from the heavy snow-fall the day before. I chose a barely visible trail along the Rankin River, gliding my way over and down the gentle hills enjoying the fresh cool air on a beautiful blue-sky day. At the crest of a hill looking down toward the river I spotted movement in the water. As a freelance nature photographer ever ready for any opportunity to capture wildlife, my only thought was to reach for my camera, shoot and then investigate what I was looking at!
To my great surprise and delight I observed two feral swans majestically swimming upstream along a small corridor of water that snaked along the frozen river. I was breathless with wonder at the slight of these two birds, as I noted that one was a Trumpeter and the other a Mute. I immediately thought of them as the “The Odd Couple”. I had to think quickly and decided to pursue and overtake them, hopefully able to secure a better angle as they approached up the river. In a frenzied, if not enthusiastic struggle, I ploughed though the snow, breaking trail to find just the perfect spot to lay in wait for another opportunity to photograph the two. That day was transformed into a surreal land of snowy serenity as I captured photo after photo of their gentle sweep up the river.
The trumpeter swan (Cygnus Bubbinator) is the world's largest member of the waterfowl family. They have an angular wedge-shaped head profile, with the black bill appearing to merge with the eye. Their feet, legs and bills are jet black, with an orange-red border on the mandible (lower jaw) and have snowy white feathers with up to an 8-foot wingspan. They are native to North America and by 1912; the species was close to extinction, having been hunted for its skin, feathers, meat, and eggs. Since this time it has made an amazing recovery and is no longer listed as endangered, mainly due to its protection and the Trumpeter Swan Reintroduction Program.
The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is a Eurasian member of the swan family. Despite their name and tendency to be quieter than other kinds of swans, they are not mute, and do vocalize. The Mute is a large all-white waterfowl with up to a 7-foot wingspan, long curved neck, black face and a bright orange bill with a black knob on the top front. Mute Swans were introduced to north America in the late 1800s primarily for their ornamental value and has since has been widely viewed as an invasive species because of its rapidly increasing numbers. Mute swans can be aggressive in its protection of the nest and can be a formidable adversary with its impressive hissing, able to chase away predators as large as a fox. Swans pair with mates for life. The female (pen) and the male (cob) mate as 2-year-olds, but delay breeding until their third, fourth, or even fifth year. If one of the pair is lost, a new mate will be found.
I contacted the renowned wildlife biologist Harry Lumsden, a Member of the Order of Canada, who is the authority on swans and a wealth of knowledge. He is notable for the extraordinary television documentary of a team who were striving to reintroduce the Trumpeter Swan to Ontario. They had to teach the Swans how to migrate, and trained them by teaching them to fly their migration route beside ultra light aircraft. As the “Odd Couple” were two different species, Dr.Lumsden assured me of the improbability that they were mates. Swans are social and enjoy the company of other swans regardless of species. Dr. Lumsden had some experience with a mixed brood of swans resulting in hybrids, although only in captivity. The Grey Bruce Conservation Authority had not received any reports of sighting of swans and very pleased to hear the Trumpeter was more then likely one of the off spring of the Reintroduction program.
Although the Trumpeter Swan has made an amazing recovery and is no longer listed as endangered, the Trumpeter swans can still be considered threatened. Swans may develop lead poisoning by ingesting lead shot and fishing sinkers during feeding, coupled with the widespread destruction and degradation of our wetland areas also decreases suitable habitat areas. It remains the responsibility of everyone to ensure that this magnificent species remains a legacy for future generations to enjoy.
Ingrid, Nature Photographer - Indi-photo
I don't watch a lot of TV but I had it on today and heard a familiar tune. It was a tune I remember from my childood when I watched TV on the weekends way back. It was the tune from your Hinteland Who' Who commercials. Wow, did it ever bring back memories for me. I grew up on a farm in Caledon, Ontario and have always loved nature and its wonders and now I photograph as much of nature as I possibly can. It is amazing what you can find in your own backyard . I also camp and hike a lot, as well, and am always snapping pics wherever I go. My husband is the same so we both have hundreds of pics of birds, flowers, bugs, raccoons and so on. We just love them all. Thanx for all you do have done and continue to do for the love of nature!
Hi I am Laura and I am 9 years of age.
I was very sad today when I was walking my dog with my mom that they might build houses over a beautiful walking trail that is called the Baille Ard Trail. It will take many homes of animals with it. That's how my dog Maggie met most of her doggy friends and my mom even made 1 or 2 friends there. Some people are having meetings about this, but a lot of other people use it like seniors, schools (my school even went there once) and people use it to de-stress. I would like to pass this info on.
Laura, Sydney, Nova Scotia
During our summer camping season (2008) at our favorite camp ground we had the pleasure watching a pair of Woodpeckers prepare a tree that they had selected to raise their young. Weekend after weekend we returned to the same spot down by the playground to see how our new friends were making out. Much to our delight one weekend we could hear the chirping of a new born chick coming from inside the tree.
This one particular weekend though our enjoyment turned to distress. I recall it was mid afternoon when my wife said that she and her friend from the campsite across the road were going for a walk. When they returned she was visually upset. I quickly asked her what was wrong. With tears in her eyes she told me that someone had dragged a picnic table over to the tree and forcefully put a stick into the hold the woodpecker were using as a door. The chick was inside crying and the adults birds were nowhere insight. They were successful in removing the stick. They quickly left the area in the hope that the parents would return and had not abandoned the chick.
Every half hour or so she would return to the area to see if the parents had returned, much to her disappointment they were nowhere to be seen. As the daylight gave way to the onset of darkness she pleaded with me to go visit the baby to see if the parents had returned. Several trips on foot and several drive byes in the van, shining
flashlights towards the tree; we were pretty sure that if the parents didn’t return by morning that the baby would not survive.
First thing in the morning she looked at me and said please check on the baby for me. As I approached the playground I thought I could see a bird leaving the area around the tree, but the closer I got the quietness of the morning became the only sound I could hear. Fearing that the chick was no longer with us, thoughts of how to break the news to my wife and kids raced through my mind. I slowly walked up to the tree and just as I got close enough to touch the tree another bird came out of the tree and flew away. As I turned quickly to remove myself from the area I could hear the baby chirping loudly once again. What an up lifting feeling, I could not wait to return to the camper and give my wife the good news.
Once back to the campsite, the first thing I did was congratulate my wife by saying, “congratulations sweetheart, the parents have returned, you saved the baby’s life.” Although she said that she was relieved, she needed to see for herself. So off she went to investigate the return of the parents. What started out to be a very depressing weekend, turned out to be a pleasant one!
Every time we walked by that tree after that day we took even more pleasure in seeing and hearing the birds. One day while walking with the kids we could see a little head peeking out the hole. Oh, what excitement was felt by all! Quickly preparing the camera and scratching as the side of the tree, the little one stuck its head up and I managed to get a picture for my wife’s photo album. The rest of the summer was spent watching the young bird grow until it left the nest. I wonder if that woodpecker knows how lucky it was to have a very special human friend looking out for its well being?
Hello, my name is Amanda and I would like to introduce myself and tell you about some of our recent experiences on our journey. My husband and I decided to take our business on the road while homeschooling our children while living in an RV travelling Ontario and enjoying the beautiful natural setting along with so much education we all learn day-to-day since January 2008.
On my company blog called Nabweekly.ca we dedicate much of it to Ontario Parks and wildlife as we currently are staying in Arrowhead Provincial Park volunteering our time to help out around the park and also used Hinterland Who’s Who to link up more information on many wildlife we have come across. I have had many encounters with moose, a black bear, marten and much other wildlife with thousands of pictures we are still in the process of enhancing and framing as we take more each day.
I have stories and many pictures in my gallery in Nabweekly.ca explaining our journey. Please feel free to contact us or link us up if you are interested in our daily journey.
Thank you for your many years of education as I always enjoyed and still do enjoy listening when your information segments on our precious wildlife come on tv and now enjoy reading on your website, my children also enjoy when they see these segments and now they especially enjoy living them.
I have an interesting story to share with you. My husband and I love little song birds and we keep several feeders in our backyard for them to feed. Today my husband got up early and took his truck to the dealership several miles away to be serviced. As he was sitting on a bench waiting for them to finish with his truck, a wild cardinal lit on his shirt pocket. He reached over slowly and moved the little bird to his finger. After sitting there with the little bird on his finger for about ten minutes, he decided to get up and walk around to the front of the building to see if anyone had an explanation for his new friend. After a few minutes, the little bird took flight. The people at the dealership could not believe what they had just witnessed and neither could my husband.
Let me know if anyone has had such an experience. Red birds are suppose to bring good fortune. I hope so.
Great Blue Heron
I live in a small town east of Lethbridge Alberta called Coaldale. Last Spring, my dad took my brother and I fishing at Fincastle Lake, east of Taber, Alberta. The fishing that day was bad, and we caught nothing. So, my brother and I went swimming. We decided to swim over to an island in the lake 50ft from the shore. I brought my camera along with me. Once we were at the island we saw this huge old dead tree on a neighboring island. It was a colony of about 10 nesting Great Blue Herons. We waded over and took some pictures. I was really lucky they didn't fly away, and I was able to some good photos.
