Shagbark Hickory becomes more common as you head south into the United States but there are a few in our area. Usually the thorny blackberry bushes make it very difficult to approach the one at Marie Curtis Park, but at this time of year it is possible;
I’m often asked which birds eat the lovely red sumac fruit. We got one answer this morning:
The fields at Marie Curtis Park are often a good place to spots hawks in the air.
Here is the distinctive silhouette of a Red-tailed Hawk:
If you are in any doubt, the red tail clinches it!
Cooper’s Hawks are pigeon-sized and show a longish, rectangular tail. The well-rounded tail distinguishes them from the Blue Jay-sized Sharp-shinned Hawk which has a squarish end to the tail.
Species list: Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, red-tailed hawk, Cooper’s hawk, turkey vulture, herring gull, ring-billed gull, downy woodpecker, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, ruby-crowned kinglet, American robin, European starling, house sparrow, red-winged blackbird, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, song sparrow. (19 species)
While it was still dark, I spotted a very tame coyote on a nearby street. Some neighbours told me that they have phoned the city about it, but the city says that they can do nothing because it is healthy.
Today’s group on this 4 degree, overcast morning:
and one more member:
The sun’s away,
And the bird estranged;
The wind has dropped,
And the sky’s deranged;
Summer has stopped. – Robert Browning (1812–89)