Happy winter wonderland season! This month is full of traditions for many people. I love the crisp cold fresh air while trudging through snow on a sunny day to visit with friends and family, and maybe deliver a present and glad tiding. Just because it’s winter (and Covid), doesn’t mean you need to stay inside. There are still many traditions and activities you can participate in with this beautiful sparkling snow on the ground.
Let’s talk Christmas Bird Counts! Have you registered yet? Bird counts are an excellent way to see just how many “regulars” such as Black-Capped Chickadees, Blue Jays, finches, House Sparrows, Magpies, and maybe Dark-Eyed Juncos are in your area. But with extra sets of eyes out, you can also see those not as commonly seen and specific to winter birds like Northern Shrikes, Snow Buntings, Gray Partridges, grouse, grosbeaks, and maybe a Redpoll or two. Remember, for the Saskatoon count you can opt to do it from the comfort of your home too, as more of a feeder watch. You can make this longstanding tradition a family event, bundle up, and head out together. To figure out just how far back this tradition goes, I looked through archived digital copies of the Blue Jay, where the first record I found of Saskatoon participating in the Christmas Bird Count was in 1952. Then looking at the records of the Audubon Society, the first information for Saskatoon of the Christmas Bird Count available in their archives is from 1955. But I’ve heard this tradition goes even farther back than these records.
This year our society continues to cover the following areas:
_Mon. Dec. 14: Gardiner Dam
_Sat. Dec. 19: Clark’s Crossing (Warman, Osler, Martensville, NE Swale)
_Sun. Dec. 20: Qu’Appelle Dam (Elbow, Douglas Park)
_Sat. Dec. 26: Saskatoon
_Mon. Dec. 28: Borden / Radisson
_Tue. Dec. 29 CBC4Kids Saskatoon
_Sat. Jan. 2: Pike Lake (and Whitecap)
(Further details to register can be found under the Christmas Bird Count section, page 3 in the newsletter.)
A big thank you goes out to the organizers/leaders (Stan Shadick, Greg Fenty, Guy Wapple, Janine McManus, Bob Godwin, Donna Bruce, Kyron Giroux) and John Patterson for compiling data. A lot of work goes into organizing groups and people, following up on data and compiling it, and the submitting and posting of the results. Thank you for keeping this tradition alive!
A new possible tradition this year from Wild About Saskatoon is Nature City Experiences. Wild About Saskatoon has used our coveted Guide to Nature Viewing Sites: In and Around Saskatoon as an inspiration for year-round nature adventures. Each month a member of Wild About Saskatoon will visit a location that will be featured on their website (https://wildaboutsaskatoon.org) as a seasonal adventure or “Nature City Experience” to encourage people to get out and appreciate the nature that Saskatoon has to offer. Yours truly has co-authored the first adventure to Gabriel Dumont Park and I will be doing a snowy adventure as well.
So get out and enjoy the snowy wonderland on those sunny and not-so-sunny days and appreciate what we have here in and around Saskatoon, and the info and resources/people you have access to as a Saskatoon Nature Society member. On that note, be sure to renew your membership for 2021 too!
Saskatoon Nature Society
Connecting People and Nature
Saskatoon Nature Society
Box 27013 Grosvenor Park
Saskatoon, SK S7H 5N9