This was truly a wonderful day! I decided to venture out on a hike and check on my Great Horned Owl nest to see how they were doing. When I got there, mom was alone and scanning the vicinity for dad as soon as I got close. I knew to be cautious and just quietly waited for her to settle down. She stared at me for a couple of minutes and then spread her massive wings and swooped out of the tree to another near by. I was puzzled for a second or two and kept a wary eye on her and a lookout for dad and then I looked at the nest. It was a wonderous, beautiful moment in my life that I shall never forget. Two babies lifted their heads and with wide eyes watched every move I made as I scrambled for that perfect shot with my camera. I snapped several shots and then stopped in amazement. Mom had been closely watching me and suddenly, I felt as though she was looking right into my soul and allowing me the priviledge of seeing her babies after all these weeks of watching and waiting. I took a couple more pictures, thanked her and quietly left her to be alone with her family.
Was she merely moving to a better location to be able to protect her babies from an intuder if need be or had she grown used to me and was giving me the gift of being able to see her babies? I would like to think it was a gift as that is truly what it was. A beautiful gift.
Valerie, Loreburn, SK
I am Ainslee. I am 8. I go to cape breton a lot!!!! WHhe I was going to Margareeta I saw a baby bear. It was very cute..!!! But it ran up the hill
On Fri. April 25, 2008 we had a Colorado low. This low usually brings an abundance of birds. On Sat. April 26, 2008 we noticed this pink-sided junco. This bird is very rare in Ontario. This subspecies normally breeds in Wyoming & Montana. We are very lucky to have this bord visit.
I am enclosing 2 pictures that I took on Sat. April 26, 2008. This rare bird stayed with us for 13 days. He left us on Fri. May 9, 2008.
All the very best to all the birds & birders out there.
James, Gorham Township, Canada
In reference to the article Mistaken Identity - I had the same experience ! We were living in Sprucewoods , outside the Shilo Base , Manitoba - was in 1982 or so . Was in the evening and I spied what I thought was a hummingbird at the petunias - also noticed the long feeler uncoiling to sip or whatever - sent the Info to the Brandon Sun - the Editor enjoyed unusual tidbits - then in September a crocus ( Prairie that is ) under our picnic table , which I sent him - said he'd have to clean his glasses from then on so he wouldn't miss all the unusual stuff !!
I just happened to be looking up what this wonderful looking creature that I have seen was. I could have sworn it was a hummingbird. But it seemed to friendly to me. I just happened to have my camera with me and when I had gotten home to look at the pictures I noticed that it didn't have a beak but a tube like thing which it was drinking the nectar. Also it had Antennea. Hummingbirds don't have anntennae. So I looked it up and found out that it was either a Hummingbird Sphinx Moth or a Hummingbird Hawk Moth. Either way its not a bird at all....its a bug!!. Probably one of the most extraordinary creatures I have seen in a long time, so I thought I would share it with you :) I've attached a photo of it.
Sandie, Imperial Beach, Ca.
What on earth was pretty much my first comment upon seeing this brilliant colored song bird out at my brother's friend's cottage on Lake Manitoba. I thought at first it was an oriole but I realized quickly that the colouring was wrong. Orioles have a kind of golden orange colouration where this bird, to use my brother's description, "looks like a hotrod!". Its colouration is more of a flaming red. I think I may be going crazy but I'm willing to hazzard a guess that the bird in this picture may be a vermillion flycatcher. the photo is blurry and in no way does the elegant little bird any justice. Tthe flaming red colouration was exactly that! Flaming vermillion red! I have never seen such a beautiful bird in my life!
Hey, there. What's up!
I see a gopher on my junior school playground almost everyday. Except I've never been able to take a picture of it because it was scared of me.
When I was still in elementary school, there were rabbits and their feces everywhere on the playground.
Last time, I went to Banff, I saw a chipmunk sort of animal. I squeaked like an animal at it and it kept on staring at me and replied with some squeaks.
Last time I went to Kananaski Country, I saw lots of deer on the road when I was on my way home.
When I was still in China, I got to ride horses, taking pictures with a lot of other horses such as cowbirds, I also got to feed a lot of animals.
Nancy, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
HWW Note - Nancy, the animal you saw in Banff was likely a pika.
Last year we were camping in Tobermory, Ontario. We set up camp and put the cover around the windshield of the RV. The next day I noticed a leaf had fallen in between the cover and the windshield. When I came back a little later the leaf had moved. On closer inspection discovered it was a brown bat.
It was amazing he had climbed in between the cover and the glass. We had a perfect view of the little guy. He would sleep, scratch, then clean himself, move around and sleep some more. Sometimes he would stretch his wings and give them a thorough cleaning, it was great to watch.
Around 10 o’clock at night he headed for the upper corner of the window and away he went. He flew around our campsite for awhile then was gone.
The next morning got up and there he was back under the cover sound asleep. He had adopted us. It was great. We were there for a week and he would leave every night at dusk and be back in the morning when we got up.
Being between the cover and glass we had a perfect view of all his habits. It was amazing. The last night we were there when he took off we removed the cover so he would have to go somewhere else in the morning. Was sad to see him go.
Took lots of pictures and movies of our visitor. Was something I won’t forget.
Not everyone gets a front row seat to the life of a bat.
On April 27, 2008, my mom saw our dog face-to-face with a cottontail rabbit and our dog didn't even chase it! Then the rabbit got it's buddy and went around to the front and sat in the middle of the yard. After that they went running around our tree chasing a squirrel. Crazy rabbit!
hello, my name is Trisha,
I have a couple stories.
My first was a couple years back when my sister and I were home by ourselves and we had no idea what was outside of our door until a neighbour had called knowing we were home alone to tell us that there was a bear at our steps. So, my sister told me to stay away from the window but I knew no better so went to the window and there was a big black bear tearing at our wooden tool box (it was pretty large and we had put garbage in it). We had tried multiple times to scare it off, a man drove into our driveway and chased it off with a rake but it did not work. We had a problem. The bear kept coming back. Then our dad came home, and he has a black truck with a loud muffler so when he pulled in the driveway and the bear ran for it and crossed the road. We havent had a bear here since!
My second story happened just last night. We had a raccoon in our birdfeeder and it was so fearless. We shone a light on him, hit the window, and everything possible that we could do while inside. After about 50 minutes, it went off. It hasn't come back yet, butI hope it does, iI love the little raccoons.
Trisha, Muskoka, Ontario
Hi it's me Deven again.
Once I was walking in the bush when I saw this bird. I didn't now what it was. It was beautiul. I never saw a bird as nice as this one.
I don't now what it is could you e-mail me back to tell me what it was please?
Hope you like it.
HWW to Deven
The bird photographs you sent are of an American woodcock. The woodcock is typically found exactly as your picture shows, nestled into grass and leaves blending in. They tend to be more active at night (note the large eyes).
Hey, there. What's up!
I almost saw a gopher on my junior school playground everyday. Except I never got a picture of it because it was scared of me.
When I was still in elementary school, there were rabbits and their feces everywhere on the playground.
Last time when I went to Banff, I saw a chipmunk sort of animal. I squeaked like an animal at it and it kept on staring at me and replied with some squeaks.
Last time when I went to Kananaski Country, I saw lots of deers on the road when I was on my way home.
When I was still in China, I got to ride horses, taking pictures with a lot of birds such as cowbirds, I also got to feed a lot of animals.
Nancy, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
My name is Devyn. I am eight years old and I used to live in Moosonee. There are lots of bears there. Once there was a bear in my backyard. There are also lots of bears that eat garbage at the dump. They were black bears.
Every day I go for a walk with my german shepherd cross dog. I noticed that every day a great horned owl would swoop low and head out across the field. Otto would follow for a while and then after tiring of the chase, turn and come back. Finally one day, I happened to look up and to the right. There was mom, well hidden and watching every move we made. We no longer walk there so as not to bother the happy couple, but I do occassionally drive by and check on them. I am hoping to soon see the babies!
Picture taken outside of Loreburn, SK by Valerie
Hi, my name is Stephanie. I have a few interesting wildlife stories to share that would probably only happen once in a lifetime.
Just today, as I was walking home from my school, which just so happens to be by a creek, I saw a big bird in a tree by the creek. It had a white head, and a brown body. It wasn't an eagle, though. So I went on this very website to see what kind of bird it was. I soon found out it must be an osprey. It was very unusual for me to see because I have never seen one before, even though I've only been alive for 11 years. On to the next story...
At this house I used to live at, we had a big window in our living room. Outside, a roof kind of came down from there. Practically everyday, this hawk, who me and my family called Glider, would come and perch on the roof there. I wish I still lived there, cuz' now he's probably looking for us. There other hawks here in B.C., infact, I've seen as many as 3 hawks flying near by each other and in the spring I see them just about every day, so hawks are a common sight. But never, will there ever be a hawk like Glider who comes and perches by your window.
One day, at school, me and my friend went by the fence around the school yard, looking at the creek. Then, we spotted a great blue heron! It was so big! Herons do nest in trees in B.C., but I've never seen one so close up, plus it ate a fish!
