NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, Feb, 22 2021 (Monday)
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Edited by: Nelson Poirier firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcript by Susan Richards email@example.com
Info Line #: 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
**Official Spring is now less than one month away; days are getting longer, and the sun is getting brighter. Mother Nature’s community is taking notice.
**Andrew Darcy visited the Tantramar Marsh area on Sunday to try and catch up with the owls, and it paid off. He finally got his first New Brunswick SNOWY OWL! They are much more abundant it seems in Ontario, where he recently moved from from, so it was an absolute pleasure to see one here. He was quite excited to see one perched on a fence post right beside the road. It was quite distant, but he did manage to get a few photos before it flew back into the field. He almost could not believe his eyes at first when he saw the white ghostly shape from a distance. The marsh was much more productive Sunday than the last time he visited. He saw 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS (light morph) and was able to take some decent photos of the first individual which he suspected was a female (pale head, little to no mottling on wings and a dark belly patch). I also encountered an adult BALD EAGLE perched in a conifer tree at the side of the road, but it spooked and ended up getting a distant photograph in another tree. Andrew spotted 2 RING-NECKED PHEASANTS around the same area and one was an adult male that scurried away while the other immature male gave good views roadside (note lack of white collar around neck area). I also spotted some SNOW BUNTINGS, several AMERICAN CROWS, a few HERRING GULLS, some ducks he could not identify for certain and a rather large flock of smaller birds that looked like blackbirds but hard to say as Starlings are in that area.
Finally, on the way home in Sackville area, he was surprised to find a flock of close to 100 HORNED LARK which also had a few LAPLAND LONGSPUR mixed in. The birds were flying from the field to a nearby pile of hay and compost from a farm and were busy sorting through it looking for food. I also saw a few large MEADOW VOLES within this pile as well.
**I would like to share some CANADA JAY [Mésangeai du Canada] activity. I reported earlier about Romeo Doucette in the Chelmsford area near Miramichi of up to 8 Canada Jays at a time coming to his yard to feed on meat /bone/fat mixture sourced at a local butcher shop as the sawdust from meat cutting. I had never seen so many Canada Jays coming to a feeder yard. I checked with Romeo on Sunday. He said the numbers had cut down to half or less recently and not as frequent. This would be expected as the Canada Jays are nesting now and the male only searching out food including its own cached stores to feed the brooding female. Romeo commented he broke the sawdust mixture into small chunks after the very cold nights and they seem to find it easier to grab pieces and go, which I assume they would much rather do now instead of feeding on site as the birds were. It will be very interesting to see if the adults bring their young to Romeo’s offering.