Muddy Boots is our internal blog where our staff members share experiences getting their boots muddy with on-the-ground conservation research! You can find our contributions to external blogs and Op Eds here.
Located about 100 km east of the community of Ross River along the Robert Campbell Highway, my field crew and I first tried to explore this section of floodplain in late May 2013. But the spring melt had brought high water levels resulting in flooded forest and overflowing channels and ponds. We were forced to postpone until the water receded back to the river. When I returned in mid-June to do bird surveys, I fell in love.
I move through the stand of big, old trees to the edge of a beaver pond. The water is releasing its heat to the cool early morning air, creating a mist over the old ponds and channels. A Bufflehead duck is on the water. Perhaps it's nesting in that old Northern Flicker cavity at the top of the white spruce snag on the pond’s edge? A downy white feather is caught just inside the entrance suggesting a cavity full of eggs on a nest of Bufflehead feathers.
Photo credits: Banner | Lila Tauzer © WCS Canada