Okay, I didn't see this one, but my mom did! At night, my mom heard this noise from outside! She went to see what it was, and there was a female deer in our front yard, and a live in a town, except I'm a country girl. Anyway, It got startled and jumped over a nearby fence. Why didn't my mom wake me up to see it?
If I have anymore animal stories I'll send em' this way!
Stephanie, Vernon B.C.
As a resident of Eastern Ontario I have been blessed with many visits from a wide-range of wildlife, right in my own back yard, but this winter brought two unusual surprises.
During the cold, snowy months I like to sprinkle seed along the banister of our backyard deck for small birds to feast on and throughout the day observe them through the glass of our patio door. One day as I glanced outside, I did, indeed, see birds, but not the little fluttery fellows I was accustomed to. What greeted me, instead, was a gathering of gangly wild turkeys! My movements startled them and they dispersed in a flurry of feathers and throaty gawks (making me jump as well), but that didn’t discourage them from returning. (Or me from checking them out again. I learned to approach the door more cautiously after that.)
Throughout most of the winter, these comical creatures made regular visits to my deck, pecking eagerly at whatever leftovers they could salvage. Sometimes they got lucky and showed up just after I’d replenished the supply, a veritable feast that they consumed in no time, but I (if not the little birds) was delighted by their visits.
The second surprise resulted from performing a similar task.
I have a bird feeder attached to our dining room window and can easily re-fill it from inside. We have crank windows that open vertically and one day as I leaned out to top up the seed, something from below caught my attention. Looking down I noticed a reddish-brown figure perched on the lip of the basement window well. It took a second for me to realize that it was a bird, and when I did, I started talking to it. There was no response at first, but after a few more coos of Hey you, how ya doin’? Are you okay? its head turned a little to one side, then slowly rotated upward and I was greeted by a pair of sleepy, soulful eyes that looked directly into mine. Oh my gosh! I was staring into the adorable little face of a saw-whet owl!
Thinking it was injured I donned a pair of gloves and went outside to tend to it. It allowed me to get quite close (I later learned that this is not uncommon) as I moved cautiously toward it, but after a certain point the lazy-eyed expression instantly morphed into wide-eyed mistrust and it flew into the trees nearby. At least it wasn’t injured.
I went back inside and sat at the window to study it. I had a great view. The little owl stayed in the same tree for about fifteen minutes before something caught its attention and it took flight. I was delighted because it returned to the basement window and I hurried downstairs to get a closer look.
The little fellow (or gal) remained as a guest outside our residence for three days, coming and going as it felt the need. I have a feeling that the window well harboured a juicy tidbit because at one point, while filling the window feeder again, I looked down and noticed the owl was eating something. Trekking to the basement for closer examination I noticed a rodent clutched in the bird’s talons.
Oh, how I wish I’d had a digital camera . . . or even film for the old 35mm I own . . . but these birds really did visit and I’m so fortunate to live where I do!
Lorrie, Ashton, ON
When I was in Mirimachi last year doing some trout fishing I saw one crazy crow! While sitting on the side of the river I was admiring the flight of a Bald Eagle suddenly a crow began to chase the eagle in mid-air. My assumption was that the eagle came to close to it's nest. I managed to snap this pic, this was the first time I have ever seen this and I am sure it will be the only time :).
Camille, Moncton N.B
After reading your article on this beautiful creature in the Canadian Wildlife Federation Bulletin Spring 2008 regarding the hummingbird clearwing moth, I finally discovered what was the name of this new interesting insect. I had never seen this creature in Sudbury, Ontario before. My son, Kayvan and I were outside at dusk, last Spring one evening and noticed this hummingbird-like, butterfly-like insect who was feeding on my lilac bush. My son was quick with the camera and took a picture of it. This is the picture.
Suzele, Sudbury, Ontario
I would like to share a photo, taken in October, 2007. It is a doe nursing her fawns, and taken in my back yard in Miramichi, N.B. A rare sight, indeed. One might be extremely lucky to see this in the forest, but to witness this from our window is just extaordinary.
My Summer Hummingbird Experience
As I was doing my normal routine of replacing the seeds in the bird feeder this past summer, I heard a small, humming sound. When I turned my head, I saw a ruby throated hummingbird hovering above my head! I didn't want to scare it away so I stood still for about 10 minutes, well that's what it felt like, as the magnificent hummingbird hovered around me. It was hovering about 5 cm beside my head, and I was scared that it was going to poke me in the head with it's long, narrow beak! I guess it was waiting to drink from the hummngbird feeder, which happened to be hanging right beside me. I am still amazed to this day, because ruby throated hummingbirds are not social birds! It was truely a once in a life time experience!
Lindsay, Ancaster, ON
My name is Tatiana. I am 10 years old and I have a story about a bird. When I was 7 I went outside in my backyard and saw a baby bird that was hurt. So my dad wanted to throw it out but instead I spotted a nest and so we new it was probably the birds so Imy dad to get a ladder and some water to heal the bird and he did. So we put the bird in the nest and then later his/her mom came and gave him/her water. So instead of throwing away the bird that wasn't even dead we helped the bird heal and see his/her mom and even dad again!
Hi, My girlfriend and I were snowshoeing in Feb.08 in Algonquin park, in Ontario,on 11km hike. We came to the shore of the little lake, and a movement across the lake caught my eye. I looked but all I could see was what looked to me like just another tree stump in the snow. I took my camera and zoomed it to max and took a pic. I looked at the pick and had to zoom the pic up to max as well, I could make out that it was a animal,so I started to snowshoe across the lake. Getting closer I took some more shots, then got closer still, about 30ft.That's when I could really see what it was, although at the time, I didn't know what it was, I thought a mink or a weasel. I still remember thinking how cute he was. Here are a few of the shots of the marten.
hope you enjoy them
Gary & Joanne
I live in the forest on a mountain top in British Columbia and I have a bird feeder that I fill with black sunflower seeds. After it was in place for a few months I noticed that both squirrels and chipmunks were feeding from it as well as birds.
I would see the chipmunks running back and forth, cheeks filled with seeds as they headed back to their homes in the woods. Whenever the feeder was empty, they would hang around out front of my house or leave wild seed remains on my front porch to get my attention so I would go and fill it back up again.
I also observed one chipmunk who liked to jump up onto my Jeep. It would scurry about underneath on the frame and transmission. I wasn`t too happy about that but decided it was probably harmless while the vehicle was parked.
On more than one occassion though, after I had started my vehicle, I would see the chipmunk jump off and scurry away. So I got in the habit of checking to make sure I did not have an unwanted rider.
One day I was in a hurry and I had to go into town. I was so lost in thought that I didn`t even think of the chipmunks.
I got into my Jeep, started it up and headed off. The trip was about eight kilometers down the mountain and into the city. I parked on a busy street and went into City Hall where I had some business to take care of.
I had parked right out in front of the building and so when I was done inside, I walked out onto the sidewalk and headed for my vehicle. As I approached it, I got a real shock.
To my surprise and dismay, a chipmunk jumped down onto the ground from underneath my jeep and started looking around at the all the cars and trucks zooming past. It spun around a few times looking in all directions and appeared confused in this new world of noise and concrete. Finally is turned in my direction and looked straight at me.
I felt really bad. It had travelled in my vehicle all the way into town from its peaceful home in the forest on the mountain. I liked the chipmunks and didn`t want to lose this one. I felt sick about it and I didn`t know what to do.
But to my delight, when it saw me approaching, it jumped back up onto the underside of my Jeep. There was hope!
I kneeled down onto the pavement to try and see if I could see it but it had dissappeared somewhere in the frame. But I knew it was there and so I called out to it that it was a little" dummy" for hitching a ride and told it to hang on as I was going to cut my other errands short and head for home.
I started the Jeep up and drove down the road. I kept checking my rear view mirror and was glad to see that it hadn`t bailed out on me so far. The ride home seemed to take forever and I kept my fingers crossed, hoping for the best.
Soon I was back at the house and pulled into my driveway. I shut the engine off and jumped out, holding my breath as I got down on one knee again and started looking for my little stowaway. I called out for it to please get off my Jeep right now. Nothing. Not a sound. I feared the worst.
I stood up and walked around to the front of the vehicle and that`s when I was relieved and overjoyed to see the little chipmunk near the front grill, alive and well looking at me. I admonished it again in a stern voice, wagging my finger at it and ordering it to get off. Then I saw scurry around the radiator , leap to the ground and run off into the forest. As it disappeared I yelled at it not to do that ever again! I think it learned a good lesson as I have not had that problem ever since.
Mark Goddard, Kelowna, BC
A year ago, when I was six, in Mrs.O'Gorman's class, we went for a walk outside, and we saw a robin tangled in some string. It struggled to get out of the string. The more it moved, the more tangled it got. Luckily, Mrs.O'Gorman's son Neil came for a visit. My teacher bravely handed Neil the scissors and he cut the string with the robin safely unharmed. Suddenly, out of nowhere, it flew to it's mate. As the robin flew from the tree the mate flew along with it away.
