Thursday, 22 February 2018

Feb 22 2018

NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, February 22, 2018 ( Thursday )

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Edited by: Nelson Poirier
Transcript by: Brian Stone
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)

** Bob Childs got a video of a hawk on a pheasant prey in his Riverview yard on Wednesday. Unfortunately the video is at a distance and features are hard to pick up to be sure of identification. A link to the video is
 Fortunately Giles Belliveau has a video player that lets him zoom in and adjust the brightness and colour and  he was able to confidently call Bob's visitor a COOPER'S HAWK [Épervier de Cooper], a raptor species that seems to have become much more common in the area.

Gilles was able to see the central tail feathers as longer to give a rounded tail tip, the bold supercilium of a Northern Goshawk does not show, and the face and nape seem to have a buffy to reddish tone when the head is turned which would not be right for a Goshawk. Gilles was able to see the reddish/brown tone on the tibial feathers as well as the upper belly and chest whenever the bird bends forward to help rule out Goshawk.

** Lisa Morris got some nice photos of  SQUIRREL and SNOWSHOE HARE [Liévre d'Amérique] tracks that show well. Note the two smaller front feet of the Squirrel tend to imprint directly across from each other while the front feet of the Snowshoe Hare imprint at an angle to each other.

** The Nature Moncton Birdfeeder Tour is coming up this Saturday, February 24, meeting at the Coliseum parking lot at 8:30 am. Don't have breakfast as a special treat will await at the first stop!

** A heads up on a Nature Moncton visit to take place on the following Saturday, March 03, for a winter Gulls outing with guide Roger Leblanc. The write up is attached below.
Date: March 3rd, 2018 (Saturday)
Time:  1:00 pm
Location: Southeast ECO360 Landfill Site
Guide:  Roger Leblanc

For many bird enthusiasts, talking about gulls is a bit like having a discussion about root canal treatment.  But that is unfortunate.  Although wading through the many varying plumages of gulls can make identification hard, it is also true that there are many reasons why we should all take a second and third look at gulls.  First we are lucky in our area to have a large and varied population of gulls which is even more beneficial in winter when other birds are fewer and far between.  Also, even if it is true that gulls take several years to come into their final adult plumage making the immature gulls harder to ID, it is also a fact that since we have only 5 species to contend with at this time of year, it can be done!  And after all, overcoming identification difficulties is part of what makes bird watching fun. So don’t despair -- with good information and practice you too can get to know your gulls.

To help you out on that path Nature Moncton is offering a field trip to the Southeast ECO360 landfill site, otherwise known as the dump. This is THE place in the city where you are most likely to see the biggest number of gulls in one place at one time. It is also the best place to find all 5 species of gulls “possible” in the region at this time of year.

So why not join us Saturday March 3rd for a trip to this local gull magnet? The group will assemble at 1:00 pm in the parking lot of the administration building (just let the people know at the gate that you are heading to the Nature Moncton gull outing). After a very short refresher on the gull species we will be looking for, we will carpool to the nearby landfill and take in the gull extravaganza that usually numbers in the thousands at this time of year. Our own Roger Leblanc will be the leader for this outing, but other gull knowledgeable participants will also be there to help you out with nailing down both the species and age group of the birds that you see.  As an added bonus other birds can be quite numerous around the landfill site, so be prepared to see dozens of Bald Eagles, for instance. The outing should last a couple of hours and help you get a handle on our winter gull population.

** I dropped by for a short visit to the Dobson Trail head area to check if a Saturday visit would be feasible. Unfortunately it is very ice covered and not a good stop for Saturday's feeder tour field day, however there were lots of birds. It was interesting to see two BROWN CREEPERS [Grimpereau brun] quite quickly, many BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES [Mésange à tête noire], RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES [Sittelle à poitrine rousse] and interestingly a few PINE SISKINS [Tarin des pins] which seem to be in low numbers this winter in the area. It's an area definitely worth spending some time in, but wear boot cleats if it stays icy.

Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton