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Sheltering at home means a chance to observe our birds of Kawartha Lakes

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Sheltering at home means a chance to observe our birds of Kawartha Lakes
The pileated woodpecker is found all over Kawartha Lakes in forests and even backyards.

I was out of breath as I burst through the door. “Kids, come quick,” I managed to gasp out. “There’s a couple of sandhill cranes in the neighbour’s field!”

My daughter lazily turned the page of her book and, without looking up, said with the patience of youth, “Mom, calm down, we’ve seen them lots of times before.”

I could feel my lecturing voice come on. “Maybe you don’t realize it, but I was 40 years old before I saw a sandhill crane for the first time …”

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Garden of renewal is here, even as we cope with social distancing

in Environment/Opinion by

It would be easy to imagine that everything is the same as I head outside to do the morning chores. The ducks aren’t really concerned about staying clean and washing their hands. The cats do some washing, but they keep licking their paws first, so I’m not sure that counts.

The chickens are blissfully unaware of pandemics and the need for physical distancing, although a couple of them keep running away from the rooster.

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Ken Reid’s chickadees a mystery – or are they?

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Advocate Podcast host Denis Grignon looks on at the chickadees of KRCA, eating out of Nancy Payne's hand. Photo: Pierre Chartier.

Even if you roll your eyes at anything Disney, you can’t help but feel like you’ve walked into a scene from one of its bazillion family animated films where humans gleefully consort with wildlife.

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For the birds — and for people who want birds

in Environment by

Two approaches to birding: 1. Go to where the birds are. 2. Get the birds to come to you.

A few weeks ago Rob Stavinga, whose day-job is watershed resources technician with Kawartha Conservation but whose full-time passion is birds, demonstrated the first. He led two groups on “owl prowls” at Ken Reid Conservation Area, where, as of January, 2019, a total of 176 bird species have been reported.

Last week he addressed that second approach. After a nudge from his wife, he reluctantly put down his binoculars (he’d been checking out redpolls at his feeders) and made his way to Ops Community Centre to present a “Backyard Birding” workshop, one of a number of educational events being sponsored by the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust.

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