Wildlife Count by Debbie O'Rourke: Humber Bay Park East, Toronto

May 23: A little warmer than yesterday, very sunny. I started burning some colour into the log. Some little girls showed me fossils and snails that they found, that I will incorperate into the log. The drawing I made of the snail became my favorite, and became the logo representing this body of work.
A Canada goose pair was marching around with two goslings. Alert little smooth-brown birds I've been seeing may be vireos. I saw a bird that was marked just like a Baltimore oriole but that is deep golden-yellow rather than the flame-orange described in the bird book. The red-winged blackbird pair visited and I fed them again. Reports from Point Pelee say there are a lot of migratory bird deaths due to exhaustion and starvation.

Oriole: pencil drawing

The hunting is quite frantic and I know there are baby birds in a lot of nests already. So in this kind of emergency situation it can be good to give the birds some help. The oil in suet and seeds helps keep them warm and give them energy to keep going until the insects wake up. A lot of animals will be relieved when the insects can finally come out. In the wildlife counts I do with young students, insects and other small invertebrates are our best friends. We can always count on the flies, beetles, spiders and centipedes if nothing else shows up. So I find their absence almost spooky.

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