Many new species spotlights have been added to our website for your enjoyment and learning. Take a peek at the summaries below. To learn more, click on each species name to visit their page. Have you spotted these species on your outdoor adventures?
In a Deciduous Forest
Step foot into any deciduous forest and we can almost guarantee you will find one or both of these plant species.
Aspen Poplar - A tree quite common in our neck of the woods! Also known as a Trembling or Quaking Aspen, its fluttering leaves are a familiar sight and sound to many who venture outside. In addition, its tall, straight, powdery-white trunk make it hard to miss! Did you know this tree is vital to many wildlife species for food and to humans for lumber and medicine?
Saskatoon - Delicious berries are but one important part of this shrub, and is featured in our Nature’s Nourishment recipe book. Other parts of this shrub such as the wood and leaves were used for arrows and medicine, respectively. If you spot this shrub, it means the ground receives significant amounts of moisture.
Next to an Open Field
Driving in the prairies means you drive past multiple agricultural fields. Have you ever pulled off the road and just watched this landscape? Perhaps you noticed bird boxes on the fence posts. Maybe you will spot this species darting everywhere.
Tree Swallow - A small dark blur soars over a field and dives down in pursuit of its prey - insects! The tree swallow is identifiable by this behavior as well as its blue body and long wings. Despite their wide-spread numbers, this species’ population is declining.
Near a Wetland
Imagine that you are hiking in a forest when you come across a wetland. The water is covered in algae and the edges are ringed with lush vegetation. Crouch down and look around. Can you spot one of these plants?
Wild Mint - A strong smell a person won’t soon forget is wild mint. Being able to smell it near a wetland means something or someone has crushed its leaves. Did you know its smell and taste is caused by Menthol, which is also used in throat lozenges?
Stinging Nettle - Many people dislike the stinging nettle for its defense mechanism. We do not blame them in the slightest! However, there are many interesting facts hidden beneath its painful leaves. This plant is edible and is loaded with vitamins. In our recipe book, we cook nettles into a pie! Interestingly, it was also used by Indigenous people to treat various medical conditions.
In a Mature Forest
If you have the privilege to walk through mature forests with large old deciduous and conifer trees, open your eyes and ears. Maybe you just might hear or even see one of these birds.
Least Flycatcher - You have probably heard this bird and not have even realized it. The “Che-bek! Che-bek!” call is the signature identifying feature of the least flycatcher. Between May and September, this migratory species darts from tree branches to snag insects and fulfill their appetites.
Northern Saw-Whet Owl - Count yourself lucky if you have seen this owl in the wild! This elusive little bird with a big attitude blends in perfectly with trees to prevent detection from prey and predators alike. A key to finding predatory birds is to look for groups of birds diving at a tree. No one wants a predatory bird in their neighborhood.
These species, both plants and birds, can be found on our Conservation Lands. Come and explore! What will you find?