I just wanted to share some photos (taken from my deck) showing the diversity of wildlife here in NB. These photos were taken over the past 6 months and represent a very small portion of my portfolio. A few critters that I have seen but have yet been able to photograph are owls, beavers, otters, mink, weasel, moose and coy-dog (sp?) (I thought was a coyote) just to name a few, and not to mention a few varieties of snake (wood snake, water snake, etc).
I also have incredible bird pictures including giant (pileated) woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers and a family of 4 eagles (2 adult and 2 youth). This past summer I even had regular visits from a hummingbird hawk moth.
Anyway, I just wanted to share because I find it absolutely incredible and each and every day I don’t know what I am going to see. I have hundreds of pictures, all taken from my deck.
D.W. (Dave) Stratton
Last summer a mother Robin made a nest under my deck!!!!. She layed three eggs. When the chicks hatched I went and checked on them every day. They were cute. Then one day they flew away.
Cody H., Lethbridge, Alberta
My 83 year old father keeps his digital camera handy in the living room at all times. This was, I think , a rabbit before it became lunch on his front yard in Trenton Ont.
My name is Colleen. I have a good idea about a better life for beavers. I think that we should save more land instead of building roads. People should stop littering in lakes so they are not polluted. And, it would help because they could swim and make more dams.
My name is Nancy and I am 11. I saw your website and this is my story. I was visting my old friends at my old house and we found a baby bird had its leg stuck in a vent. My friend's dad put a glove on and gently pulled it out and the bird found its mother.
I have the most amazing story ever. I was walking back from my karate class and just keep in mind it is very rare to see a squirrel out in -20 degrees celcius, I saw not 1, not 2, but 3 squirrels out in that weather. I managed to track one down with my friends when it started "attacking" us with not acorns but SNOW!! I was so glad my mom picked us up late from my karate class. I really wish I had my camera. That was an amazing experiance.
I sent in a loon story but Ii have one other story that was a big surprise to my mom and my uncle who wittnesed this bird with me. While we had our cabin at Falcon Lake, I was privileged to see a pileated woodpecker! The first time I saw the bird I ran to get my mom and my uncle. They were amazed when, on walking down the road, we came across this stunning 16 inch tall woodpecker pounding on a dead stump looking for food. On another occasion I discovered the nest located in a dead tree on our neighbour's property. It was an experience I will never forget, especially all those times they would wake me up pounding on the top of the phone pole at the end of our driveway!
My name is Kim and I enjoy cruising your site. I have my own story to share and it goes back to when we had our cottage at Falcon Lake in the Whiteshell region of Manitoba. I volunteered for some time with the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey and it gave me an opportunity to watch these beautiful birds. But I soon noticed something was terribly wrong. I was seeing far to much disruptive behavior from humans, like going to close to the birds when they had babies and one year the nest got swamped all three times that they tried to nest that summer! That was heartbreaking as 1998 was the first year we didn't have babies on the lake. I learned so much about the birds durring my years on the survey. Watching and learning how they comunicate, seeing the little ones grow up and grieving when the male i'd known since i was young finaly passed on back in 2003. I encourage people to watch these beautiful birds but to respect them and let them raise their young in peace so that there will always be loons on Canada's Lakes for a long time to come!
I love your website; its so cool and here’s my story. I caught a groundhog with my friend, Bryce, and gave him to the wildlife park because Harold the groundhog was making a nest under my neighbour’s doorstep. When I help animals I feel so happy.
When it was summer I went to my dad's friend's cabin. At night I saw two deer! The next day we left some food for the deers.That night we watched them eat the food. It was amazing watching them. I never witnessed that EVER in my life.
I live in Oakville, Ontario......(west Oakville), and recently have had a Cooper's Hawk in my backyard, eating it's prey! I've been curious as to where all my regular birds have gone, and now know why. I'm not sure what kind of bird it was eating, but it lasted for 1/2 hour, and then sat low in a nearby tree sunning itself, till I tried to take his or her's picture and it took off. My neighbour also has seen it in her front yard doing the same. It was like having "Planet Earth" in your own backyard, but I miss my bird friends immensely and hope they come back soon.
Hello, Hinterland Who's Who, My name is Nova and one time at a camp called RLBC Bible Camp we were playing this game and I came across this nest of Duck Eggs. They were so cool!!! I saw 3 ducklings hatch. There was 8 eggs but 2 ducklings got suffocated. It was an amazing experience!!! When I grow up I'm going to be a vet with my own clinic!
Your Fellow Animal-Lover,
My name is Deven. I love your site.
I have a story to tell you. I was looking for
snakes when I saw something move in the grass.
It was a very big (Garter snake). My dad took it
and gave it too me. He took a picture with me
and my sister Megan.
Hello, my name is Jonathan and I was reviewing your list of wildlife that will be impacted by climate change but I couldn’t help noticing that the Whiskey Jack (Grey Jay) was not included. Here in Northern Ontario, the Whiskey Jack is a staple during our winters but is/ will be affected by climate change in the following way. During the winter months, the Whiskey Jack establishes several food caches under tree bark and in tree crevasses that requires constant cool/cold temperatures in order to preserve the food to help it survive the long cold winters. With the more common temperature fluctuations we are experiencing, these food caches are susceptible to thawing and spoiling leaving the Whiskey Jack with even more obstacles to overcome in order to survive.
They are a constant companion to me during my winter ice fishing expeditions, looking for some bait scraps or the occasional piece of sandwich. Curious and graceful, our winters and ice fishing trips wouldn’t be (and sadly may not be) the same without this wonderful bird.
Thank you for your fantastic educational initiatives.
Jonathan, Northern Ontario
This summer my mom and I went camping. One early morning, I was up making us breakfast when I heard this crashing through the bush that surrounded the campsite. I turned and saw this magnificent Buck. He just stared at me for a moment then continued walking.
I was so excited! I couldn't wait for my mom to wake up so I could tell her. Just then I heard a quieter crashing noise. As I watched silently, a Doe and her Fawn followed after the Buck. I guess he was lookout or something. Absolutely breathtaking!
What makes it even better is, at lunchtime, mom and I were enjoying a quiet conversation at the picnic table (located at the edge of the camping area) and the little fawn returned. Mom and I just watched, and the little fawn, feeling safe, laid down in the grass and fell asleep! She stayed there for quite some time. Mom and I alternated between watching her and playing cards! It was a one in a million-billion day!
Thanks for reading about my camping trip adventure!
I have been a wildlife photographer for several years and have been lucky enough to have several encounters with moose, deer and other willdlife. I have a pond where I go and watch the duck migrations in the spring and fall. I was lucky enough to see a couple of otters there last fall and was very amazed that they were there. I had never seen them there before. I even managed to get a few shots of one of them. This summer I was at the pond and was again surprised to see them, except this year, there was more than two. There were five of them. I was very gratefull to be able to watch this family of otters for weeks and was able to capture a few shots of them in a small bay of the pond that they called home. I would see them coming and going out of their den under a tree that had fallen at the edge of the pond. This was one of my best experiences in the wild and I hope to watch them raise another family next year.
I just received a Bulletin from the Canadian Wildlife Federation and on p.7 it says if we have a wildlife story we'd like to share, to drop you a line. Well I do have one that might be of interest. It's about "Charlie, the Chick-a-dee" and how it cheered up my recuperating husband.
One day, this past Spring, as I was emptying some seeds in our bird feeder, a little cheeky Chick-a-dee landed on my hat. So, the next day, I offered it some feed in my hand first and to my surprise it sat on my hand and took a seed. This continued every day and became quite a habit. I named him "Charlie".
Well, my husband had been feeling down in the dumps lately and for good reason. He was recuperating from a heart attack, a quadruple by-pass surgery and discovering that he was diabetic. Then he also realized that he'd have to retire from work.
So, I told him about Charlie, hoping to cheer him up and encouraged him to see if the little bird would land on his hand. Well, sure enough. We called "Charlie" and he came all the way over to our back door, which is well away from the bird feeder, and sat on my husband's hand. It just lifted my husband's spirits. So then my husband looked forward to going outside everyday and calling Charlie over, to eat out of his hand. It's amazing what a little bird can do!
[I've attached a few pictures of "Charlie" on our hands.]
Thank you for the article about the "Coon Commando" in the Bulletin. I found it very amusing.
M. J. Speer
Hi…these 4 deer are in the back parking lot of 17 Wing( air force base ) here in Winnipeg. Guess they’re looking for recruiting…lol. Enjoy.
Ps..this picture was taken mid June so they were still growing.
We recently moved to Frankford On. We live in town.
One morning I heard a flutter on my deck and looked out to see a wild turkey mom and her baby on my deck railing and the baby was on my BarBQ I was amazed that they would make themselves at home that way. :)They stayed and drank from the bird bath and then sauntered back off towards a wooded area. I am sending a few pictures of them.
My family has been hummingbird gardening for years now. It's so special to see a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird hovering and darting through the flowerbeds in Summer. We must be in the nectar corridor because we see so many of these fascinating birds every year. I think our garden has helped to raise at least a dozen babies over the years. Our enthusiasm is spreading because now we help others all across Canada to plant the right kinds and numbers of flowers through our internet hummingbird discussion group. http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/CanadaHummingbirds/
Joe Debicki, Stoney Creek, ON
I have an amazing story. There was a velvet horn deer in my family's front yard! We live in a city so it's not normal.
