Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Life aplenty in Kildonan Park this winter

  • Print

Spending time in Kildonan Park and vicinity on a winter’s day can reveal, as City of Winnipeg naturalist Rodney Penner says, things that are normally hidden or elusive in nature.

For example, at about 11 a.m. on Feb. 8, 2013, while out for our daily walk, my friend Peter and I spotted a coyote prowling along the river bank near Kildonan Park Golf Course. Peter even managed to take a photo of it with his small digital camera.  

"In the past an American marten showed up in Kildonan Park and provided a special wildlife viewing experience for those that saw it," Penner notes.

The marten, which was active in the park about a year ago and also captured on digital camera, is not the only member of the weasel family you might have the opportunity to see in Kildonan Park.

"Another member of the family is the American mink which is often found along the edges of rivers and creeks," says Penner, who works for the City of Winnipeg Naturalist Services Branch.

He points out that the river bottom area along the Red River is the most likely place to see this critter. As with most animals in winter, it is most active during the milder days and nights.

 "Tracks are a great way to find wildlife activity in winter," adds Penner.

 "The best time to look for tracks and evidence of wildlife is when the temperatures get up near zero for a day or two. Natural areas and corridors along rivers and creeks become filled with the tracks of wildlife following a warm spell in winter."

 There are also numerous common winter birds that park enthusiasts can spot.

 For example, Mike Quigley, education coordinator with the Naturalist Services Branch, points out that downy and hairy woodpeckers, black-capped chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, blue jays,and bohemian waxwings are all resident in Kildonan Park and environs, as they are elsewhere in the city.

 "Although not as common, pileated woodpeckers would also be a possibility in the park. This winter, flocks of pine grosbeaks have been present throughout the city too, so Kildonan Park would also be a possibility," he says.

 Biologist Dr. Christian Artuso, who has developed the Breeding Bird Atlas of Manitoba and works for Bird Studies Canada, comments that one of the amazing things about Kildonan Park is its tall cottonwood trees that are impressive to admire at any time of year.

 He’s so right about that. Artuso also points to basswoods, ash, Manitoba maple, American elm, among other types of trees, which form the "riparian" forest in the park.

 "They provide a different sort of habitat and microclimate close up from the river," he explains, adding there’s a chance of seeing waterfowl, and even a bald eagle, if there’s open water in the river.                              

 Martin Zeilig is a community correspondent for West Kildonan. You can contact him at mzeilig@mymts.net.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

If the NHL expands into Las Vegas, will you go to see the Jets there?

View Results