2019 Jan to Mar - Animal, Birds & Insects


In some areas, feeding the birds means attracting large moose, elk or bears in an area where there is lots of tourist foot traffic…Banff is one of those areas…


What? Are they grumpy old people? Shame on them! Fruit trees? Really? What do they expect the birds to eat? Utter nonsense! Oops! I just realized the “resort” ahead of “town.” So they’re doing this to “protect” the tourists?


To protect the people who live and work in the National Park and the tourists. About 8000 people live in Banff area.


The article also cites Canmore as having controls on such items…

I can say that in the mountain towns around here… Elkford, Sparwood, Fernie in the Elk Valley and almost all the towns in the Columbia Valley here even Cranbrook, they are cracking down… on them… the birds spill the seed and the smaller critters scramble to the spillage… looking for viable seed etc. not just husks.

We have deer in town here, and the bears, elk, moose etc. are just down the street and sometimes in town at night… they all are looking for seed and occasionally other animals feeding… but be clear, the big problem is with the people who WON’T follow control rules and regs and insist it is their right to feed the birds… and attract the carnivores… and there are no feed regs everywhere in the province… just a lot of jerks.
Usually the same ones that strew their garbage in the back roads rather than pay to tip at the dump… and ignore stops signs etc…

The animals are following ALL of their rules! And for the trees or other plants, they are tightening the Invasive Species Rules… as well… If they can track a genetic strain of an IS to your garden… guess who funds the clean up… Gardeners are the worst offenders for wanting invasive plants… followed by the suppliers…

Campers also contribute to the problems… leaving garbage, collecting IS species to take home or worse, planting their favourites in and around campsites… When I worked at a Campground a while back, we got a call from the road check they do at the scales on the highway just before Alberta… they were confirming that a camper had been our guest… and how long… I said they just pulled out an hour or so earlier and probably had only minimal stopping given the driving time… and a quick visible inspection from the office itself showed that the considerable pile of supplied free firewood at their campsite was gone… and they had left the fire pit smoldering as well (I put that out)… got a thanks from the inspector on the road check… he said that they had been checking the travel home out. and found the cut firewood and wondered… they were letting them go with the advisory that it was illegal to take that into Alberta but that it was not to export it, so they could go…
I assume the inspector made a call to his brethren over there who were also checking that day…
They both do regular safety checks on recreational vehicles… mostly for things like brakes, lights and overloads… and invasive species… at this time we were a source of pine beetles and that was why we cut and burned our infested trees… and had a sign asking people to not transport them… especially to Alberta.
There was a big sign on the highway near a pullout as well just before where this bunch was checked…
and I know he passed on my thanks to them for not putting out their fire pit… which had flared up due to wind.


That’s like the Purple Loose Strife that was introduced to the states many years ago. The purple flowers looked so pleasant that people (suppliers?) brought them into the country. People bought them for their flower gardens, and as nature does with the wind and birds, the seeds were spread all over. This invasive species has no predators in this country and has taken over many areas (sometimes very large areas) and choked out the native species that grows slower. Where there used to be several different species of wild flowers is now just purple loose strife. I always pull out as much as I can given the opportunity.
Speaking about gardeners footing the cleanup bill for IS, I wonder how that would work for the organic farmers whose crops are cross-contaminated by GMOs from an adjacent field? One would think the GMO grower would have to pay to have the organic field “cleaned up.” Instead - as of present - if an organic grower’s field is found to contain GMOs, then that grower can be sued by Monsanto (now Bayer) for not paying for the seed - especially if the seeds were still experimental. This was and still is a hornets’ nest situation.
Back to IS… we have a growing problem with the Emerald Ash Borer here in New York. Seems that each year it’s been found in one or more counties than the year earlier. I found one beetle - once - and pretty as it looked, squashed it. (They are beautiful-looking insects.) At one time I had planted three green ash in my backyard. From seedlings they rapidly grew to over 60’/18 m tall and kept the east side and back of the house very, very cool each summer. But when the town storm sewer developed a break in the top of it - it was a concrete box culvert running down an old stream bed - the soil was getting washed down into it and flushed down to the river. (The water runs very fast through this.) Eventually one of the trees started leaning and finally was laying on my roof. The town came down and it was decided that in order for them to dig down to the sewer, the three trees would have to come out. The top of the storm sewer is 14’/4.3 m deep and ran just a few feet (~2 metres) behind my house. So I lost my shade, not to the ash borer, but to sewer repair. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Still thinking of what kind of trees to plant next. :wink:

People leaving fires smoldering shouldn’t receive warnings but should be fined… plain and simple! They say ignorance of the law is no excuse, but to do something like that is on purpose. Stealing firewood provided to them - for free - shows what kind of person that is. Through the book at them I say! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Almost forgot the predators. We occasionally get black bear and a stray moose in the area. Last year a mama bear and her cub were walking the sidewalks in the village. Mama got her picture in the local newspaper as she started to cross Main Street. :smiley: We had one bear - mid-afternoon - walk up the middle of my street and head up the hill. And this past bow season a hunter had to shoot a black bear that had been stalking him and followed him to his tree stand. Whenever bear are spotted in the area, people are asked to take down their hanging bird feeders and such so the bear have no food source near people. I hope you realize I was just being humorously sarcastic about the ban regarding the feeders. But the fruit trees? Next they’ll want to ban nut trees, and then ban … Where does it end? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Exactly. Kelowna is another area…

Condo Assc/HOA’s have to pass bylaws to prevent residents from feeding the bears. Many say it doesn’t hurt anything, but they are attracting bears onto their patios and decks and of course these animals are using the regularly used hiking trails as their corridor to get there. Many hikers/bikers/dog walkers have encountered / been attacked by bears, cougars, moose, deer, elk, … while out for their morning walk.

Unfortunately, if the animal is a repeat offender after being tranquilized and moved, it will be put down. Unfair.

On the camping issue, I agree, if you leave a a campfire smouldering, maybe if fined and a one year ban from any of the parks in that province. Somehow the same offenders seem to just move around from campground to campground. And many of the wildfire problems last year were started by a camper leaving an unattended campfire…arrrghhh :angry:

The firewood, there are huge huge signs about NOT moving Elm or other firewood between provinces, as it carries disease from one province to another. Again…big fine or some kind of deterrent.


Hefty fines the first time 'round! That’s the best way to stop them from doing it again… unless they have money to throw away. Or they could double the fine each time they’re ticketed. After, say three offenses, then 30 days in jail or 100 hours of community service with the threat of jail time if the community service is not completed. Boy, am I mean or what? :innocent:


Somehow they have to learn to protect everyone and put out their campfires properly. Maybe it has to be a “How to extinguish your campfire school” they have to pass! Sort of like a DUI school!!! :rofl::smiley::rofl: I think most of us were in grade school when we learned these procedures…but some people seem to think they know when a fire is “burned down” and will not cause problems???


When I was growing up we had “Smokey the Bear” public service announcements on television all the time. “Remember,” he finish by saying, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” The original “Smokey the Bear” was an actual bear that was badly burned in a forest fire started by a camper.


Maybe we need “Smokey the Bear” back to teach these campers how to out out a campfire!!


True. When the original “Smokey” passed away from old age, TV stations here devoted quite a lot of air time about him and about his replacement. Things such as this ad campaign pass without much fanfare and eventually go by the wayside for something more “modern” or just ended altogether. The Park Service ended this fire prevention campaign after many decades. I think that “Smokey” campaign may have ran for 40+ years. You could save that little bear cub that was rescued made a lasting impression in millions of minds.
The “I Love New York” ad campaign was another successful ad campaign - for tourism. It not only informed out-of-state tourists of the many places to go and things to do for enjoyment, but at the same time educated New Yorkers as to what they may be missing right here in their home state! The campaign made money for the state… was turned over to a private company to run afterward… presto… stopped making money and started costing more and more taxpayers dollars to keep the private company afloat. Eventually and sadly - the campaign ended. I always loved those TV ads. The ads were in magazines, and brochures were everywhere. There’s this one old timer who wants permission to salvage the old “I Love New York” signs with the big red hearts for posterity. I say let him do it and while he’s doing that, revive the campaign. Just don’t give it to that private PR company that sucked the taxpayers dry.