One day my father, my smaller brother and I decided to take a walk in the woods. While we were there we saw a mother deer and her baby. It was just an amazing experience.
Since that "amazing experience" had such an effect on us, we decided to go again. And guess what we saw? Another deer! By then I had felt we all had interest in seeing these wonderous creatures. So I suggested another walk... and that exactly what we did.
On the third walk we were expecting to see another deer, but instead of a deer we saw a bear! Now the bear wasn't up close but it was still very nice to see.
On the fourth and fifth walk there were no more of these animals because there was some construction in a nearby place.
We started to give up on the sixth walk and on the seventh. Finally it was no more... at least for the time. But then my father got a great idea! He said "Hey, why don't we put some peanuts on the porch or in the garden?" and so my brother and I thought that was a great way to attract at least one squirrel and soon enough that thought was becoming true.
As more squirrels came we were more excited. But then my father thought it would attract something more than squirrels and so we stopped.
At least a month later we had 2 more bear witnesses. The first one was a shocker because the bear was right in our backyard! We all thought it might've been chewing on some fruits.
The second time was in our neighbor's garbage! It was a little, cute, baby bear cub.
Well... those are my stories. Hope you enjoyed them!
About a month or so ago my family and I were on our way back from Thompson, MB when we saw a bear standing by the side of the road! My dad had forgotten the camera at home so he started taking pictures with his cell phone. It was amazing, the bear just hung around forever even after we took off. That was one of my wildlife experiences. That was One Brave Black Bear.
I was at a cottage and we were down by the water. I went back up to the building and came across a hummingbird. It didn’t seem bothered by me and so I went a little closer. I put one finger in front of the bird and it hopped onto it. I walked back down to the water with the hummingbird on my finger and showed my family. Eventually the bird flew off. I will remember that day forever.
Philip, Steinbach, Manitoba
We were sitting in our dining room having a family meal when we noticed at around dusk when the sky was not quite dark a hummingbird sipping from our petunias. We thought it strange that the hummingbird would still be out this late and noticed an extremely long "beak". We all walked out onto the deck and stood right beside the strange bird. I put my hand out and it did not fly away. We realized quickly that this was not a hummingbird. It flew like a hummingbird but had this long feeding tube and beautiful colouring. I could not believe what I was seeing. It was not afraid at all. We watched it for several minutes as it sampled several flowers and then disappeared. Very quickly. Of course, nobody had their cameras ready. I watched for it the next day and finally saw it come around 10:30 P.M.. It has come back every night for the past three weeks at anywhere between 9 - 11 P.M.. I finally managed to get some shots of it and am attaching it. I have since found out it is the Hummingbird Hawk Moth. What a beautiful creature.
We live just south of Barrie, Ontario and have never seen anything like this before.
Grace, Barrie, Ontario
I was visiting my sister and her husband in Timmins, ON this summer. We were driving along a country road when I spotted some movement in the tall grass on the side of the road. I told Gary to stop the vehicle. Out of the grass emerged a moose, ever so slowly approaching the road. When she got to the centre of the road and made sure that all of the cars stopped, she looked over her shoulder towards the grassy area. Within seconds, not one but two baby moose came out onto the road! The three of them walked slowly and gracefully across the road in single file, with mom in the lead. They disappeared in the woods on the other side of the road. I wish I had my camera!
Halina, Port Credit, ON
I am inspired that anyone can help animals in so many different ways! I read the ''things you can do'' section, and wow, there are lots of things people can do to help animals. Well, me and my family put up a hard, bell shaped bird seed sack in my backyard tree. Lots of birds come now to eat! We hear them chirping every morning when we wake up. I like the sounds of chirping birds.
I have a good wildlife story to tell you guys!
For you people that havn't seen a bear before......like me........... I have a not exciting, but real story when I went to my friend's house, and I turned around,and saw a small- ish, medium- ish cub! I was so scared! It was about 9 feet away from me! I was freaked out! My friend just said to stay calm,and definetly not RUN!! I didn't run, but I slowly, slowly backed away from the cub. The mother must of been somewhere around
A couple years ago ( I think I was 7) I was camping at a nearby campground called Long Point. My family goes there every year for about a month. Well one day we were playing around on the side road playing scoop ball, when I looked to the side and I saw a painted turtle digging a whole to lay her eggs. We realized about 5 minutes later that we should leave her alone. So we went back the next day, we expected the turtle to be there but she wasn't. But we looked inside the whole and we saw little eggs. They were so small. Well the last day we were there we were about to leave. I wanted to go see the eggs. But to my luck the eggs were cracking and I saw the baby painted turtles! They were so cute! I wanted to take one home but I thought about it and I knew that they were wild and they belonged right where they were.
Thanks For Listening.
Tiffany - 12 years - Lucknow Ontario
My parents my sister and I were vacationing on a mountain in Quebec this summer. It was a cool day so we decided to go horse-back riding. Now horse-back riding up a mountain is one thing, but horse- back riding up a mountain on the slowest, most stubborn horse ever is another. As you've probably already guessed I got the slow one.
The other horses were about a few hundred yards ahead leaving slow poke and me all alone. Feeling grumpy I dismounted the horse and continued to walk up the mountain for about ten minutes, when I heard a sound near a creek where I had been planning to stop and rest. Holding the horse by the reins I looked around the corner to find a young deer, a doe and a full grown buck.
This creek wasn't very wide, a few feet at most. I was too tired to worry about scaring away the deer,
so I let the horse eat as I sat, on the other side of the creek watching the deer. They hadn't left, this surprised me a lot because I always thought deer to be very timid creatures, but as I was laying in the grass, humming, the deer grazed and drank not looking bothered by my presence in the slightest. It was a day that ill never forget
Hi, my name is Nikita. I'm from Mississauga, Ontario and I am 13 years old. I love wildlife and would do anything to protect it. Here are a few stories of some of my experiences.
Ever sinse I was little, I loved camping with my family and friends. When I was in grade one, my family and a few of my friends went camping to Algonquin Park. On the first day, we had a small visitor to dinner. It was a cute little chipmunk. We fed it nature friendly foods and for the rest of our stay, he kept coming back for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We nicknamed him Chipy. One day, my aunt was cutting strawberries for us when Chipy jumped on her leg for some strawberries. She screamed and we all laughed at her. My dad also told me that at Algonquin Park, early in the morning, he heard a moose. He turned around and saw it running right past him.
A few weeks ago, I went camping with my family and friends again. At this place, there were tons of monarch butterflies! I loved watching them while on the beach. I was happy to see them because I was aware of them being endangered because of HWW. One of my friends saw a monarch and was about to throw a rock at it. I quickly yelled out to him that it was a monarch and I had stopped him just in time.
About a year ago, my friends and I were walking home from school. As we walked we noticed a baby robin chirping on the ground and a dead robin beside it. By the looks of it, The adult robin had been attacked by a cat. I almost wanted to cry. I knew that the baby was left alone. My friends and I got a shoebox and took it to my house. We carefully(without touching it) put it of the tree in my backyard and watched it from far away. Another robin came up to it and after a few minutes, the new robin was teaching the baby one how to fly. Then, they flew off together.
I hoped you liked my stories and currently, I am trying to convince my family and friends to take interest in the wildlife around them.
Nikita, Mississauga, Ontario
Last spring we had a new neighbour move in next door. She was a real vixen - did they ever love that new deck. I've attached some pictures of her and the family.
Once we were driving to my dad's friends' house. On the way there, we saw about 5 deer eating some plants in an area where there were lots of plants and trees. As soon as they spotted our car, they ran of to another area where there was other plants and trees.
Chantal - Winnipeg, MB
I have a few sStory's to tell everyone who is reading this.
Once hen my grandpa was here on Vancouver Island, he rented a cabin that had tree's all around it (and trouble making squirrels) we were outside just talking you know "family talk" and my grandpa felt a bump on his head. Then it happened again and we looked and there was a squirrel dropping pinecones on his head, so he moved but it followed him and dropped more pinecones on his head so he had to go inside.
At my grandma and grandpa's house they live in a forest so they always have animals around their house. They have had a squirrel named Peanut, a humming bird who has come back for 2 years who's name is May, and A robin's nest as well!
Peanut's used to eating the bird seed but now he has found a mate so we don't see him anymore. May is practicing flying to the south for winter with her twins and the year before she had twins as well but one fell out and died which was very sad, and the robins have grown up and the triplets are flying too.
We have also seen quails And my grandmother' has seen a black bear too which scared as my grandma's said the Bajeepers out of her.
My dad is in school as an electrician and he is in his 4th year but when we were driving up there my brother and I saw 2 blackbears. It was amazing I had never seen blackbears before. I was so happy I had that experience which I will never forget.
I have also seen deer too, and a bird that was trying to drop wood on me and my mom when we were a Bowen Park.
Well those are all of my stories, thanks for listening!
Jaycee - Nanaimo B.C
Once we went to Banff and saw a ton of black-capped chickadees. It was so cool! We were just standing and being really quiet then we got out some bread and a ton of them came and landed on us to eat the bread.We had lots of fun and we helped the chickadees because it was -30 degrees calseeus so it was hard to find food.
