The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 6: Meet the Northern Flicker, Matisse of the Woods

Dear Wood Folk, It was enthrallment at first sight when I saw a northern flicker (colaptes auratus) pecking my yard for ants. My first thought was that Matisse painted these birds with their contrasting swaths of black and varied taupes, red or black spots and streaks that look as if they were applied directly from […]

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 5: Meet the Nuthatches, the Upside-Down Birds

Dear Wood Folk, The general consensus is that the name nuthatch refers to these bird folk wedging their food into crevices for safe keeping. Especially this time of year (winter), I spend a great deal of time outside watching both the chickadees and the red-breasted (sitta canadensis) and white-breasted nuthatches (sitta carolinensis) hiding birdseed in […]

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 4: Meet Chickadee-dee-dees, The Most Popular Bird

Dear Wood Folk, Around Haliburton there are some special birds that will feed from your hand: the grey jay, maybe a red breasted nuthatch, but most of all – the tiny chickadee. Here, specifically, the black-capped chickadee (poecile atricapillus): They are the most widespread bird species across the land. Brave.. gregarious.. popular. Their popularity is […]

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 3: Meet Indigo Bunting, The Astronavigator

Dear Wood Folk, Firstly, I want to make note to my more sensitive readers and happen-upon-ers that the indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea) pictured recovering below was observed throughout the summer, long after his run in with a window. What I didn’t know at the time is often birds who’ve collided with windows should get medical […]

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 2: Meet Wild Turkey, Gobbler of the Oaks

Dear Wood Folk, We had a turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) moment a while back when discussing red oak. Turkey’s favorite food is acorns. The scarlet tanager may be the guardian of the oaks, but let’s call turkey the gobbler of the oaks? These large birds are a common site around Haliburton, beside or crossing the road, […]

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 1: Meet Scarlet Tanager, Guardian of the Oaks

Dear Wood Folk, I’m excited to start Volume 2 of the Wood Folk Diaries. We’re going to the birds! Our first guest is perhaps my favorite, red being my favorite color: meet scarlet tanager (piranga olivacea). The ornithologist Edward H. Forbush called Scarlet Tanagers “the appointed guardian of the oaks“. There’s one place to look […]

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