Beyond Your Backyard - Christmas Is For The Birds
By Kimberly J. Epp
On Saturday, December 8th, despite the frigid cold, 11 nature enthusiasts met at Wakamow to attend a Christmas nature/bird program led by Kimberly Epp of the Moose Jaw Nature Society. The group generally meets once a month, along with occasional nature outings.
First things first was treating the hungry birds to some prized pine nuts. With some children in the group, this was a first for many of the participants. Friendly Black-Capped Chickadees and Red-Breasted Nuthatches made their rounds. Much of the food is cached for leaner times.
After spreading some peanut butter on the trees, we also were visited by White-Breasted Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers and Hairy Woodpeckers. Juncos, sparrows and House Finches were also in the area. Evidence of the resident Fox Squirrels were also abundant.
Before we completely froze, the kids had their scavenger hunt sheets and we looked for signs of nature such as animal tracks, bird calls, burrs, deer scrapes, specific adaptations of birds, and other signs of wildlife - and they did quite well! Each got a small gift, but the gift of "firsts" was a gift for everyone involved.
Epp is a Environmental Educator/Writer and the President of the Moose Jaw Nature Society. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Moose Jaw Nature Society Facebook page.
For more info on feeding birds and winter birds, see the "Lifestyles" section for Kim's previous article on hand-feeding birds, "Spend Some Time With Mother Nature and her Feathered Friends." (Photos by Kimberly Epp)