YORKTON - A number of devoted bird enthusiasts gathered recently to help band bluebirds.
Members of the Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Assoc. (YFBTA) had been invited to join Lorne Scott, June 11 and help band bluebird hatchlings along the Anaka Trail.
The bluebirds are a North American group of medium-sized, mostly insectivorous or omnivorous birds. They have blue, or blue and rose beige, plumage. Female birds are less brightly colored than males and there is no noticeable difference in size.
The ‘Anaka Trail’ consists of about 100 nest boxes; mostly along the Good Spirit Community Pasture.
“This Bluebird Trail has been in place for many years,” explained YFBTA member Morley Maier, adding it was “first started and maintained by Bill and Joyce Anaka.
“For the last number of years Val and Bob Edwards (YFBTA members) who live near Buchanan a couple of miles off the #47 highway have been doing the maintenance and keeping nesting records. Recently other YFBTA members have been helping as well.”
For his part Lorne Scott is a farmer, a passionate conservationist, former Minister of the Environment and member of the Order of Canada.
Scott estimates he has built 1500 birdhouses and banded 40,000 birds in his 50-year career. He currently tends to about 400 Bluebird nest boxes near his farm at Indian Head.
At the recent YFBTA event Scott banded about 30 Bluebird hatchlings, said Maier.
The nest boxes are also home to many tree swallows and even some house wrens and starlings.
“The roadside ditches along the trail are great places to see varied and interesting native plants. Many in our group are ‘plant people’ and so this added to the interest and enjoyment of the day,” said Maier.
The afternoon ended with a time to socialize at the old Drobot Church grounds.
This was the third outing this spring for the YFBTA this year. They also met and did some Arbor Day tree planting, and visited the site of old Fort Pelly and the garter snake hibernaculum.
Their next trip will be to Hudson Bay on June 21, to see the Orchids and the many other rare and interesting plants of that area.