Nature Events

The Bluebird Trail

The Eastern Bluebird is a cavity nesting bird, which mean that they depend on dead trees for their homes. Unfortunately habitat loss, pesticides and competition with imported Sparrows and Starlings meant that in the early 1900’s their population began to decline. Once as common as the Robin, there was suddenly concern for the survival of the species. In response, people across North America began creating Bluebird nesting boxes along nature trails. This movement, which began in the 1930’s, has been so successful that the Eastern Bluebird is now off the endangered list. 

Here at Crieff, local resident Marion Robertson of puslinchnaturallynativetrees.ca helped establish our own bluebird trail at Crieff Hills. Beginning in 2010, Marion and a team of volunteers put up eighteen nesting boxes for not only Bluebirds but Tree Swallows as well. More boxes have been added since, bringing the total to twenty five. Each year the boxes are cleaned and made ready for the spring season.

The first year we welcomed five Bluebirds and eighteen Swallows. That number has more than doubled since then! Each year we have nesting pairs of both birds and plenty of young ones. We have added two Wood Duck boxes which have successfully hosted nesting families as well.  

Guests are always welcome to keep an eye out for the flashes of blue in the forest and scout out the bird boxes on our property. Please be sure to keep your distance from the boxes, however, so as not to disturb the birds.   

 

Spring Bluebird Trail Walks

If you’d like to come in search of bird sightings, Bluebird Trail walks are held each Tuesday morning throughout May. Marion Robertson hosts the walks, offering an opportunity to observe blue birds in their natural habitat while learning more about them. Come and watch the Eastern Bluebirds as they build their nests and raise their young!

When: Tuesday May 7 to May 28, 2019 (weather permitting) at 9:30 am

Where: Meet in the Conference Hall parking lot.

Cost: There is no charge for these guided walks but donations are appreciated.

Please let us know you are coming: 519-824-7898 or programs@crieffhills.com

 

Bird Banding

Certified bird bander Brian Pomfret leads bird banding days twice each year, catching birds as part of a continent-wide study of wild bird populations. Here at Crieff Hills this is an opportunity to see all kinds of birds close up: Black Capped Chickadees, Ruby Crowned Kinglets, Northern Flickers, and Blue Jays.

Banding is a tool to study migration patterns and bird populations and as songbird populations decline, this is increasingly important. At our bird banding days, guests are invited to walk out to the nets and see Brian gently capture them before each bird is weighed, measured and fitted with tiny band around their leg. The information on each band allows for identification if the bird is ever caught again.

The bird banding events are terrific for families and young children. While you’re here you might enjoy a hike on the forested trails to see the spring flowers or fall leaves as well. Light refreshments are provided. More information is available at programs@crieffhills.com

 

Spring Bird Banding (to celebrates World Migratory Bird Day!)

When: Saturday May 11th, 2019 between 8:30 am and Noon

Where: Drive into Laneway 7094 and gather at the picnic shelter by the open field.

Cost: There is no charge for these guided walks but donations are appreciated.