May Species Count for Birds at Wagner Natural Area                May 28, 2016  - Dave Ealey

May species Counts are well-justified excuses to throw off the shackles of winter and celebrate the arrival of spring!
In late May, birds are at their most glorious....all are in full breeding plumage, colours galore. In the coniferous wooded areas of Wagner, it can be difficult to spot birds, so their territorial songs provide an additional means of detection.


Lincoln's sparrow

Palm Warbler

Savannah Sparrow

Swainson's Hawk

*These bird photos taken at Wagner in May of 2016

Wagner Natural Area May Species Count for Birds – May 28, 2016 -- by Dave Ealey 

This year’s count focused on the Marl Pond Trail from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., about 60% cloud and a light to moderate wind. Fairly warm start at 11 C, becoming quite a bit warmer by the end of the count. There were three separate surveys at 6:15 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., with five visitors in total accompanying me at the different surveys: Sheila (provided photos accompanying report), Jeremy, Chris, Angie and Hubert. I want to thank all participants for their assistance with counting the birds. 
We recorded a total of 92 birds counted on the natural area or flying over. Efforts were made to avoid double counting. A total of 33 species were identified on the count, an increase of six and nine species over 27 in 2015, and 24 in 2014.        

For the bird count results of 2016 please click here


In addition to the rich plant life, Wagner Natural Area is home to a wide variety of fauna. Birds, amphibians and butterflies are among the best studied in the Natural Area, while the mammals also provoke considerable interest. Wagner is also noted in zoological circles as the home of an isolated population of the Western (or Boreal) Toad. Because the marl ponds are critical habitat for amphibians such as frogs and toads, please do not walk in the white marl ponds, even if they appear dry. Instead, from the boardwalk watch in the early spring for the tadpoles as they grow from little black specks on the white marl, through to attaining their adult state. Wagner’s relatively small physical area, and close proximity to large urban areas, somewhat limits the number of large mammals found in the area. White-tailed deer, coyote, beaver and even moose can be seen in the area frequently.