[NatureNS] purple finches, wooded swamps to explore while crust

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From: Nick Hill <fernhillns@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2017 16:06:07 -0300
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There are things one can do. Donna has worked w getting clean genotypes of
american beech that are not cancred with the beech bark disease. Now we
need to make a conservation  case for beech forests and start a program
like the Garry Oak on the west coast. Some say we drop the beech from
consideration as a potential old growth due to the disease but increasingly
I am seeing clean beech in the Valley. The number of old growth trees
should increase as NS climate moves closer to the Appalachian deciduous
forest conditions.
Many of us don't like genetic engineering yet there has been the
development of an American chestnut in the US. This was a real wildlife
tree and with climate change we can think we should plan for this in our
new forests.
I think the public responds to things they can do. What can they do on
their land to encourage wildlife? The red oak is another tree that should
do well in a hotter climate and we could plan for oak forests that were
good for timber and wildlife.

The DNR focus on clear-cut will change and the more government sees an
educated public that is out of step with a biomass approach and in favor of
wildlife value-added and human friendly forests, the more it may shift. We
understand the contractual bind the government is in to the large
companies...how do we get free of those forces?

Wish I knew


On Mar 12, 2017 4:26 PM, "Donna Crossland" <dcrossland@eastlink.ca> wrote:

> That=E2=80=99s fascinating, Paul.  Might I wager a guess that you would h=
ave more
> purple finches because the thin wedge of forests remaining and rimming th=
> Atlantic coast would feature more mature conifer?
> Also fascinating, your historical reference to the best time to travel by
> =E2=80=9Chorse and sleigh=E2=80=9D is coming up- the =E2=80=98green beer=
=E2=80=99 day, so to speak, on
> March 17th.    I guess I won=E2=80=99t be able to test that directly (the=
> I mean), but I noted yesterday that conditions are awesome for travelling
> to our wooded swamps without all the usual hard slogging.  Yesterday, my
> trusty German shepherd (who weighs ~90 lbs)  and I (with a solid =E2=80=
> weight=E2=80=9D accumulated and which shall remain undisclosed in this em=
ail) were
> scampering over the snow crust without a hint of breaking though.  It was=
> lot of fun, and I highly recommend the activity:  Now=E2=80=99s the time =
to visit
> our wooded swamps.  There, I found some long strands of *Usnea longissima=
> trailing delicately in the soft breeze.  This was in a small forest stand
> next to our former cow pasturage in East Dalhousie.  There were lots of
> lichens to explore there, but less incentive to doddle in the crisp temps=
> Back on your native PEI, Paul, I=E2=80=99ve read about how the early sett=
> could ride freely with horse and buggy through the tall beech woods witho=
> striking a branch.  It must have been really something before we cleared
> and burned it all down.  I mourn its loss even still.  The passenger
> pigeons would have feasted there during mast years up until the early 180=
> Stay warm!
> Donna
> *From:* naturens-owner@chebucto.ns.ca [mailto:naturens-owner@
> chebucto.ns.ca] *On Behalf Of *rita.paul@ns.sympatico.ca
> *Sent:* March-12-17 12:39 PM
> *To:* naturens@chebucto.ns.ca
> *Subject:* Re: [NatureNS] feeder birds
> Here at our little feeder Donna Purple Finches are the second
> most common bird I see - after Gold Finches.
> Red breasted Nuthatches come every once in a while
> the White Breasted and Brown Creepers stay in the trees.
> At home on PEI the old folks used to say the best time to travel
> by horse and sleigh on the ice was St Patricks day. This coming
> Friday so the cold blast is no susprise to me!
> Enjoy the end of winter
> Paul
> On March 12, 2017 at 9:49 AM Donna Crossland <dcrossland@eastlink.ca>
> wrote:
> It really was a popular day yesterday at the feeders (and similar today).
> None of us, feathered or otherwise, are accustomed to the sudden drop in
> temps and high winds that were experienced since it=E2=80=99s been a pret=
ty smooth
> coast for most of the winter.   I dove into the woods to get out of the
> biting winds yesterday afternoon.  It=E2=80=99s amazing what a difference=
> makes on a cold windy day.  Glad I don=E2=80=99t live on the prairies.
> The sap sucker was back at the suet feeder.  He=E2=80=99s very predictabl=
e when
> the temp drops.  For a while, my feeder area was very colorful with a mal=
> and female cardinal on the ground beneath, and the gorgeous red flashes o=
> the male sapsucker feeding from the last bit of suet low to the ground.  =
> made up a fresh batch of suet with black oil sunflower seeds mixed in
> (delicious) and hung it out to ensure everyone had a rich caloric intake =
> get through the cold afternoon and night ahead.  I made a second batch th=
> AM, and the chickadees immediately began to vocalize the news of the new
> suet being hung in a sheltered spot.
> Similar to Marg=E2=80=99s observations, there are no purple finches aroun=
d, but I
> have gold finches a plenty.  Considering what purple finches consume, I
> suspect the population will be extra low for a while, aside from its usua=
> irregularities as a winter feeder visitor and its reported declines
> elsewhere from House finch invasions.  I was observing air photo imagery
> under DNR=E2=80=99s Harvest Plans Map Viewer a few days ago.  It is clear=
 that we
> are flattening nearly all the remaining mature conifer forest in NS that
> would have supplied much of the natural sources of seed.  With 55 year
> harvest rotations set up on Crown land, it=E2=80=99s not certain what nat=
ural food
> supply will remain for the next while.  Trees need time to mature before
> producing any significant quantity of seed.  It=E2=80=99s a dire situatio=
n we are
> creating for wildlife.  Meanwhile, the =E2=80=9Cfield and roadside junco =
> goldfinch crews=E2=80=9D seem perfectly fine.
> I=E2=80=99ve heard valid and science-based criticisms against maintaining=
> feeders  through the years, and how this can do more harm than good for
> birds.  We know the feeders can spread diseases if we don=E2=80=99t sanit=
ize them,
> and they can set birds up for easy predation.  It=E2=80=99s perhaps mostl=
y a
> selfish pleasure watching birds at feeders, I suppose, bringing nature
> closer to us.  But with