Elk

Burwash elk in winter

 

Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflowers

Burwash Wildlife

 

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The following images illustrate some of the wildlife and signs of wildlife that occur in the Burwash area,south of the city of Sudbury.

This is the same area were most of the wildflowers were photographed.

We have seen moose, elk, deer, beaver, river otters, turtles, muskrat, mink, and bear.

List of Images:

Burwash Turtles

Burwash turtles

Painted Turtles are very common in the Burwash lakes. These turtles were sunning themselves on a fallen log.

Location: Burwash, Nellie Lake
Photographed June 21, 2008

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Painted turtle, burwash, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Painted turtle on its way to lay eggs along a sandy road.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 13, 2009.

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Painted turtle laying eggs, Burwash, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Painted turtle laying its eggs along a sandy road at about 7 PM.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 13, 2009.

Painted turtles on a long, Killarney, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Painted Turtles on a log in the sun.

Location: Killarney
Date: July 1, 2008.

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Turtle eggs, Burwash Ontario, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

An animal dug these turtle eggs from their nest and ate the un-hatched turtles.  Along this section of road, about 5 turtle "nests" had been opened by a predator.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 21, 2008

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Snapping turtle, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Snapping turtle on an highway in the Burwash area.

Location: Estaire
Date: June 19, 2004.

Snapping turtle, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

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Eastern Chipmunk

The Eastern Chipmunk lives in the ground.  It has a body that is 15 to 20 cm long and a tail that is 8 to 12 cm long.  This chipmunk has fur that is reddish-brown in colour with two dark stripes flanked by two white stripes on either side of the back.  The belly of the chipmunk is white.  Eastern Chipmunks live in the deciduous forest.  They are frequent fallen logs, stumps, and rocks piles. The mouth of the chipmunk can expand to three times its head size!  The chipmunk hibernates from late fall to early spring.  However, it wakes periodically to eat.

Click here for more Facts on Chipmunks

Location: Burwash hardwood forest
Date: October 14, 2007

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Eastern chipmunk, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

American red squirrel, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

The American Red Squirrel is the most common of tree squirrels. They are small reddish grey squirrels with a light coloured belly. It makes its nest inside the cavity and at the tops of trees. They are solitary animals and are reluctant to share their food with others. Red squirrels may share a den during the winter months for extra warmth.  They store lots of food in ground burrows and in trees and nests. They eat seeds of trees, bird eggs, berries, tree sap, and pine seeds. They also eat the Amanita mushroom, which is poisonous to humans. Predators include cats, owls, buzzards, cats, dogs, and the red fox.

Location: Sudbury, Fyon garden
Date: May 8, 2010.

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American red squirrel, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: Sudbury, Fyon garden
Date: May 8, 2010.

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American red squirrel, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

American Red Squirrel sitting in a hardwood tree.

Location: Burwash
Date: March 22, 2009.

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Porcupine

Porcupine, Thunder Bay, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

The porcupine is a big rodent. The porcupine lives in trees, rock dens, and hollow logs. The male porcupine weighs 5-6 kilograms (12 pounds). Porcupines are up to 1 metre (3 feet) in length. Females are a little smaller than males. The Porcupine is covered with fur and quills. The color of the quills is a yellowish white and the fur is a brownish black. The Porcupine has over 30,000 quills. The quills are hardened hairs.  The tips are made of sharp pointy barbs. The Porcupine has three different layers of hairs. The inner layer is to keep it warm. The guard hairs and outer layer are to keep out rain and snow. The Porcupine has long claws to help it climb trees. It has a small head and long gnawing teeth. The Porcupine eats bark, leaves, buds, stems, fruit, sometimes crops, canoe paddles, signposts, picnic tables and canoes. It prefers to eat at night. It relies on its keen sense of smell.

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Frogs

Frog

Frog on lily pad

Leopard frogs are common in the Burwash lakes.

Photographed: Left: August 2000; Right: July 10. 2001.

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Frog egg sack, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Frog egg sack, created in a puddle along an old logging road.

Location: Burwash area, north of Killarney Highway.
Date: April 25, 2009

Tadpoles in spring pool

In the spring, tad poles are common in the small pools of water.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 19, 2001

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Bull frog, Burwash, August 7, 2002, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

The Bull Frog (Rana catesbeinana) is Ontario's largest frog.  It grows to between 10-15 cm. They are greenish brown. The male has a yellow throat. They live on shores of lakes and along slow- moving rivers. The Bull Frog tadpole has to over-winter before turning into an adult.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 7, 2002.

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Freshwater clams live on the bottom of lakes and creeks. Each clam has two shells that are joined at the back by a strong hinge. Internal muscles hold the  shells tightly closed. The clam uses a "foot", or muscle, to move. Clams filter the water to collect tiny plant and animal material as food. To reproduce, a clam produces thousands of eggs on to the bottom of the pond that develop into miniature copy of the adult. To survive, these "babies" must attached themselves to the gills or scales of fish within a few days. The babies remain on their host for 10 to 30 days and then release themselves and fall to the bottom of the pond. Small clams have soft shells and are a source of food for fish. Larger clams with harder shells are hunted and eaten by muskrats, raccoons, mink, and some turtles.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: August 9, 2002.

