Red Deer River Naturalists

The Red Deer river Naturalists are a group dedicated to learning about and preserving natural history. They have regular programs with speakers and many field trips.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Discoveries About Bears

Dr. Steve Herrero will be presenting a lecture and slide show about bears in Alberta.

This will take place in the Margaret Parsons Theatre at Red Deer College, Red Deer, Alberta Oct. 22,at 7:30 PM. Tickets are free and you get them from the Kerry Wood Nature Center ph 403-346-2010.

"Discoveries are often delightful moments as you may see the world around you in a new way. Sometimes this new view is very satisfying. This has been the case regarding some of the research my colleagues and I have done on bears..."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Robins, Robins, Robins

Photo by Judy Boyd


At this time of year in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada there are robins all over the place...in trees , shrubs and in the air. They are also crazy as they are chasing one another, yapping continuously and running into windows. What's happened to this mild mannered bird that we see in our yards in spring and summer? Natural Wise will tell you a little about these birds.
We will have to back up a bit. I like to hike above the tree line in the Rocky mountains. What's the most common bird you see? You guessed it. The robin. I also lived on the Mackenzie Delta which is above the arctic circle. Robins nested there . Now with global warming there are reports of robins nesting at Sachs Harbor on Banks island which is 450km north of the Mackenzie Delta. These two places are separated by the Beaufort Sea which is filled with ice. We usually think of robins being a garden variety bird, which they are, but they are also very widely distributed. They can easily nest on the ground. I have found ground nesting robins around Red Deer when they are less than 5 meters from trees.

Now back to Red Deer. Robins have come down from the mountains and the North. We now have a population of robins composed of mostly young of the year. Robins usually have two successful nests a summer. The area has plenty of food...ripe berries which are high in sugar content. So these young free wheelers are full of energy and feisty. They chase each other with abandon.

Most of these birds are preparing for migration south. Some go very far south and some stop where there is a rich food supply. Some robins stay here . We usually have robins in our Christmas bird count. I have seen robins in early Feb. at minus30C. They appear to be huge birds as their feathers are fluffed up to keep them warm.

So on their way south with good food and many competitive and aggressive friends , robins end up doing some pretty crazy things. What a sight to watch!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Natural Wise Inauguration

We are pleased to introduce Natural Wise to you. Natural Wise is a blog set up by The Red Deer River Naturalists based in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. We hope to be able to publicize a wide variety of news, views and information about natural history.

We have a number of writers and photographers who have experience and skill and are able to produce blogs of interest.

We hope that you will make a habit of following Natural Wise once we get going. We look forward to your comments and suggestions.