Has this late fall/winter been different?
Outdoor Ontario

Has this late fall/winter been different?

lovelight

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Hello people. I came on to this site thinking that there would be a lot of reports about strange bird migrations and squirrel and racoon habits this year in Southern Ontario. I haven't fourd such reports. Is it just us folks in the east end of T.O. that have noticed such changes this year? I really don't think that squirrels and racoons are normally scrounging for food at this point of the season. And we have noticed some birds, like some woodpeckers  and starlings, much later into the season. Have others noticed, at least, a short-term difference? If so, I am curious to know...
Best regards.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by lovelight »


Ron Luft

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The birds and animals are always here and fairly active.  Rac's and Sq's. often take the opportunity of lack of snow to forage. Squirrels are not true hibernators. There may be a temporary increase in populations, I couldn't say. As for the birds mentioned, well they're just always here. Perhaps a lack of leaf cover has made them more noticeable. There are a number of bird species, especially waterfowl that are observable in the Toronto area only or particularily in winter due to an influx from further north. Besides those birds mentioned you may surprised at others that come here or never have left; Blue Jays, Cardinals, W & R Breasted Nuthatches, Hairy & Downy Woodpeckers, sometimes even Robins, a variety of Owls to mention a few. If some of the more "common" birds aren't mentioned in current reports it is because they are unremarkable to see. Check out places like Leslie St. Spit (Tommy Thompson Pk.), High Park, Rouge Valley, Humber Bay and you might be surprised what you find. As far as 1 years migration is concerned it may be an anomally. Year by year, decade by decade trends tell a clearer picture. Good observation though.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Ron Luft »
Good spotting! Never leave your bins at home.


Al Johnston

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I've had large flocks of starlings the last few days. They've settled on the short grass and were pecking for something --- seeds, grubs? One or two even tried out the suet feeder. I hope they're not here in April when I put the martin houses out. Location --- Whitchurch-Stouffville
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Al Johnston »


lovelight

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Thank you very much for the insights. I did know that some birds were around all winter - such as Cardinals and Woodpeckers and even some Robins and of course, Chickadees - but I am surprised that there are so many squirrels about and I don't ever remember encountering so many racoons this late into the season. There are also Mallards in the creek by my home almost year round (once I actually saw some frozen into place) but I thought this was only because people feed them. I will certainly keep my eyes open for other species now ...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by lovelight »


JTF

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We had a Baltimore Oriole at Lemoine Point Kingston in December which was late for sure for this species. In the Prince Edward County area one motorist in early Jan driving from Milford to Brewer's Road was forced to dodge large numbers of frogs that were on the rain soaked road getting warm. A gray tree frog was sighted calling louding on Jan 6th, so this is weird for sure. purple pansies were in bloom at another location at the intersection of Highway 62 and Jericho Road. Two flying squirrels were seen mating at Fish Lake and a hopeful Mute Swan left an egg behind at Sandbanks Provincial Park.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by JTF »
Paul O\'Toole


Dr. John

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Up until this week, it was hard to tell it was winter. We had violets blooming again in December. Our irises were pushing their way up. And our strawberries were working on a second crop.

One thing we've noticed is the relative lack of juncos in our backyard. We usually have lots of them by November. We've only seen a few so far this year, mostly during this week with the cold weather.

-John
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Dr. John »