Birds, Bears and Stargazing to Kick-start our Spring
We’ve weathered one of the coldest Februaries in Alberta’s history with some record breaking cold days. If you’re like me, you might be struggling to get into the “Spring is in the Air” mood when you have to wear multiple layers, plug in the car, cover your face so your glasses fog up and so forth!
Take a cue from nature to inspire you to get into the spring spirit and kick those winter blues!
The wild animals in the area know spring is imminent, even when it feels like it will never arrive! Here’s your proof:
- Canada Jays (also known as Whiskey Jacks) are nesting! Even when the snow is a meter deep, these birds line their snug nests with cocoons and start laying eggs!
- Canada Geese are headed this way! Within a couple of weeks, we should be hearing their spring honking over Drayton Valley!
- Coyote breeding season is in full swing and has been since late January!
- Black Bears and Grizzlies start venturing out of their hibernation dens in March, so be aware when you’re exploring the local wilderness areas or you might be on the news like the Kananaskis skiers who woke up the grizzly bear!
- Mink breeding season begins! (Minks have the ability to extend their gestation period to ensure that their babies are born in appropriate weather)
- Saw-whet Owls start their incessant night calls, looking for mates!
- Skunks begin to emerge from their hibernation dens and breeding season begins! Male skunks may travel for up to 8 km after they emerge, on the look-out for females!
- Red squirrel breeding season begins! If you’re out in the parks, you may see a frenzy of squirrels chasing about right now.
- Great Horned Owls are laying eggs! In some years, these early nesters begin as early as February. It’s believed that egg laying is earlier on years when there is abundant prey.
Eagle Point-Blue Rapids Parks Council has been busy too, lining up programs! In addition to our regular Environmental Education programs which are offered to school and youth groups, we’ve got two weekend programs suitable for Adults coming up in the next few weeks to get you out of the house!
SNOWSHOE TOUR WITH BANNOCK AND TEA: On March 16, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, join us for a snowshoe tour of Riverside Trail in Willey West Campground. Learn how to make bannock and cook it on a stick over the fire while you warm up with a mug of trail tea! Enjoy this leisurely walk along the shores of the North Saskatchewan River. We should see signs of wildlife along the trails! $35 fee includes snowshoes, bannock and tea. This program is open to adults and mature teens! Register by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kathy at 780-542-1932.
STARGAZING EVENING FOR FAMILIES:
On April 12, at 7:30 pm, Eagle Point-Blue Rapids Parks Council collaborates with the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) Edmonton Centre to bring you a “Stargazing Evening for Families.” View the moon, sun, Andromeda Galaxy, Hercules Constellation, Mars and more on the RAS telescopes! We’ll have a bonfire and hot chocolate to start the evening! Dress appropriately and be prepared for some mucky conditions. Program is weather dependent! Alternate date is April 18. Registration is required! $20 adults, $10 for children and youth, $50 Family rate. Contact Kathy at 780-542-1932 or email email@example.com to register.
Visit our website for more details on these and other programs at www.epbrparkscouncil.org.
Eagle Point-Blue Rapids Parks – Where Adventure Awaits!