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Freshwater clam, Paddy Creek, Copyroght 2002 Andy Fyon.

Tunneling Mole

Mole.

A dead tunneling mole. This mole had been captured by a predator that ran off into the bush when I startled it.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 24, 2001.

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 Pygmy Shrew

The pygmy shrew is the smallest mammal in North America.  It is also the second smallest mammal in the world.  It weighs about 2.5 gram and is only 7 to 9 cm long. It looks like a tiny mouse with a long nose.  Its tail is about as long as its body.  Its soft fur is brown to grey on its back, and pale grey or silvery on its belly. In Ontario, it lives north of a line from Kingston to Georgian Bay, in deep woods, open and brushy fields, or mossy bogs. It hunts for insects and insect larvae, small earthworms, centipedes, and spiders among dead leaves, and branches. Its burrows are small and look like tunnels of larger earthworms. Their main enemies are owls, snakes, and weasels. Sometimes dead pygmy shrews are left by animals that don't eat them because the shrew has a bad small given off by musk glands.

Location: Burwash Arcand road
Date: April 9, 2004

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Pygmy shrew, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Burwash Moose

Moose are common in the Burwash area, but they are elusive. Tracks are common.

Location: Thunder Bay, Crystal Lake mountain
Photographed: May 14, 2002.

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Burwash moose

Moose skull

A moose skull with its antlers still attached is not a common find.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 20, 2001

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Moose winter browse Burwash, Copyroght 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Moose winter browse on new growth of maple.

Location: Trout Lake road
Date: March 16, 2008

Burwash Deer

Burwash deer

White tail deer are common in the Burwash area. This deer was resting in an open field where the wind helped control the black flies. When confronted, it snorted, stomped its front legs for about 30 seconds, and then bounded into the bush.

Location: Burwash
Photographed: June 1, 2002.

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White tail deer, Burwash, Ontario.

When the White tail deer runs away, its white-coloured tail is very distinctive.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 1, 2002

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White tail doe and her faun. The faun still has spots used to hide the deer from predators.

Location: Killarney
Date: August 29, 2004

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White tail deer and faun, Killarney, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

This animal skull, possibly from a deer, that died of natural causes or during hunting season.

Photographed: November 2000.

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Skull

Beaver

Beaver, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Beaver (Castor canadensis) are common on the lakes and ponds in the Burwash area; however, these beavers were photographed on the side of their lodge in the Thunder Bay area. The beaver is the largest rodent in North America and largest in the world, except for the capybara of South America.

Ojibwe First Nation knowledge: The Ojibwe word for beaver is Amik.  Because beavers eat the roots of yellow pond lily and alder and poplar bark, which are considered to be medicinal plants by some Ojibwe First Nation peoples, the meat of beaver is considered to be healthy by some First Nation peoples. (Source: Chief Eli Moonias, Marten Falls First Nation)

Location: Silver Falls, Thunder Bay
Date: May 15, 2002.

Beaver, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

A beaver gathers food late in fall before the winter freeze.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: November 10, 2002.

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Beaver, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Beaver are cautious, but curious. Commonly it is possible to acquire close-up photographs.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: August 15, 2003.

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Beaver lodge, spring, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Beaver lodge in the spring. Note that remaining food supplies floating in the open water in front of the lodge.

Location: Burwash
Date: March 25, 2007

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Breathing hole on beaver lodge in winter, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Beaver lodges have a breathing hole. These are easier to find in the winter when moist, warm air from within the lodge forms ice crystals around the breathing hole, as seen here.

Location: Burwash
Date: January 1, 2002

Beaver tree, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

This poplar tree was felled by a beaver.  The branches were then harvested by the beaver as a source of food.

Location: Burwash
Photographed: Summer 2000.

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Beaver log, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

This tree was felled by a beaver.  Note that the beaver made at least 6 attempts to chew through the log.

Location: Burwash
Photographed: April 17, 2006

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Beaver dam at Burwash, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

A beaver dam creates a lake as water fills behind the dam.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 5, 2001.

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Beaver scent mound, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Beavers have a pair of scent glands, called castors. Beavers secrete a musk-like substance called castoreum to mark their territories.  Mounds of mud or vegetation are common around beaver ponds. These mounds are marked by the musk-like substance.

Location: Burwash
Photographed: October 3, 2003.

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Bear

Black bear, Burwash area, Killarney Highway, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon.

Black bear are quite common in the Burwash area. This bear was eating clover along an old logging road.

Location: Burwash area, Killarney Highway
Date: April 25, 2009

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Bear broke open this tree to get at grubs or ants for food, Copyright 2009, Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

We have seen bears at Burwash This dead tree was ripped apart by a bear in search of ants or grubs for food.