It was so fun.
I live in a rural area on Vancouver Island and have had the fortune, and sometimes misfortune, of dealing and seeing some wildlife. Last summer I was laying in bed, almost asleep when I heard a grunting outside my bedroom window. When I peeked out, it was a bear scratching its bottom on my downspout. Within the last month I have seen a spotted owl, which on another occasion just about flew into my car, 2 woodpeckers (the 2-3ft variety, sorry I don't know the names of the breed), and most recently a 3 year-old male cougar. We're still dealing with the cougar as it has been around for just over a week and has been spotted by myself on my property 3 times in the last day and a half, and has been spotted on my neighbors property twice just before, and has also been seen walking up and down the middle of the road for the last week and a bit by all neighbors. I'm saddened that the conservation officers are going to be hunting to kill the cougar soon because it has been eating cats and dogs, and growled at myself when I took my puppy outside to go to the washroom.
I've had lots of face-to-face experiences with deer. Like at Presquile Provincial Park the deer will come right up to you! My brother and his friend were riding there bikes up the road there and a deer was standing right in front of them it wouldn't even move! They're really brave animals! A deer came into our campsite! At Bon Echo my friend and I were walking down the road and I stopped him and I said deer! It came only a few centimetres away from us! They are so cute!
At my cottage Chipmunks come onto your lap and eat peanuts from there it is so cool! They crawl up your leg and onto your lap! They are so cute!!!
Mary - Wooler, Ontario
We have several squirrels that come every morning to feed. When I don't have anymore nuts to feed them, they are happy to eat my peanut-butter crackers.
When finished they will come up to my kitchen window, look in until they get my attention. When they see me go towards the door, they scramble down to meet me for their next little bite.
There are 9 different squirrels that come to me. They live in the trees across and down the street from me. Early morning I will go out onto my porch and do a clicking sound and they respond almost immediately. On occasion when they didn't get my attention and they finally give up and run home, I will once again call them and they will stop in their tracks and come back to me.
Each one has its own unique markings. One I have named Clipear. She has a chunk out of her ear. Two others have short stubby tails. I call them the bobsy twin. Another has a broken tail. I call him rat-tail. A black one is called Blackie. Two more have rings around their noses. I named them Ringer. One has lots of brown markings. He is called Brownie. The last one has a problem either with his neck or blind in one eye. He leans to one side and looses his balance when he darts off. He looks a like squirrelly so that's what he's called.
I can't express how much entertainment they give my husband and I. One day the twins where playing at the base of the tree when I noticed that one of them was sitting still while the other one played with a little twig that had fallen from the tree. She flipped around for at least 5 minutes. We couldn't help but laugh hilariously. There are some family members that think of them as glorified rats. We enjoy feeding them and wish there is a way to domesticate them.
Thanks for your time.
Once I was visting Alaska and we went on a boat. We saw lots of animals. Then all of a sudden maybe about 100 or more porpoises jumped out of the water!I If I had have been downstairs on this dock thing (wihich you weren't allowed to do) I could have touched them! We also saw orcas, sea lions, sea otters and more!
It was really cool!
I have never come face to face with a lynx or other large wildlife. However, this spring I found myself at the short end of a stick with a red-winged blackbird family. I am a farm girl transplanted to the city. I live in a fairly new subdivision that still has a few “undeveloped” spots. I was delighted when I found once such “wild” spot about a five minute walk from where I live, out behind a new subdivision. Part of the old woven fence from the farm field is still there, hidden away in the greenery. There’s a creek, wild apples, thorn bushes, and other large wild vegetation. It felt like I had come home and I spent quite a bit of time there in this wilderness haven, especially at the edge of the pond.
This pond is part of a city drainage system. It is between the houses and the old fence row. Several pairs of mallard ducks raised their families on the pond this spring. There is also at least one family of red-winged blackbirds. I have also seen swallows and cardinals in the area. One day while I was sitting in the shade of one of the young trees planted at the edge of the pond I watched dragon flies chasing each other—a mating dance?
This one lovely sunny day when I came down to the pond Mr. Red-winged Blackbird came to perch on a young tree and scolded me. I moved to another tree and he came and perched on it and continued his scolding. I didn’t know what his problem was or where I should go to please him. Finally he flew across the pond and perched on the peak of a roof. He let out a cheerful ok-a-LEEE!.
He reminded me very much of the killdeers on the farm where I grew up. It was as if he were trying to lure me away from the pond. This told me his nest must be close by. I was more interested in seeing the nest than in leaving. I quickly scanned the area and decided it was futile for me with my very low vision to find something as highly treasured--and well-hidden--as a bird’s nest.
He returned to perch near me and scold me. It was not very pleasant and I soon left. Later in the day I returned. There was a SWOOSH of an adult bird and something black about half its size. Both disappeared into the scanty top of a bush about two feet taller than me. The male red-winged blackbird came after me in all seriousness. The female came out of the bush and circled directly above my head. She was far enough up, I knew it was only a warning but I also knew that she was prepared to do battle. The male was only slightly off the side and I knew that he, too, was prepared to do battle.
I was wearing a straw hat for protection from the sun. Normally it feels like a fairly substantive piece of head-gear. Suddenly it felt like only so many tufts of straw in the wind. I had no desire to feel the talons of a bird, even as small as a red-winged blackbird, hooking into it. I grew up with poultry. I also know what it feels like having a sparrow in my hands, or some other bird. Small and harmless as these creatures may appear when singing on a fence or hydro wire, they have amazing strength in their wings. And those tiny claws and beaks--they are sharp as needles and very effective.
Besides, I had seen Mr. Red-winged Blackbird earlier in the season chase off a crow many times its own size. I read somewhere many years ago that a hummingbird can chase off an eagle by attacking its eyes. I decided it would be in my own best interests to just leave the area until Mom and Dad feel more comfortable with Junior on the wing. I’ve been back many times since but I feel a different level of respect for the authority of the wild birds than I used to. They are not only pretty to see and melodious to hear, they are a power to be reckoned with.
Sarah - Waterloo, Ontario
We live in a subdivision in Kingston Ontario and last evening when letting our dog out for his late evening constitution, we discovered a fisher on our deck. The adult fisher had torn the roof off of a birdhouse on the fence beside the deck and was in the process of eating the young house sparrows that were in the birdhouse. My wife screamed, shone a flashlight in it's eyes and the fisher quickly ran away. We were not sure what the critter was at first, he was larger than our 17 lb poodle. After searching the Internet, we are now sure that it was a fisher, the size, features, color, claws, all match. It was certainly a surprise to find this aggressive animal in the middle of a subdivision.
Karen & John - Kingston, Ont
My friend and I were going from the barn to the river one November afternoon near dark to fish.
He had a small female black and white mixed Spanial dog with us, that loved to put the run onto deer.
We stopped the truck to let the dog out and she ran on ahead and we stayed behind her.
The track was along side a mixed forest in an old field that was full of scattered juniper height scrub bushes, and waist high old grass, with patches of snow.
We travelled about 50 yards and the dog was 10 yards in front of us, nose down, when all of a sudden an owl attacted the dog, bolled her over, then flew back up to the tree top, The dog got up and chased the owl barking her head off and the owl ( after we got out to check the dog ) was screaching louder than the dog's barking.
I checked out the owl on the internet and found out they can't smell and skunks are on their diet so in doing a replay of that day the owl thought the dog was a skunk.
Good thing the owl missed her mark or the dog would of ended up her dinner.
I'll never forget that day.
Eric, Wasaga Beach Ontario
Where to begin ..... well, first of all spring must be officially here, although the cold temperatures and intermittent snowfalls would not indicate the change from our winter season to spring .... the 30 or so robins on my front lawn would certainly indicate otherwise. I don't believe I've ever seen so many fine feathered friends in one place at one time. It was truly amazing !
As well, because we've had a lot of rain recently, the fields have an excess of ponds in them. In those ponds/wetlands, I had the privilege recently to witness, 4 blue herons. At one point I saw 3 take off into flight, while one remained by the water's edge. What a sight to behold ! Later on Saturday just before the sun set, I had one of these beautiful creatures flight over the deck (about 4 or 5 feet away) I was totally in awe ! Not only had I never seen any cranes in the Havelock area, but to have one fly over so close was unheard of. I heard a lot of frogs croaking, so there would be no shortage of food for these graceful birds.
I also have 2 little downy woodpeckers who are very well camouflaged, and more often than not, you hear long before you see them. They're quite the industrious little bird.
There are many hawks in the area looking for tender morsels.
Actually, last fall I'm sure I spotted a bald eagle flying in my field. And one night, while washing the dishes I saw a nest high up in a tree. It was a fairly large nest, probably suited for an eagle or a hawk.
White-tailed deer have plentiful. They seems to like eating the buds off my burning bush and it would appear they love parsley - either curly or flat-leafed ...... no real preference, like both equally ! I don't think any of my lilies or tulips had too long a blooming period last spring.
I think that's all for now with my frogs and feathered friends !
All is good with Mother Nature in rural Ontario.
