Archive for June 26th, 2009


It’s baby bird season. Throughout the nature blogosphere, posts on baby birds are popping up. Here’s a great post over at The Marvelous in Nature about chickadee fledglings. And how about these cuties? Baby field sparrows. Over at A Passion for Nature, Winterwoman is showing off little house wrens. Not being as intrepid a birder as Seabrooke or Jennifer, I let the baby bird find me. When I walked into the kitchen, there was a young robin sitting on the windowsill. It was probably newly out of the nest, and still being cared for by its parents. My windowsill wasn’t the best place for it to be sitting. I was concerned about a parent running into the window. However, I did enjoy getting a good look at the youngster. I love the speckled breasts of baby robins. It’s when the species looks its most thrush-like, I think. I wasn’t the only one who found the baby of interest. Moey, left, and Tonka were quick to notice the new arrival. I shooed them away from the window, and when I came back a little later, the little robin was gone. I hope he found a better spot to perch.

Speaking of baby birds, here’s the latest on the boreal forest bird nursery. The Save Our Boreal Birds petition, with 60,000 signatures, was presented to the federal government on June 15th by MP Linda Duncan. May it help to preserve a future for many more baby birds.


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When walking out to Iroquois Point to see the Musical Ride on Tuesday, it was impossible not to notice the white fluff that was lending a snowy look to certain patches of ground. A woman walking near me observed to her partner “Look at all the dandelion fluff!”


The fluff did look like dandelion seeds. However, it was courser, and had drifted into clumps and windrows here and there. It was also problematic that there was not a dandelion to be seen on the neatly-mown lawns. The clue to the riddle of the fluff was lying on the ground under a big tree.


The fluff was coming from a tree, an Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides). You can see the triangular, toothed leaves of the cottonwood on this little branch that had fallen to the ground. Cottonwoods aren’t all that common in southern Ontario. They are associated with moist sites and can be found along stream banks and ponds. There are a few in the park. The specimen that was snowing down fluff onto the road where we were passing by was a large, attractive tree. Now it’s clear where the name “Cottonwood” comes from!


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