By Fiona Reid and Don Scallen –
Food for Feathered Friends!
- Consider adding peanuts or suet for extra fat at this time of year
- A heated bird bath can be very important in midwinter
Turn down the Heat! Prowl for an Owl!
- Save money and reduce consumption of non-renewable energy supplies by turning down heat at night or when out
- Owls nest really early so now is a good time to go out at dusk and listen for them, or imitate them and see if you get a response
If you build it they will come! Homes for Birds, Bats, and Bees
- Order a new bird house or bat house. Check out new domiciles for bumble bees
- Make your own house if you are handy
- Bees and wasps like soft wood: drill holes of varying thicknesses in a 6 x 6 or larger log and hang this on an outer wall or barn
- Join HNPNC on a salamander walk at Silver Creek to learn about these amazing animals
- Hunt for frogs in local ponds
- Head to Willow Park in Norval on a sunny day later in the month to look for emerging snakes around the rocks of the hibernacula or beside their small pond
- Woodcocks may be back and on territory so go for a woodcock prowl at dusk
Help our Pollinators by going Native!
- Join HNPNC in converting a stretch of the river bank by the St Alban’s church into a home for pollinators and a bank for nesting turtles
- Help remove non-natives and plant natives
- If you have a large lawn, why not convert a section into a native plant garden?
Dig it, Dig it Good!
- Put in a pond in your back yard – nature will come to you (details coming in March newsletter)
- No space? A dripping hose can attract birds, or a small fountain will lure in dragonflies
- Turtles love ponds, and this month they will also be out looking for nest sites. Report your turtle sightings to the Toronto Zoo’s Turtle Tally Program
- Do some pond-dipping to see the huge array of small creatures that live in a healthy pond
Out with the Invaders!
- Now is the time to pull out dog-strangling vine and other invasive species before they set seed and spread further
- Start a local initiative to remove Norway Maples and plant native trees
- Talk to a neighbour about planting native trees and shrubs to provide food for declining birds (caterpillars far prefer native plants and they in turn feed birds)
Have a Wild Night out!
- Join HNPNC on a moth night, or paint sticky goop (beer, banana and sugar) on trees near your own home to see what moths you can attract
- Come on a Monday evening walk
- Watch bats forage over water near the cottage
Help Migrants Journey in Safety
- Put up weighted threads outside large windows to reduce reflection and bird collisions (check out www.flap.org/ for more information)
- Keep cats inside when thrushes and warblers are passing through backyard habitats
- Plant asters and other late-blooming natives for traveling Monarchs
Fall into Nature!
- Take a trip with our club to see migrating hawks
- Look for fall warblers and sparrows
- Take a child for a walk in nature; it is a great time of year to see animals of all sizes on the move
Buy a new Field Guide and get on Track!
- It’s slowing down out in the forest, so why not get some new nature books to study for next year and check off what you have seen to date
- Get out after the first snowfall to look for animal tracks, and bring a book to identify them
Have an Eco-friendly Holiday!
- Use recyclable wrapping (bags, newspaper, scraps of cloth)
- Decorate the tree with popcorn and cranberries to put out for birds later
- Minimize use of colored lights
- Give nature-inspired gifts – for the friends who have everything, consider buying an acre of rainforest
- Take part in the Christmas Bird Count and tell your friends all about it