Martinka from Heavenly Havelock
I am a single mother. Struggling to make ends meet and trying to create fond childhood memories for my 10 year old son, I decided to take him camping at Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. We packed the thrift store tent and borrowed the rest of the camping gear, and off we went. I had only been camping a few times and never the one in charge. Six hours later we set up camp, fixed dinner on the camp fire. I was so proud of myself. We did a little hiking messed around the camp fire and went to bed. Sometime during the night a great big clatter made us both sit right straight up. We looked out the tent and the raccoons were enjoying their dinner right out of our cooler. They had knocked off the iron fry pan and were enjoying my deviled eggs, fried chicken, raw hamburger, tomatoes, celery and all the rest of the food I'd packed for our stay. First we tried the flashlight in their eyes. They just looked at us while they kept on eating. Then we tried shooing them away. We finally just let them have our food and we watched and laughed. The next day we went to town and laid in more supplies knowing we would put the cooler in the car after dinner. It was dusk and we were cooking hamburgers and out of the trees comes the raccoons. They came right up to the fire ring standing on their hind legs begging. They were so cute. We shared our dinner with them. We came across deer in the park that were also people savvy. We fed them our trail mix. The cave was great but the wild life was better. My son has had many campout since then, including canoeing the French River in Canada in the Boy Scouts.He will soon be 24, and he still talks about the time we went camping together.
I live in coteau du lac, quebec ...I'vebeen feeding the wild birds and normal birds for over 2 years now ... my story goes as follows:
Recently my next door neighbor bought bird seeds and sunflowers seeds for the birds ... and just this morning ... his white cat killed a bird .. the nieghbor came outside to lookup on the problem ... instead of removing the cat from eating it ... he looked at his cat and laughed hisbutt off .. so did his wife and family that was arriving for a party .... it's really sad to see people act this way towards small creatures like them.
I wish there was something we can do to make him realize the danger he does by letting his cat at 4 feet from where the birds feed.
sincerely yours Eric
Dear Hinterland Who's Who,
I have three wildlife stories to tell you. The first is when I went sailing with my Mum, Dad and sister around Thailand. We stopped on a small island and I walked along the beach and got a big shock when a herd of Macaque monkeys came running along the beach towards me. As I was only three at the time, I got very scared, turned round and ran back to my Dad. He picked me up and we hurried to the dinghy and went back to our boat. Later, we found that this place was called Monkey Bay! The second happened when we lived in Singapore - my dad found a baby spitting cobra behind a curtain.
Another time, last year, I was on a ski chairlift on Whistler Mountain when I saw a baby black bear climbing up one of the poles of the chairlift. Then I saw the Mother Bear come out of the trees, stop at the foot of the pole and 'tell' her baby to get down rightaway! It was very exciting.
I hope you like my stories.
Ciaran, age 8.
Dear Hinterland Who's Who,
I just came across your web site today and it brought back a lot of memories. My wife and I both remember watching these clips as children. We remember watching them during the commercial breaks during Saturday morning cartoons. It would be great to see these commercials on the TV again, especially during times when children
would be watching their favorite programs. I recall one study suggesting that Children can identify more corporate logos then wild birds, these videos may find a use once more in helping Canada's children learn more about their environment and what they can do to protect it . I just wanted to send this note along and to say thanks for putting your videos online for everyone to enjoy. Take care and keep up the good work.
Best regards, Graeme
Dear Graeme, All the new HWW videos are sent to TV stations across Canada to show as public service announcements, so watch your TV for them.
I live in a rural community, and at night we sometimes hear screech owls.
A couple of summers ago, as I was walking in our yard one morning, I spotted the owl sitting on a post. I walked slowly back to the house to get my camera, and managed to get a picture of him just as he turned toward me. Of course, he then flew away.
A couple of days later, my neighbour said that they found a dead owl in their yard. He had landed on an electrical transformer, and died, as well as blowing out their electrical service to their house. I went over to see him, and sure enough it was the same owl I had snapped a photo of. I took a picture of him, so now I have both photos of this lovely creature. How sad that he is gone.
Carol , Coalhurst, Alberta
My name is Victoria and I get displeased when I see garbage on the ground. Often kids and adults say they know what respect means, but when you see them throw garbage on the ground, they obviously don’t know what respect means.
Victoria, 10 yrs. old, Calgary Alberta
I was overwhelmed and estatic today, (February 24, 2007) to have been driving down a road in Hasting's Ontario and looked up and saw a Bald Eagle in a tree.
I have never seen a Bald Eagle in the wild before. My husband and I came back home and got our binoculars to take back and watch the bird. We stayed for quite sometime watching this magnificant bird. We believe that it was an adult male by the distinct dark vs white colouring.
It was amazing and wonderful. We hope that this eagle and a mate will choose this area to breed.
Hi my name is Bryce.
When I was at my Grandmas house we were all inside eating super. My dog was scraching at the door so I went to let him outside. After he started barking at something so I went outside. My dog saved the life of this little squirrel. The squirrel was tangled in string very tightly. I ran inside and got a pair of scissors and went back and cut the string. After, the squirrel sat th-ere for a bit and ran. I felt very happy to help.
I live in Ottawa, Ontario and I love animals, they are my life. I wish to be a vet and live on a farm when I'm older. I hate watching animal killings, and dead animals. I realize I just sent a letter but I wish people would care!!!!!!
But I have ways of helping.
Chelsea M, age 12, Otawa, Ontario
I am just a kid but I know how special wildlife is. You guys are trying to help and thats great! But there are still alot of people that don't know or don't care. Is there anything I could do to help? I love nature, the outdoors and animals. Not to long ago I went to a ravine where my dad and I Iike to go and there was so much garbage. I've seen animals and wildlife there and it wasn't pleasing. Yes, I am just a kid but I know how serious this issue is. Please will you help!
Connor, age 10
HWW responded to Connor by suggesting that he check out the HWW website section on Action and Awareness where there are plenty of suggestions on what people can do to help Canada’s wildlife.
It happened when I went skiing at Nakiska. I just went inside to have a small break from skiing a really hard trail, and when I came back out to get my skis for another round, I saw a squirrel at my feet! I didn't scare it away, I tried to stay as still as possible, and finally it went under a bench so I could move again. When the squirrel was at my feet some people were watching me with it! It was kind of fun! That's my wildlife story!
MY NAME IS L.DAVIS AND THIS IS MY STORY:
Last year, in 2006, I went to see my Grammy and Grampy in Riverview, N.B. We took a walk in the woods. We saw rabbits, deer and we even saw an owl. We wanted to pet them but we had to give them their space because it's important to give wildlife space.
L. Davis, Age 8
My siblings and I decided to go for a walk in the park. We walked to a park nearby and when we walked by the fence we heard a flapping sound. We looked all over the park for the sound. We started to give up and then we heard it again. We walked to the sound and it was coming from the fence. There was a black cylinder around the top of the fence. We looked inside of it when we saw that a little brown sparrow was stuck. We also saw that it had gotten its foot stuck in a crack in the fence. It had twisted it’s foot all the way around and broken it. We couldn’t touch it because it might have had rabies. So we ran to a house nearby and found our friend’s dad. We told him what happened and then we all ran to the park with a tool and a water bottle. We saw the bird again and the dad put his tool in the fence and got the leg out. He put the hurt bird in his hands. We all put it up on a ledge and opened up a water bottle. We took the lid off and poured the water in it. We put it up on the ledge and the bird started to drink. Then the bird flew away. I will never forget that day.
My name is Esther, and this is my story:
We have a small forest beside our house, and my sister and I go in it almost every day. A couple months ago, as we were racing into the forest, I stopped suddenly, because a huge bird flew right beside me and landed on the branch in front of me. I was amazed at what it was a Great Horned Owl! It was the biggest bird I have ever seen. My sister and I just stood there, staring at that magnificent bird. His talons were huge, his eyes a bright yellow, and his ears stood tall. He did a little show for us; he turned around half way- just his head! Then after about three minutes, he smoothly glided off the branch four meters in front of us, gliding all the way to another tree- a fir tree- until we couldn't see him anymore. Seeing that Great Horned Owl was an amazing experience- and for some reason it was out in the open during the middle of the day at twelve noon!
Esther, Vancouver Island, B.C.
When I lived in BC my friend and I drove to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary to do some birding. Near the entrance we stopped to look at ducks on the river that suddenly began to take flight. We thought they were flying from us till we noticed an adult Bald Eagle was swooping in. He flew down through the trees and with one leg outstretched, grabbed and killed a Mallard, and then used the other leg to land on a stump in the river. We had our binoculars up and were watching him feed when there was a blur of motion and the eagle disappeared. We looked up from our binoculars to see that a second Bald Eagle had flown in and knocked the feeding eagle off his stump and into the water. The eagle in the water rowed its way to the stump, shook itself and took off leaving the duck behind. It was pursued by a third eagle along the river, and as they flew out over the field the second eagle joined the third to give chase. The feeding eagle flew across the farmer’s field and the chasing pair let it go as it disappeared behind the trees. We continued to sit where we were talking excitedly about the encounter while watching the circling pair who had chased the first eagle away. It was then we noticed the original (we assume) Bald Eagle flying in from the left just a few feet above the surface of the river moving quite fast for such a big bird (I didn’t know they could move that fast). It flew to the stump with the dead duck on it and as it zipped over the stump it grabbed the duck, and kept flying up the river with hardly a missed wing-beat. It had come in quite low probably taking advantage of the shrub cover to hide it from the other eagles, and after it grabbed its meal, it stayed quite low till it finally veered away from the river and set out across another field in the opposite direction of where we could still see the other two eagles circling. What a sneaky but clever eagle. Once it had been chased over the trees it must have done a 90 degree turn and flown low hidden behind the trees, then turned again to fly low along the ditch, and turned 90 degrees again once it hit the river. It wasn’t going to leave its meal behind.
