by Neil Carleton
Some birds in Mississippi Mills don’t migrate as colder weather approaches. Northern cardinals and black-capped chickadees, for example, can be seen throughout the year. Their images can also be found on mailboxes along our rural roads.
This northern cardinal is perched in a sumac. A few red leaves indicate that the artist chose an early fall scene to capture the splendor of its plumage. This species, Cardinalis cardinalis, was named by early American colonists
A Canada goose sentinel watches over this pair of northern cardinals.
Nothing can evoke the mystique and imagery of the Canadian wilderness like the haunting call of the common loon at dusk.
Black-capped chickadees are cheery visitors at any time of the year.
The hole sizes of these nesting boxes might be suitable for a wren (left) and an eastern bluebird. Plans for making nesting boxes are available at a variety of websites, including nestwatch.org. Bluebird nesting boxes can be purchased locally from the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (Cliff Bennett 613-256-5013).
The bright colours of lady beetles are warnings to bug eaters, like birds, because all lady beetles have toxic chemicals in their systems that make them taste bad. Aphids are their favourite food. A big adult lady beetle can eat upwards to 60 aphids a day.