Now that we’re done with daily babysitting and are back home, I have to remember when the “morning rush crowd” arrives for breakfast… and brunch… and lunch… and mid-afternoon snacks… and dinner before bed. You’d swear these crowds eat like a bird… oh, they are birds! :roll_eyes:
This morning as I stepped outside and looked around, bluejays started swarming in from all directions! At first they were flying in one, two, three at a time. All of a sudden there were so many flying in they were practically flying into one another. Some were satisfied with picking peanuts from the ground, but others started lining up on the porch railing to see how many peanuts (in the shell) they could fit in the throats and mouths at the same time. One large bluejay actually got three! and one of them had 3 nuts in the shell - very long! Once the jays calmed down and I replenished the nut supply on the railing, the titmice, juncos and chickadees would land first in the French lilac, then over to the railing, take a nut and fly off. This was repeated for nearly 10 minutes. Then the cardinals showed up with an extended family of chipping sparrows, following almost immediately by over 40 mourning doves. Have you ever seen that movie “The Birds”? The part where the birds are in the trees staring down at the people? That’s the feeling I get when the mourning doves are all sitting in the tree along side my driveway. I just know they’re staring at me! :worried: :wink: Last to show up was a red-headed woodpecker who alternated taking peanuts from the ground and the porch railing, and a hairy woodpecker who was content with the suet cake. Once this crowd started to thin out, I got raided by a large flock of starlings - all fighting among themselves as to who gets to the suet cakes first. And then, “What you’re eating looks better than what I’m eating… let’s fight over it!” :roll_eyes: I think the starlings spend more time fighting than eating. And the chipping sparrows spend more time flying back and forth from the privet hedges to the ground than eating. They’re so easily spooked, they spook each other. :smiley:



Did you notice that last photo in the article? The employee was assigned to “pooper scooper” detail. :smiley: I hope that bucket is big enough! :grimacing:


Yes I have a friend in Calgary who takes her kids at least once during this time each year. She said …you want to be near the front…not the back…too much penquin poop!!!:smiley::rofl:


The Canada geese are still down at the river - and honking every night. I don’t think they’re going to leave this year! The sea gulls and terns have been flying up and down the river… back and forth from the river to the shopping lot parking lot up in the village. A red-tailed hawk showed up several days in a row trying to make one of my lunch guests a meal. I laugh because my wife will run out and try to shoo it away. It just sits in a tree staring at her with a bewildered look on its face… as if to ask, “what in the h*ll are you doing?” After several minutes it takes off and five minutes later all the birds and squirrels are back. :grinning:

I’m still not back to “their” schedule. Every time I go out to put more seed out, I already have a full yard and they’re pecking and scratching for seed. Of course the bluejays let me know I’m late with the seed and peanuts. Darned things sit in the trees and scold me until I get their lunch. The funniest are the squirrels who all line up (more or less) and sit and watch me until I sit back down. Then they all start heading for beneath the pine tree and the porch. The red-headed woodpeckers have finally gotten used to me and will fly down to the porch railing and take a peanut - just a few feet away from me. They always waited until after I went back inside.



1:35 AM: I started to go outside and realized the motion light down by the driveway was on. Looking over beneath the big pine tree in my front yard I spotted the doe, her late fawn and the two fawns she “adopted.” I quickly but quietly backed into the kitchen and shut the door. I’ll let them eat since that snow storm will be here tomorrow afternoon. Yesterday I put out a lot of seed, cracked corn, safflower seed, black oil sunflower seeds and suet cakes. The usual crowd of about a hundred had a smorgasbord! Figured I better let these late fawns get what they can before everything’s buried beneath the snow. I’ll just peak out the window once in a while to see if they’re still there. Tomorrow I’ll be shoveling the snow out from under the tree (the wind will be blowing it underneath the limbs and will bury the seed. Got to uncover it and put out more once the snow ends. Birds first… driveway second. :wink:

Edit: At 2 AM I decided it was time to go outside. The doe and the fawns had left. I stood on my porch at the top of the steps leading out to the street. After lighting my cigarette and standing there listening to the sounds of the ship being unloaded down at the Port of Coeymans, I heard some leaves rustle over to my left. Only turning my head slowly, I spotted the solo doe - who does join up with the other doe and fawns on occasion - walking out from my neighbor’s backyard onto the dead-end street. She stopped for a few seconds to look around, flashed her tail and walking diagonally across the intersection and across the street. She stopped near the utility pole directly across the street from me and browsed the grass a bit. She did look over at me a few times, but only for a second or two. I finally turned slowly and walked across the porch, put my cigarette out and went to the door. As I opened the door I looked back over and the doe was just standing there watching me. I came back inside, took off my coat and peered out the window. The doe was back to browsing. I guess they don’t consider me much of a danger… but they are still wary. :smiley:


Yeah it was not her that got hit…all of them are doing well1!! and fed thanks to Jim!!! They should do well through the storm now. :tada::tada::slightly_smiling_face:

I would think by now they know you are not a danger, and probably the smell of your cigarette gives you away.