K. Cowcill, Ontario
We live in the Kensington area in Burnaby BC. Last month, right after the first snow has melted, it was 9:30 pm when I opened our kitchen door as usual trying to dump some garbage into the bin at our backyard, I was shocked by my glimpse when I tried to put on my shoes, I felt that someone was climbing up from the railing of our sundeck. When I turned back to the railing, a pair of big eyes were staring at me, first thing came to my mind was "Home invasion" ?
But when I looked more clearly, a big bird was standing motionless on the railing. She has a huge body, at least 24-28 inches tall. I tried to stand still because I wanted to find out what is that creature exactly, so, I moved towards her in dead slow pace until my body triggered the sensor light to turn on. I thought I made a mistake that I should have turned the sensor light off before doing so. But to my huge surprise, that the light not even though had the power to scare her at all, on the contrary, she just kept standing there eventhough I was face to face with her within a distance of 5 feet maximum.
She has a pair of beautiful eyes, her body is light grey in color with dark spot all over. This was the first time so far that I can have a chance to see such a beautiful bird. She is so calm, she just stayed there even I went back to the house & walked out again with my wife & a big flash light in our hands. She was still standing there even the strong flashlight was aiming on her face. When I tried to get a bit closer to her, she flew to the big tree in my neighbour's backyard. And she just kept on standing there for hours.
I tried to take a picture of her, yet she was beyond the zoom range of my pocket size camera. I regret that I did not take my given chance to take a picture of her, but when I looked back to that precious moment of our encounter, I felt a lot better, because that 10 to 15 minutes of gathering will never fade out from my mind for the rest of my life.
Finally, I began to find out that she should be a female snowy owl after seeing information from your website.
Thank you for helping me to discover my precious encounter with such a beautiful creature.
Raymond , Burnaby, BC
Last July I was travelling up the Maguse River near the community of Arviat NU, when we came up to a set of rapids. Just above the rapids were a few caribou. When we landed on their side of the river, the caribou quickly tried to swim across the river, just above the rapids.
Well, needless to say one of the caribou didn't quite make it across and swam right down the swiftest portion of the river. Its funny we don't often see animals make mistakes, and she wasn't harmed so everything was ok. Here's the picture.
Photo credit goes to Peter Dawson.
We live in the inner city of Winnipeg but we stay connected to nature by feeding the birds. Most often we get house sparrows but we also enjoy other birds such as nuthatches, purple finches, bluejays,woodpeckers and my favorite, chickadees.? Last summer we began feeding black sunflower seeds to chickadees by hand, and one day a bluejay was nearby, eyeing us. My teenage son wondered if he could be lured to snatch a peanut.? When he stood very still for a while, sure enough, the bluejay swooped down, snatched the peanut, went to hide it under a nearby leaf, and immediately came back for more.? We kept feeding him and by now our neighbourhood has many peanuts under leaves and other secret spots!? We kept feeding the jays all summer, and are looking forward to feeding them again this summer. Our friend Dave even tried putting a peanut on his bald head, and sure enough, the bluejay swooped down and expertly snatched it from there too.
Lydia , Winnipeg, Manitoba
While a friend and I were canoe-camping in Algonquin Park in mid-October of 2006, one of our campsites was visited by a couple of large-ish gray and white birds. They seemed very friendly and would perch nearby on the logs by the campfire while we prepared breakfast. We had just finished frying up some sausage and had put the pan aside when one of the birds took off, dove past the frying pan, and flew off with a slice of sausage from the still-hot pan! I had not seen such bold thievery since fending off west-coast crows in the Broken Group Islands last summer. I happened to be composing a photo of the bird perched by the fire at the moment he decided to make a go of it, and managed to snap the following shot, which pretty much catches the culprit red-handed (or maybe red-beaked):
Anyway, when we got back we discovered the bird is a Gray Jay (AKA Canada Jay) and is apparently well-known for it's pilfering ways. The HWW description of this bird contains the statement "These practices have earned the jay a name for petty thievery". How true!
Mark , Ottawa, Ontario
When I was a little girl, my dad took me ice fishing and he started to tell me about a seal that pops up onto the ice. I thought he was joking with me but I was interested in the story. Well to my amazement my dad took out a sandwich out of his lunch bag and put it by the hole in the ice, he told me "to stay still and wait ".....so I did. after awhile my dad said " look at the hole " ..and I did .....all of a sudden the ice started to crack under me I moved back and I saw a huge seal in front of me ....I was WOWED!!! Then the seal slid across the ice to my dad. I told dad to move but he didn't, he said "to stay there and watch him" and I did ..the seal sat next to dad and leaned on him, he took out another sandwich and gave it to the seal, then dad fee it more stuff and the seal was so happy ..later dad told the seal to go home and the seal went back down the hole, then dad told me a story ...he said "the the seal was his friend for 3 years now" . I was so wowed at the whole story. I started thinking that my dad was going crazy !!(I was 6 tears old !!) Any way, 3 years later the same seal that I called Sam,c ame back every week and my dad and I feed him every week but sadly ( Sam ) the seal was killed. I don't agree with killing of animals but I still look back on that and still smile!! My whole family are nature lovers. PLEASE RESPECT WILD ANIMALS!!
joni, nfld ,canada
Dear Hinterland Who's Who,
We live in Winnipeg, fairly close to downtown. One afternoon, at the end of August, I caught a sight of fluttering out of the corner of my eye and found this bird sitting on the fence beside our garage. I stood there watching it and it just sat, watching me back.
I ran inside and came back out with the camera. I took a shot from near the house, then kept walking closer, taking more photos. Eventually, I was almost close enough to touch the bird.
I thought it was strange for it to sit so calmly while I approached it, so I started looking closely at it. I couldn't see anything wrong with it and then I remembered the wood pile on the other side of the fence. I thought that the raptor might have spotted a rabbit in there and was just waiting for it to come out. I went to that side of the fence and kicked the branches one time. After a few seconds, a small black bird (kind of shimmery blue/black feathers) walked out and quickly took flight. The raptor immediately followed and they swooped over our neighbours house, down the street, and out towards the Red River. I tried to follow, but lost sight of them.
Since then, we've tidied up the wood pile and haven't seen any more birds like this. I think it was a peregrine falcon.
HWW Note: As it turns out, this bird is most likely an immature sharp-shinned hawk based on its coloration (brown back, heavy, bold streaks on underparts, and pale stripe above eye), size (relative to fence post), and behaviour (hunting songbird in backyard). It is similar to a Northern Goshawk and Cooper's hawk, but is much smaller than a goshawk (goshawks are 22", sharpies are 11"), and Cooper's lack the white stripe above the eye. Peregrine falcons have a very distinguishable dark moustache, that is not present on this bird.
Chris, Winnipeg, Manitoba
This summer we had the wonderful experience of having Brown Thrashers nest in our back yard. They were such a wonder to experience. We have a shitzu/ maltese dog and there happened to be a cat in our yard and she just went crazy when she saw that cat. The birds must have been paying attention to what was going on. The next day when Gizmo and I were in the back yard the bird came on our deck and was just talking away to Gizmo as if to say thank you for saving our babies from that cat. Every time after that day when ever Gizmo was in the back yard you could see one or both of the birds hopping around talking away to Gizmo like they were buddies. It was such a wonderful thing to see. I really hope they decide to return next spring. I sure Gizmo does too!!!!!
Over a year ago we opened our" backyard sanctuary" and with each new season comes new wildlife. We live in a small village in Sask. where we have two large lots. The mature trees supply food and shelter for all that visit. We are in the process of planting more natural foods for the birds and creatures,but with winter coming our main concern now is providing extra shelter and feeding stations.I have attached some pictures of a few visitors we had this year and with each picture there is a story... PV is the squirrel who has taken up residence in one of our trees and has also stuffed the drey we put up for the squirrels for those cold winter nights.The Sora appeared one morning and only stayed briefly,I was told it really shouldn't be in my neck of the woods at all. The Northern Flicker is one of five we had this year. The Brown Thrasher is a repeat summer resident,they had a family of two this year.The Bluejays made an appearance last year and we are hoping they will be back again. The owl was chased into my back pinetree by a flock of crows this year and gave me a scare when i went outside and was face to face with it.Lastly the Downy woodpecker and its mate arrived a couple of weeks ago. Last year we had a pair that stayed all winter and loved to eat walnuts from a dish on our patio table. Opening up your backyard to wildlife is one of the most entertaining things anyone one could do. It is a committment you have to take seriously but one we find very rewarding...