And just like that, they’ve arrived: strutting in the treetops, filling the air with song, dazzling us with their beauty; behold, the warblers are here, in all their glory!
Blackburnian warbler at Britannia Park on Mother’s Day, 2014
Maybe it’s the lingering cold and snow, maybe it’s changing the clocks, maybe it’s March break and having the kids around all day, but man, am I ever bagged. I should follow this guy’s lead and get some sleep.
And while he looks cozy enough, I think I prefer my bed over a tree branch – much more comfy.
We just got back from a walk in the woods at Baxter Conservation Area, which has some great trails in the forests along the Rideau River. What an incredible day! It’s gorgeous out there – if you’re experiencing a hit of spring weather like we are in the Ottawa Valley, oh my goodness get outside and enjoy the sun, the melting snow, the porcupines in the trees and the purple finches singing.
We’ve been looking for these guys in the neighbouring rivers for a year now, ever since this encounter. So it was a surprise to see them today, but as always, a pleasure – they look like they’re having so much fun, slipping in and out of the water, rolling around on the ice.
We couldn’t get very close to them, and it was freakin’ cold out so I didn’t last very long, but now that we know where to look, I hope to head back and get better images of them soon. ‘Cause they’re such a RIOT!*
*A little bit of biologist humour there…If you take the first two letters of each word in River Otter, it gives you their shorthand name: RIOT. Get it? Haha, haha. Sigh.
A Sunday drive in the surrounding agricultural areas yielded three (3!) Snowy Owls within a kilometer stretch of one road. That’s just nuts.
This is most likely a female, due to size and colouration (females are bigger, males are whiter). Her glare is a little unnerving, don’t you think? But she was so calm and not at all bothered by us.
I don’t know if you’ve heard about the irruption going on right now, but there is a smorgasborg of Snowy Owls all over North America, a result of a very successful breeding season up North (thanks to a high lemming population). They’ve even made it as far South as Florida! So if you’re keen to spot an owl or two, head out of the city where there are wide open fields, and check on the tops of fenceposts and power poles. Happy searching!
If you’re wanting to know more about why the owls are here, I’ve added links to a few articles explaining the occurrence: