The price of greatness is responsibility

Well it is World Habitat Awareness Month this April.  That fits in well with Climate Action.

It is a theme which repeats itself.  Climate change needs the habitat for humans to be conserved and preserved.  Endangered species – either plant or animal- need for their habitat to be protected and conserved.

Find the action plan for the endangered species in the afforestation areas -The horned grebe and barred tiger salamander are listed as a species of special concern by the Committee On The Status Of Endangered Wildlife In Canada – an Independent Advisory Panel to the Minister Of Environment and Climate Change. The Red-necked Phalarope, Baird’s Sparrow and Grasshopper Sparrow are special concern, and Bobolink, Bank Swallow is threatened nationally under the federal Species at Risk Act SARA Schedule 1. The provincially listed small yellow lady’s slipper is another.

COVID-19 brings home the mortality of homo-sapiens, of our family, brothers sisters, cousins, grandparents, and parents.  The Saskatchewan Government has set out guidelines to protect endangered plants and animals, and provides protocols for their survival, just like the Saskatchewan Government provided COVID-19 guidelines.

Further to this, to help protect endangered plants and animals,  ecological assessments,  or Species Detection Surveys are conducted, which may have a corrolary to the COVID testing, and phoning 811.  The Rare Plant Survey Protocol which suggests that three ecological assessments or surveys be conducted to maximize the finding of the rare species.  Therefore, May 15- June 20 then June 21-July 31 and again between Aug 1-Sept 15 are desireable, with one month between the date of each of the three surveys conducted.  It is important to note when the plants are at the greatest opportunity for detection, and therefore the plant phenology must be consulted to aid in the accuracy of the reporting.  Citizen bio-blitzes after the COVID-19 epidemic and reporting to iNaturalist will be of great assistance.

Scientists use weather patterns and yearly extremes in their endangered plant survey reporting, just as scientists use these same phenomena, temperature, humidity and latitude, to track COVID-19 outbreaks and to determine modelling scenarios and where to provide resources.

“Climate change is not just about carbon dioxide levels and melting polar ice caps. It is about our public health and protecting our Earth for future generations.”~Mike Quigley

Just as our approach to COVID-19 can also help tackle climate change, so, too can our approach in managing the greenspace in Saskatoon for the environment, humans, plants and animals.  How in the world can we possibly have eco-classrooms, an increase in users to the greenspace who are actively involved in outdoor recreation to respect the urban regional park?  Responsibility is the ability to respond.  This article says, ” to control the coronavirus, governments have needed to mandate social distancing, ground aeroplanes and close borders. For climate change, they need to back clean technologies and end subsidies to polluting industries.”  For endangered species, there are yet other protocols.

For COVID-19, the governments provided means to obtain more information, and to ask questions. Find out how to address their government in regards to climate change, and the environmental protection measures.  We realize how important various measures are needed to overcome COVID-19.  We took action to help us heal from COVID-19, can you take actions to help the earth heal?  Keep your letter to the government short.  Do your research into the topic. Ask your government official for a reply.  Remember there are municipal, provincial and federal levels of government to appeal to on behalf of the environment

You must take personal responsibility.  You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. “~ Jim Rohn

Today is Tuesday April 14, and this article brings awareness to Earth Month. This year’s Earth Day 2020 theme is Climate Action.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” Winston Churchill

For directions as to how to arrive at “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to arrive at  Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Canada Helps

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SW 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Instagram: St.BarbeBaker

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

You Tube Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Please help protect / enhance /commemorate your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail / e-transfers)

Canada Helps

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“Climate change is the environmental challenge of this generation, and it is imperative that we act before it’s too late.”~John Delaney

“We can’t leave everything to the free market. In fact, climate change is, I would argue, the greatest single free-market failure. This is what happens when you don’t regulate corporations and you allow them to treat the atmosphere as an open sewer.”~Naomi Klein

anthropomorphize your bird

anthropomorphize  your bird

April 8 is Draw A Picture of a Bird Day!

Is your art style art nouveau, caricature, cartoon or totally realistic?  Are you going to draw a bird in flight, sitting on a nest, swimming on the water as waterfowl do, walking on the ground, waiting for food like a baby bird would or climbing down the trunk of a tree like a nuthatch?

Do  you prefer to draw with pen and ink, with charcoal, pencil, chalk, oil pastels or perhaps colored pencils?  What kind of medium do you draw on – would you choose paper, construction paper, toilet paper, birch bark, paper towels, newspaper, glossy magazine paper, bristol board, cardboard, lined or graph paper?

Couldn’t resist adding toilet paper in, as there seems to be some hoarding going on, so there may be an abundance of toilet paper on which to draw pictures of your bird/s.

Anthropomorphization
Anthropomorphize your bird

On Wednesday April 8, there are two weeks before the Earth Day celebration! This year’s Earth Day 2020 theme is Climate Action, which will be explored during Earth Month.

During your time spent drawing birds, consider the local birds which you may no longer see around anymore because they are endangered.  Consider what actions could be taken to protect endangered species.  A lot of thought has gone into what actions are needed to protect homo sapiens during the COVID-19 pandemic, what actions are needed for our local avian endangered species?

The horned grebe and barred tiger salamander are listed as a species of special concern by the Committee On The Status Of Endangered Wildlife In Canada – an Independent Advisory Panel to the Minister Of Environment and Climate Change. The Red-necked Phalarope, Baird’s Sparrow and Grasshopper Sparrow are special concern, and Bobolink, Bank Swallow is threatened nationally under the federal Species at Risk Act SARA Schedule 1. The provincially listed small yellow lady’s slipper is another species in need of environmental guardianship. Protecting critical habitat is thus a key concern.

A fund-raiser has been started to protect the habitat of a federally listed species in the wetlands of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  April 19 2020 is the cutoff date for this fundraiser should you wish to help out.

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

  Canada Helps

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

The damage that climate change is causing and that will get worse if we fail to act goes beyond the hundreds of thousands of lives, homes and businesses lost, ecosystems destroyed, species driven to extinction, infrastructure smashed and people inconvenienced.”~David Suzuki

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall

“This generation may either be the last to exist in any semblance of a civilised world or that it will be the first to have the vision, the bearing and the greatness to say, ‘I will have nothing to do with this destruction of life, I will play no part in this devastation of the land, I am determined to live and work for peaceful construction for I am morally responsible for the world of today and the generations of tomorrow.’”
Richard St. Barbe Baker

Basic Consideration : Water

Water must be a basic consideration in everything~Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

Horned Grebe

Podiceps Auritus “Members of the family of Grebes are to be found in the temperate zones of both hemispheres, beyond which they do not extend very far either to the north or south. They are usually found on ponds or large sheets of stagnant water, sometimes on deep, slow-moving streams; but always where sedges and rushes are abundant. Probably there are no birds better entitled to the name of water fowl than the Grebes—at least, observers state that they know of no others that do not on some occasions appear on dry land. It is only under the most urgent circumstances, as, for instance, when wounded, that they approach the shore, and even then they keep so close to the brink that on the slightest alarm they can at once plunge into the water. Whatever they do must be done in the water; they cannot even rise upon the wing without a preliminary rush over the surface of the lake. From dry land they cannot begin their flight. Their whole life is spent in swimming and diving. They even repose floating upon the water, and when thus asleep float as buoyantly as if they were made of cork, the legs raised to the edges of the wings, and the head comfortably buried among the feathers between the back and shoulder. Should a storm arise, they at once turn to face the blast, and are usually able, with their paddle-like feet, to maintain themselves in the same place. They dive with great facility, and make their way more swiftly when under water than when swimming at the top. When flying the long neck is stretched out straight forwards and the feet backwards. In the absence of any tail, they steer their course by means of their feet. When alarmed they instantly dive.

Their food consists of small fishes, insects, frogs, and tadpoles. Grebes are peculiar in their manner of breeding. They live in pairs, and are very affectionate, keeping in each other’s company during their migrations, and always returning together to the same pond. The nest is a floating one, a mass of wet weeds, in which the eggs are not only kept damp, but in the water. The weeds used in building the nests are procured by diving, and put together so as to resemble a floating heap of rubbish, and fastened to some old upright reeds. The eggs are from three to six, at first greenish white in color, but soon become dirty, and are then of a yellowish red or olive-brown tint, sometimes marbled.

The male and female both sit upon the nest, and the young are hatched in three weeks. From the first moment they are able to swim, and in a few days to dive. Having once quitted the nest they seldom return to it, a comfortable resting and sleeping place being afforded them on the backs of their parents. “It is a treat to watch the little family as now one, now another of the young brood, tired with the exertion of swimming or of struggling against the rippling water, mount as to a resting place on their mother’s back; to see how gently, when they have recovered their strength, she returns them to the water; to hear the anxious, plaintive notes of the little warblers when they have ventured too far from the nest; to see their food laid before them by the old birds; or to witness the tenderness with which they are taught to dive.Col. F. M. Woodruff.

Designated Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada COSEWIC, “because over 90% of this bird’s breeding grounds are within Western Canadian wetlands, the continued destruction of marshes and waterways is a major threat to the survival of this species.”Nature Canada “Threats include degradation of wetland breeding habitat, droughts, increasing populations of nest predators (mostly in the Prairies), and oil spills on their wintering grounds in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. COSEWIC

“The global population has been declined by 30% over the last three decades and by 79% within North America. Within 1985 and 2001, grassland and wetland drainage amounted to 5% global habitat loss. Due to global declines, the Horned Grebe has been unlisted from least concern to vulnerable resulting in conservation and research action plans.*

According to the Ministry of the Environment, A breeding bird or breeding Grebe colony is protected May 15 through to July 15 of the year, foot traffic, and other low disturbances must maintain a distance of 100 meters. Medium disturbances such as vehicles and ATVs as well as high disturbances, roads, drilling both must maintain a distance of 200m from loons and any Colonial Nesting Grebes.  The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the Afforestation Area formerly known as George Genereux Park are both located in the West Swale which drains into the South Saskatchewan River at Yorath Island/Maple Grove.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Nature Canada suggests:

  • “Tell elected officials that you support the protection of at least half of Canada’s Boreal forest.” “The eco-system of a forest is very fragile. It is very easily upset. This would be a fifth reason why tree cover should be maintained…It is not enough for a mayor to put on his chain and plant a tree but he must plant forest trees for our lives”~Richard St. Barbe Baker The afforestation areas of Saskatoon are a vital heritage site, and a true testament to the Parks Department of Saskatoon.
  • Dan Kraus,Weston conservation scientist and senior director of conservation program development for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, writes about the temperate prairies, and the endangered grasslands ~ the World’s most endangered eco-system. So it certainly would not hurt to tell your elected officials that you support the protection, as well, of the native grasslands of the West Swale, including those of the Afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux Urban Regional Park, and the native grasslands of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
  • “When viewed in the context of our climate and geological history, it is evident that prairie wetlands are integral and irreplaceable parts of the Saskatchewan landscape.The challenge is to find a place for these wetlands in our social, economic and land-use systems – a place where their protection and conservation is assured by their inherent value.Managing Saskatchewan’s Wetlands Is there not truly a great symbiosis between woodlands, grasslands and wetlands?
  • “Advocate for greater protection of Important Bird Areas (IBA) in your community and across the country.”
  • “Learn more about IBAs.” Do you consider Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the West Swale, and the many and several wetlands around Chappell Marsh an important bird area? Chappell Marsh is huge, extending from Chappell Marsh Conservation Area managed by Ducks Unlimited, into Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area managed by the City of Saskatoon and the Meewasin Valley.
  • “Stay informed about endangered birds and other species”
  • “Thousands of volunteers have helped conserve Important Bird Areas by surveying bird populations, building nest boxes, erecting signs, removing invasive species, planting native grasses, and promoting awareness of the value of wildlife.”