Location: Burwash.
Date: Summer 2000.

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Bear claw marks on poplar tree, Burwash, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Bears are excellent tree climbers. Seen here are claw marks left by a bear that climbed this tree.

Location: Burwash
Date: March 31, 2004

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Burwash Elk

Burwash elk named Sam. 

Location: Burwash
Date: August 7, 2003

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Burwash elk, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon

Sam, the Burwash elk, resting in the early morning.

Location: Burwash
Date: November 2, 2003

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Elk, Wanapetei River, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Burwash Elk along the Wanapitei River, about 3 km south of McVittie hydro dam. The mother, on the right, wears a radio collar. The young calf eats tender branches.

Location: Wanapitei River
Date: August 15, 2002.

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Elk have been introduced in to the Burwash area. In the fall, several trees were striped of bark. Possibly elk, deer or moose rubbed their felted antlers against these trees to remove the felt.

Location: Burwash
Date: October 2000.

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Elk tree

Elk trail

An early storm in November 2000 delivered about 30 cm of snow.  The day after, these tracks tell a story of several elk that walked and fed on the hill side.  The elk dug through the snow to get at the summer grass.

Location: Burwash.
Date: November 2000.

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Winter elk bed, Burwash, www.ontariowildflower.com

An elk bed, beside alder. There were four different beds in this small area.

Location: Burwash, old town site.

Date: December 2000.

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Elk on winter lake, www.ontariowildflower.com

Elk were introduced into the Burwash area over the last few years.  The elk were imported from Alberta. During the early part of winter (December, 2000), elk  were common along the north shore of Cemetery Lake. This area has ample alder and dogwood food and protected the elk from the north winds.

Location: Burwash
Date: December 2000

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Elk on frozen lake, www.ontariowildflower.com

This elk was curious about our presence. It continued to approach us until I took the photograph.  The camera noise scared the elk away.

Location: Cemetery Lake, Burwash
Date: December 2000.

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Spring elk herd, Burwash Ontario.

These elk crossed the road in the late afternoon.  They were eating fresh grass along the side of the old road.  Note the one elk that is almost completely hidden on the left side of the photo.  The colour of the elk's coat is very good camouflage.  The white band around their neck is a tracking collar.

Location: Burwash
Date: April 22, 2001.

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Spring elk, Burwash Ontario.

This elk was one of five that were eating fresh grass along the side of the old road.  It is losing its winter coat. Note the white tracking collar around its neck and the identification tag in its ear.

Location: Burwash
Date: April 22, 2001.

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Running elk, Burwash Ontario.

The elk on the road (above) was spooked by the sound of the camera and bounded away. Note all four legs are off the ground.  The elk ran to the field on the other side of the road where it watched me carefully (below).

Location: Burwash
Date: April 22, 2001.

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Spring elk, Burwash Ontario.

This single elk was curious about my presence.  It watched and approached me.  The snap of the camera frightened the elk and it ran into the forest.

Location: Burwash
Date: April 22, 2001.

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Mink

Fisher, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon

The Mink (Mustela vison) belongs to the family Mustelidae, which includes badgers, fishers, martens, otters, skunks, weasels and wolverines.   The Mink has a chocolate brown to black fur and has a distinctive white spot on the chin and its throat. The mink may be as large as a small cat.  It lives in forested areas along rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes and marshes. Mink eat muskrats, mice, rabbits, chipmunks, fish, snakes, frogs and birds. Mink dig their dens near water. The pelts are highly valued and the mink is trapped in the wild or raised commercially on ranches.

Location: Paddy Lake
Date: May 3, 2003

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River Otter

River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is member of the weasel family.  River Otters prefer to live on the shores of rivers, lakes, and large marshes. They attain a maximum length of about 1.4 m and a weight of about 13.5 kg. River Otters have thick fur that is  characteristic of mammals that spend a lot of time in the water.  River Otters are very sociable and playful. They are primarily nocturnal and remain active year round. They eat fish, insects, frogs, and occasionally small mammals such as muskrats.

Location: Burwash
Date: October 3, 2003 (top right); May 29, 2005 (below and below right)

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River otter, copyright 2007, Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

River otter, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

River Otter, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) is widespread across Canada. It is a typical resident of the boreal forest. Its breading cycle peaks every 9 or 10 years - making a excellent food source for foxes. It has large fur-covered feet adapted for motion over the deep snow of the boreal forest. Its colour is brown in the summer and white in winter.

For more information: borealforest.org.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 26, 2011

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Snowshoe hare, copyright 2012 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Snowshoe hare in its winter white colouring. This animal still has some grey tinge to its fur. This was was a late fall and there was no snow.

Location: Burwash
Date: November 16, 2003

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snowshoe hare, copyright 2012 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com


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For more information email: andy@ontariowildflower.com
URL: http://www.ontariowildflower.com/wildlife_animals.html
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Andy Fyon

January 15, 2012

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