WRN Teens – January and February 2022 Events

Wildlife Rescue Zoom Presentation
on January 26 2022 by Michelle MacMillan, Teens adult volunteer and education assistant at “rare” Charitable Research Reserve

If you missed this super presentation, you’ll want to chat sometime with Michelle about her wildlife rescue stories! (Ask her about the porcupine!) We learned about a wide range of animals, then more detail about protecting and rescuing turtles, and how to help wildlife day-to-day. We learned that sometimes it’s better to do nothing and we should leave baby birds, rabbits and fawns alone. At least one Teen was especially inspired by Michelle’s experiences volunteering in Panama to protect sea turtles. Can’t wait to see where Teens will be leaving their marks in the future! Thanks for sharing your adventures, Michelle!

Reported by Marg, Teens coordinator

Owl Prowl 1 at Laurel Creek Nature Centre
on January 29 2022, led by Levi Moore, outdoor educator with the public school board

The Owl Prowl was so much fun! We started off the experience by listening to Levi talk about his love for nature and owls. Before we left into the forest Levi taught us all about proper etiquette and how to try to have a successful owl prowl. We then started walking into the forest and headed to our first location. It was a little scary walking in the dark, but was lots of fun. Once we arrived at our first location, Levi made some whistling owl calls, then played some through his phone. Unfortunately we were unsuccessful at hearing or seeing any owls at the first location. We then headed to our second location. Levi started the process of trying to call the owls all over again. After a minute or so, we heard an owl, it was an Eastern Screech Owl! We got to hear the screech owl call multiple times and Levi would call back in response. In the end we couldn’t see the screech owl but we still got to hear it! We then headed back to where we started and wrapped up the Owl Prowl. In the end all of us were pretty cold, but it was worth it! The whole experience was lots of fun, and has inspired me to try and look for owls in my own neighbourhood forest!
Reported by Iris
Chickadee feeding on hand
Downey woodpecker

Birding Hike at Riverside Park in Preston, Cambridge
on February 12 2022, led by David Gascoigne, WRN past president, lifetime birder, and mentor of naturalists of all ages

Several Teens discovered the great birding at Riverside Park for the first time on this outing but it’s a spot David checks often. We spent most of our time on the long boardwalk through the marsh and learned identification details and interesting facts about each bird we saw. We even learned why it’s worthwhile to learn Latin names for species!

We fed Black-capped Chickadees in our hands and saw 13 other species of birds. A fun highlight was finding out we also have a Teen birding mentor! Lucas, enthusiastic and knowledgeable Teen birder, spotted and identified several species including Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and American Tree Sparrow, so easy to miss when mixed in with other brownish birds. Thanks, Lucas!  

And of course, thanks to David for suggesting this outing and offering to go again!

Reported by Marg, Teens coordinator

hand feeding chickadees
bridge at Speed River

Owl Prowl 2 at SpruceHaven farm on February 26 2022, led by Levi Moore, outdoor educator with the public school board

Huge thanks to Levi for trying very hard to help Teens talk to owls! Since COVID restrictions meant we had to turn a few people away for our first try, Levi offered to do a second prowl… which was cancelled by cold and high wind! Finally, a second group — 14 people! — got to prowl in very deep snow at SpruceHaven farm.

It was a gorgeous starry night and Levi called Eastern Screech Owls and Great Horned Owls beautifully near SpruceHaven’s wildlife corridor and at the edge of the woods. We didn’t hear any responses or see anything fly in. Levi explained that we were at the very end of the period when owls are likely to answer so, though a bit disappointing, it wasn’t surprising. It was still a special experience to walk in the snow at night and we learned lots about owl prowling.  Levi encouraged us to look and listen for owls as they are in most forests, even in the city.  

Reported by Marg, Teens coordinator

Owls can see in the dark, but humans need flashlights.