What will you do?

From the account above, can you recognize the Horned Grebe, now on your travels into the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and around about the West Swale wetlands, the series of marshes alongside Chappell Marsh?

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

The elected officials are:

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa

The Honourable Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, S.O.M., S.V.M., Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan

Honorable Sheri Benson, Member of Parliament Constituency:Saskatoon West Email:Sheri.Benson@parl.gc.ca

The Honourable Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan. Email premier@gov.sk.ca

Ms. Jennifer Campeau. Saskatchewan Party Saskatoon Fairview ~ representing the regions for the West Swale and Afforestation areas. Members of the Legislative Assembly. casaskatoonfairview@shaw.ca

His Worship Mayor Charlie Clark

Saskatoon City Councillors. Ward 2 – Councillor Hilary Gough and Ward 3 – Councillor Ann Iwanchuk

Shaping Saskatoon Email communications Division

“From water and earth we came, and the future of mankind on this planet will be determined by respectful or disrespectful treatment of these basic elements.

Water must be a basic consideration in everything: forestry, agriculture and industry. The forest is the mother of the rivers. First we must restore the tree cover to fix the soil, prevent too quick run-off, and steady springs, streams and rivers. We must restore the natural motion of our rivers and, in so doing, we shall restore their vitalizing functions. A river flowing naturally, with its bends, broads and narrows, has the motion of the blood in our arteries, with its inward rotation, tension and relaxation.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Collins, Henry Hill Editor. Harper and Row’s Complete Field Guide to North American Wildlife. Harper and Row Publishers. New York. 1981. ISBN 0-06-181163-7 page 12.
Continuing Horned Grebe and Snow Buntings sullivancountybirder, Sullivan & Delaware County Birder’s Blog

COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. COSEWIC. 2009. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus Western population and Magdalen Islands population, in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 42 pp.
(www.sararegistry.gc.ca/
status/status_e.cfm)

Audubon Mural Project 2016. New York, NY. Bird #20: Horned Grebe: Giannina Gutierrez. Aug 13, 2016 street artstreet artistsNew York

David Krughoff’s Horned Grebe Prairies North Magazine.

Horned Grebe v.s. Highways. CBC.ca The Afternoon Edition. [Saskatchewan Highways and infrastructure have run into a different kind of roadblock at the site of one of their construction projects: the Horned Grebe.]

Horned Grebe. All About Birds Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Horned Grebe Audubon Field Guide

October birding around Victoria on a wonderful weekend hazel, FOSSILS & FAUNA
Dec 4, 2016 birdsbcnature

Horned Grebe videos, photos, and facts. Podiceps auritus. |ARKive

Species Profile Horned Grebe Western population Species at Risk Public Registry. SARA Government of Canada.

Species Profile Horned Grebe Species at Risk Public Registry. SARA Government of Canada.

Horned Grebe Bird Web.

Horned Grebe: Life History All About Birds.

Horned Grebe Bird Watcher’s Digest.

Horned Grebe. Birdinginformation.com

Horned Grebe Wikipedia.

Peterson, Roger Tory. A Field Guide to Western Birds. A completely new guide to Field Marks of All Species Found in North America West of the 100th Meridian and North of Mexico. Peterson Field Guides. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston. 1990. ISBN 0-395-51749-4. page 26

Nature Canada ~ Horned Grebe Species Spotlight

Sibley, David Allen. Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 2003. ISBN 0-679-45121-8. Page 30.

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SW 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance /commemorate your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker presented by Paul Hanley

You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale wetlands

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – Saskatoon’s best kept secret.

