The #SpeciesOfTheWeek this week is the Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus). The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a small owl (about the size of an American Robin) that does not exhibit sexual dimorphism: both males and females are approximately 18-21 cm long, with a wingspan ranging from 42-48 cm. They have mottled brown feathering with white spots on the head and yellow eyes. Although they have a widespread distribution across North America, they are rarely seen due to their secretive nocturnal habits, and preference for dense conifers. In the spring, they can often be located by their distinctive, almost whistled “toot-toot-toot” call. The most common prey of the Northern Saw-whet Owl are deer mice, chipmunks, bats, and voles. On migration, they may supplement their diets with small birds such as chickadees and warblers.
The White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is our focus for this week’s #SpeciesOfTheWeek. An extremely common mammal at Murphys Point, members of the White-tailed Deer population are often spotted by visitors to the park. Although they make for a cool sighting, the deer population in Ontario has expanded rapidly due to the extirpation of native wolf populations. This expansion has lasting negative effects on the forests due to the deer’s preference for tree saplings and understorey plants in the summer, and bark in the winter. These deer can leap up to 2.5 meters high and 9 meters horizontally, so fencing has little effect. The White-tailed Deer’s coat changes in colour from reddish-brown in the summer to grayish-brown in the winter. The average lifespan of a White-tailed Deer is 6 years in the wild.
Welcome! Watch this space for upcoming activities.
MINE TOURS AND OTHER PROGRAMS
Yes…there will be Silver Queen Mine Tours this summer!
The park is planning to have guided tours on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10am. Sundays will feature the regular Open House at the mine (10am to noon). The first tour will be Canada Day (July 1).
Registration for all guided tours will open Monday, June 27. Space is limited so you must pre-register at the gatehouse or call 613-267-5060. Registration is not required for the open houses.
Evening Programs will be Saturday nights, starting in July. The time will change based on our daylight hours.
Snake Talks will be every day at 2pm outside the visitor centre, starting Canada Day.
Exploration stations, prop tables, and Kids programs will be advertised the week of on our program boards.