Monday, 14 May 2012

Not your Average Worm Hunters

Growing up I was in awe of nature; be it watching the sunset over the lake, or watching a snake eat a frog backwards, the trees that whispered me asleep on family camping trips, or a chickadee that would eat out of a hat on top of my grandfather’s head.

I started my working career with HCA at Christie LakeConservation Area, as a lead hand. In early 2010 I transferred to ConfederationPark, to take on my new role as Assistant Superintendent. Leaving the nature filled Christie Lake Conservation Area, I was worried I would lose my connection to the beauty of Mother Nature, however to my surprise being down on Lake Ontario came with a new discovery of nature for me, that I never gave much consideration before. 

They sit perched high; may it be in a tree, on a sign, or soaring above looking for their next meal. Here on the western shoreline of Lake Ontario, we see migratory birds that visit us briefly and fill our skies and keep us on the lookout with large telescopes, and binoculars. The avid birders, who patiently wait to catch a glimpse of a rarely seen species, are plentiful here at Confederation Park.  This is where my new fascination with nature began and continues to keep me looking up at the skies for the Birds of Prey.

At Confederation Park you can spot an immature Bald Eagle perched more than 60 feet up in a tree, scanning the under layer for a tasty treat. (One that is nearly nonexistent to the naked eye).  The judgment and calculated, swift swoop that a feast has been found, leaves me in awe of the magnificence of this species. If you’re lucky enough you will see the prize tightly held by the eagle’s talons as it travels home to the dinner table.

There are many different species of birds of prey at Confederation Park which creates some stiff competition for a dinner table prize; the Red Shouldered Hawk, Red Tailed Hawk, and Sharp Shinned Hawk are plentiful, that sometimes you forget how special it is to be able to view them on a daily basis. 

As I marvel at their beauty as they move effortlessly through the breeze with such elegance, it is when  they spread their wings to hone in on a new target you remember you’re in the presence of a skilled hunter, battling with the eagle for a delicious morsel running or slithering down below.

On rare occasions we get lucky enough to view an AmericanKestrel, which keeps my anticipations high and scanning for new Birds of Prey every day never knowing what the lake is going to bring in on its wind currents.

Hope to see you soon at Confederation Park staring up in the skies for not your average worm hunter!!

Cari Hobbs
Assistant Superintendent
Confederation Park

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