 

The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it it the ‘skin’ of the earth, for without it there can be no water, and therefore, no life.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

I believe in oneness of mankind and of all living things and in the interdependence of each and all. I believe that unless we play fair to the Earth, we cannot exist physically on this planet. Unless we play fair to our neighbour, we cannot exist socially or internationally. Unless we play fair to better self, there is no individuality and no leadership. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker.

 

 

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“In the wealth of the woods since the world began The trees have offered their gifts to man.” – Henry van Dyke

The greatest gift of all is life. For millions of years the trees were paving the way for life on this planet, absorbing impurities, clearing up the foetid atmosphere and the swamp breath, absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off the life giving oxygen that
we breathe.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Water Programmes are Essential

I believe that water must be the basic consideration in all our national and earth- wide forest programmes. Streams and rivers must be returned to their natural motion. ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus
Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus winter colours
Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus breeding colours
Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus breeding colours

Horned Grebe

Podiceps Auritus is quite an amazing looking waterbird with yellow / white unique feathers behind its eyes tufted up to appear as “horns”, thus it name. This little bird is quite striking with black head, red eyes, and the white tufted ears bobbing along above a dark chestnut/black coloured body. These are the breeding colours when the Horned Grebe is all dressed up for show and courtship.

There are many books written nowadays which will tell you about birds as folk of the twentieth century see them. They describe carefully the singer’s house, his habits, the number of his little wife’s eggs, and the color of every tiny feather on her pretty wings. But these books tell you nothing at all about bird-history; about what birds have meant to all the generations of men, women, and children since the world began. You would think, to read the words of the bird-book men, that they were the very first folk to see any bird, and that what they think they have seen is the only matter worth the knowing.

Now the interesting facts about birds we have always with us. We can find them out for ourselves, which is a very pleasant thing to do, or we can take the word of others, of which there is no lack. But it is the quaint fancies about birds which are in danger of being lost. They show what the little feathered brothers have been to the children of men; how we have come to like some and to dislike others as we do; why the poets have called them by certain nicknames which we ought to know…~Abbie Farwell Brown

Nesting of the Horned Grebe will occur at a site in shallow water, most commonly amid wetlands flora alongside marshes. Breeding pairs most often choose sites in temperate zones of the Canadian prairies. The nests are made of wetlands plant material and anchored to the plants alongside freshwater marshes for concealment. Symbiosis played a major role in the co-evolution of the prairie marsh eco-system and the Horned Grebe.

Quite the jolliest season of the year, with the birds, is when they begin to require a home, either as a shelter from the weather, a defence against their enemies, or a place to rear and protect their young. May is not the only month in which they build their nests, some of our favorites, indeed, waiting till June, and even July; but as it is the time of the year when a general awakening to life and activity is felt in all nature, and the early migrants have come back, not to re-visit, but to re-establish their temporarily deserted homes, we naturally fix upon the first real spring month as the one in which their little hearts are filled with titillations of joy and anticipation.~C. C. Marble.

Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus Nesting
Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus Nesting

In winter, the Horned Grebe has a black crown, and a pale foreneck, cheeks and underparts, quite distinct from the showy breeding coloration. The Horned Grebe show up here in April, with the majority of sightings in May, June, and July. Sightings of the Horned Grebe continue on until November when they leave to the Aleutians and exposed shorelines of saltwater oceans to overwinter.

A grebe most resembles a small loon when it comes to waterbirds. Grebes in general are ducklike divers with lobed toes (not webbed feet) and sharp pointed bills. This little waterbird is quite fascinating to watch, at times diving down under the water as a loon, at other times just sinking down. The grebe will sit with its body much lower in the water than a duck.

The Horned Grebe needs to be on water to fly, and is not often seen on land. When not on the water, the Horned Grebe will maneuver awkwardly as a jumping and hopping motion, rushing across the surface of the water to gather up speed for flight.

