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Winter bird count adds a new species

On Saturday, January 13, eleven hardy birders braved the frigid temperatures and windy conditions (it was -17 C when we started without adding in the wind chill) to conduct the 36th annual Arboretum Winter Bird Count.

sharp-shinned hawk

The presence of this male Sharp-shinned Hawk seemed to keep the birds away from one of our feeder stops. Photo by Ian MacDonald.

It appears that we weren't the only ones that thought it was chilly as the number of species seen was lowest recorded since 1988! But we did find one new species for the count: a Winter Wren showed itself while we were looking at some fresh Ruffed Grouse tracks. Here is the list of what we saw:

Ruffed Grouse - fresh tracks

Sharp-shinned Hawk 1

Gull (species not determined) 1

Mourning Dove 9

Downy Woodpecker 6

American Crow 4

Black-capped Chickadee 52

Red-breasted Nuthatch 2

White-breasted Nuthatch 5

Winter Wren 1

Northern Cardinal 5

Dark-eyed Junco 17

American Goldfinch 23

House Sparrow 3

mourning dove

This Mourning Dove seemed more interested in staying warm than in getting away from us. Photo by Ian MacDonald.

We aren't sure where all the Blue Jays, Red-tailed Hawks, American Tree Sparrows and other regular birds were hiding, but they did a job of not showing themselves! We did get to see many fresh mammals tracks as well as a very obliging porcupine.


Sleepy Porcupine. Photo by Chris Earley

Thanks to everyone who participated and to Ian MacDonald for his great photos.


Skyjack helps with Seed Collection Read More

Lichen Diversity Read More

Arboretum Reflection Read More

Students collect Blue Ash Seeds Read More

Arboretum Tree Ice Damage Report Read More

Biodiversity Sheets for Nature Awareness Read more

Landscape Student Helps Put Runners on the Right Track Read more


Click here to read more past articles on The Arboretum.

Wildlife Sightings

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Master Plan



Operational Plan

Arboretum Beginning

The Arboretum at the University of Guelph is somewhat modeled after the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University which is 100 years older.

Plantings started in 1971 and are now maturing to produce a beautiful landscape, within which The Arboretum continues to develop specialized gardens, botanical collections, and gene conservation programs.

Labels are maintained at the base of all woody plants in the collections that are listed on The Arboretum map.

University of Guelph Arboretum
College Ave East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1

ext. 52113


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