Designated Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada COSEWIC, “because over 90% of this bird’s breeding grounds are within Western Canadian wetlands, the continued destruction of marshes and waterways is a major threat to the survival of this species.”Nature Canada “Threats include degradation of wetland breeding habitat, droughts, increasing populations of nest predators (mostly in the Prairies), and oil spills on their wintering grounds in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. COSEWIC

“The global population has been declined by 30% over the last three decades and by 79% within North America. Within 1985 and 2001, grassland and wetland drainage amounted to 5% global habitat loss. Due to global declines, the Horned Grebe has been unlisted from least concern to vulnerable resulting in conservation and research action plans.*

According to the Ministry of the Environment, A breeding bird or breeding Grebe colony is protected May 15 through to July 15 of the year, foot traffic, and other low disturbances must maintain a distance of 100 meters. Medium disturbances such as vehicles and ATVs as well as high disturbances, roads, drilling both must maintain a distance of 200m from loons and any Colonial Nesting Grebes.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Nature Canada suggests:

  • “Tell elected officials that you support the protection of at least half of Canada’s Boreal forest.” “The eco-system of a forest is very fragile. It is very easily upset. This would be a fifth reason why tree cover should be maintained…It is not enough for a mayor to put on his chain and plant a tree but he must plant forest trees for our lives”~Richard St. Barbe Baker. The afforestation areas of Saskatoon are a vital heritage site, and a true testament to the Parks Department of Saskatoon.
  • Dan Kraus, Weston conservation scientist and senior director of conservation program development for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, writes about the temperate prairies, and the endangered grasslands ~ the World’s most endangered eco-system. So it certainly would not hurt to tell your elected officials that you support the protection as well, of the native grasslands of the West Swale, including those of the Afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux Urban Regional Park, and the native grasslands of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
  • “When viewed in the context of our climate and geological history, it is evident that prairie wetlands are integral and irreplaceable parts of the Saskatchewan landscape.The challenge is to find a place for these wetlands in our social, economic and land-use systems – a place where their protection and conservation is assured by their inherent value.Managing Saskatchewan’s Wetlands” Is there not truly a great symbiosis between woodlands, grasslands and wetlands?
  • “Advocate for greater protection of Important Bird Areas (IBA) in your community and across the country.”  Do you consider Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the West Swale, and the many and several wetlands around Chappell Marsh an important bird area? Chappell Marsh is huge, extending from Chappell Marsh Conservation Area managed by Ducks Unlimited, into Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area managed by the City of Saskatoon and the Meewasin Valley Authority.
  • “Learn more about IBAs.”
  • “Stay informed about endangered birds and other species”
  • “Thousands of volunteers have helped conserve Important Bird Areas by surveying bird populations, building nest boxes, erecting signs, removing invasive species, planting native grasses, and promoting awareness of the value of wildlife.”

What will you do?

From the account above, can you recognize the Horned Grebe, now on your travels into the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and around about the West Swale wetlands, the series of marshes alongside Chappell Marsh?

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

The elected officials are:

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa

The Honourable Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, S.O.M., S.V.M., Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan

Honorable Sheri Benson, Member of Parliament Constituency:Saskatoon West Email:Sheri.Benson@parl.gc.ca

The Honourable Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan. Email premier@gov.sk.ca

Cabinet Minister
The Honourable Scott Moe, Minister of the Environment

Ms. Jennifer Campeau. Saskatchewan Party Saskatoon Fairview ~ representing the regions for the West Swale and Afforestation areas. Members of the Legislative Assembly. casaskatoonfairview@shaw.ca

His Worship Mayor Charlie Clark

Saskatoon City Councillors. Ward 2 – Councillor Hilary Gough and Ward 3 – Councillor Ann Iwanchuk

Shaping Saskatoon Email communications Division

I believe, therefore, that water must be a basic consideration in all our national and earth wide forest programmes. Streams and rivers must be restored to their natural motion and thus floods and droughts must be eliminated. Forests and woodlands are intimately linked with biological, social and spiritual well-being. I believe that the minimum tree cover for safety is l/3rd of the total land area of every country. Every catchment area should have at least this proportion of tree cover made of mixed species including the broad leaved trees” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Collins, Henry Hill Editor. Harper and Row’s Complete Field Guide to North American Wildlife. Harper and Row Publishers. New York. 1981. ISBN 0-06-181163-7 page 12.
Continuing Horned Grebe and Snow Buntings sullivancountybirder, Sullivan & Delaware County Birder’s Blog

COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. COSEWIC. 2009. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus Western population and Magdalen Islands population, in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 42 pp.
(www.sararegistry.gc.ca/
status/status_e.cfm)

Audubon Mural Project 2016. New York, NY. Bird #20: Horned Grebe: Giannina Gutierrez. Aug 13, 2016 street artstreet artistsNew York

David Krughoff’s Horned Grebe Prairies North Magazine.

Horned Grebe v.s. Highways. CBC.ca The Afternoon Edition. [Saskatchewan Highways and infrastructure have run into a different kind of roadblock at the site of one of their construction projects: the Horned Grebe.]

Horned Grebe. All About Birds Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Horned Grebe Audubon Field Guide

October birding around Victoria on a wonderful weekend hazel, FOSSILS & FAUNA
Dec 4, 2016 birdsbcnature

Horned Grebe videos, photos, and facts. Podiceps auritus. |ARKive

Species Profile Horned Grebe Western population Species at Risk Public Registry. SARA Government of Canada.

Species Profile Horned Grebe Species at Risk Public Registry. SARA Government of Canada.

Horned Grebe Bird Web.

Horned Grebe: Life History All About Birds.

Horned Grebe Bird Watcher’s Digest.

Horned Grebe. Birdinginformation.com

Horned Grebe Wikipedia.

Peterson, Roger Tory. A Field Guide to Western Birds. A completely new guide to Field Marks of All Species Found in North America West of the 100th Meridian and North of Mexico. Peterson Field Guides. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston. 1990. ISBN 0-395-51749-4. page 26

Nature Canada ~ Horned Grebe Species Spotlight

Sibley, David Allen. Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 2003. ISBN 0-679-45121-8. Page 30.

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

NEW P4G District Official Community Plan

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′

Addresses:

Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A

Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A

S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A

NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063

Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot

Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)?with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Blogger: FriendsAfforestation

Tumblr friendsafforestation.tumblr.comFacebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker Afforestation Area

Facebook for the non profit Charity Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. FriendsAreas

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Reddit: FriendsAfforestation

Twitter: St Barbe Baker Charity Twitter:FriendsAreas

Mix: friendsareas

YouTube

Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail / e-transfers )

Donate your old vehicle, here’s how!

Support using Canada Helps

Support via a recycling bottle donation

United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

““Be like a tree in pursuit of your cause. Stand firm, grip hard, thrust upward. Bend to the winds of heaven..”

Richard St. Barbe Baker

The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it it the ‘skin’ of the earth, for without it there can be no water, and therefore, no life.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

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I believe that water must be the basic consideration in all our national and earth- wide forest programmes. Streams and rivers must be returned to their natural motion. What is a natural motion? A river flowing in its natural course comes to a bend. This gives it a spiral motion. It comes to a marrow, this provides tension. It broadens out, here is relaxation. This is how blood circulates in our veins and the sap circulates in a tree. This is the natural motion. When you destroy this natural motion, the water goes on its way sick or cancerous. When water comes up against a dam, the natural motion is destroyed and the water becomes sick. This sickness spreads up to the tributary rivers and to the fields through which these rivers have come and the sickness will go to the fields bordering these rivers and will affect the grazing animals. They say that cancer is a disease of civilization. You will accept that, won’t you? It was unknown till we called ourselves civilized. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

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