Mourning dove

 

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Birds of the Burwash Area

 

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

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

A partial list of birds observed in the Burwash, Sudbury or Manitoulin Island areas:

American Bittern hiding within reeds and cattails along a creek.  It is a brown-coloured, medium-sized heron.  It is up to 85 cm long. The adult plumage is all brown on the top and streaked with brown and white below. A long, black patch runs from the eye down the side of the neck. The American Bittern has a white-coloured throat. It eats frogs, snakes, and small fish.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 16, 2004.

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American bittern, Copyright 2004, Andy Fyon.

American bittern, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

American Bittern landing into a mass of cattails.

On the right, an American Bittern hides within the cattails. This is the typical presence of this secretive bird.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 21, 2008

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American bittern, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

American goldfinch on purple cone flower, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

American goldfinch feeding on the seeds of a purple cone flower. Goldfinch nest late in the summer and use thistle seed "fluff" as nest material.

Location: Sudbury, Fyon garden
Date: September 20, 2009.

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American goldfinch, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: Sudbury, Fyon garden
Date: July 26, 2009.

American merganser duck.

American merganser female (brown and looking sideways) and male (dark coloured head looking at me) in a narrow stretch of water. Ice still occurs on the lake in early spring.

Location: Burwash
Date: April 15, 2001

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Merganzer duck, Lake Superior, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Merganser male (white back) and female on Lake Superior, south of Thunder Bay.

Location: Thunder Bay
Date: May 1, 2002

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Black-backed woodpecker is a resident of the boreal  coniferous forest. It often frequents old forest fire areas or old dead trees where wood-boring beetles are common.  It seek its food within trunks and fallen logs, where it strips bark from trees to gain access to the beetles.

 

For more information: Black-backed woodpecker

Location: Paddy Creek, Sudbury
Date: January 3, 2008.

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Black-backed woodpecker, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

The Black-capped Chickadee (Parus atricapillus) is a year-round resident of the area around Sudbury, Ontario.  The Black-capped Chickadee occurs in deciduous or mixed forests, tall thickets of shrubs, coniferous forests, and in residential areas. It nests in a cavity of a tree, an old woodpecker hole or a bird house.  Its song is an unforgettable  chicka-dee-dee-dee.

Location: Sudbury
Date: July 26, 2009

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Chikadee bird, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Black-capped chickadee, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Black-capped chickadee on a branch in a paper birch tree.

Location: Sudbury
Date: August 7, 2010

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Blue jay, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

The Blue Jay favours fruit trees and backyard feeders stocked with sunflower seeds and peanuts. Its call is jay-jay-jay.  It is a bold and aggressive bird, but it is also a bit shy. Its blue colour and large size, up to 30 cm long) are distinctive.

Location: Sudbury
Date: September 20, 2009

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Blue Jay eating peanuts.

Location: Sudbury
Date: September 20, 2009

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Blue jay, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Canada goose, Burwash spring.

A Canada goose on the edge of a small lake. The winter ice is just breaking up.

Location: Burwash
Date: April 14, 2001

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Canada geese, Copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

A pair of Canada geese in a small beaver pond, photographed from behind trees.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 9, 2005

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Hairy woodpecker, Burwash, Ontario.

A Hairy Woodpecker seeks food by feeling the vibrations made by insects moving about in the wood. In winter, when insects do not move, the woodpecker looks for insect eggs or insects that have nestled in the tree bark.

Location: Burwash, Cemetery Lake
Date: December 24, 2001.

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Swan at Burwash.

The whistling swan is characterized by its long, straight neck and its pure white wings. Note the yellow identification tag on its left wing.

Location: Burwash
Date: April 28, 2001.

 

Whistling swan feeding in the morning light, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Feeding Swan in morning light.

Location: Burwash
Date: April 29, 2006

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Sandhill crane, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

One of two Sandhill cranes seen on Barrie Island, Manitoulin, feeding in a meadow area on an alvar.

Location: Barrie Island, Manitoulin Island
Date: May 26, 2007.

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Sandhill crane, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

This Sandhill crane was one of six that was feeding in a field beside an old road.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 15, 2010.

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Sandhill crane, Burwash, Ontario, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

These Sandhill cranes were feeding during a very foggy day in a field that provided hay last summer.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 15, 2010

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Sandhill crane in flight, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Sandhill crane flock in flight above a corn field.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: October 3, 2010

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Sandhill crane, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Many large groups of Sandhill Crane on Manitoulin Island, generally in old fields of corn.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: October 3, 2010

Sandhill crane, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Sandhill crane flock in flight above a corn field.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: October 3, 2010

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Sandhill crane track, Burwash, Ontario,. Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Sandhill crane tracks preserved in wet sand.

Location: Burwash
Date: April 13, 2002.

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Mallard duck.

Mallard male and female duck. The male has the colourful green head.

Location: Sudbury
April 4, 2001

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Mourning dove, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

A Mourning dove in the evening Sun. Interesting note: Mourning doves feed "milk" to their young. However, it is not real milk - it is a nutritious liquid produced by special glands in the bird's crop.

Location: Sudbury, Fyon garden
Date: July 28, 2009

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Mourning dove, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

A Mourning dove eating bird seed during a late spring snow storm.

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

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Ruffed grouse, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

The Ruffed Grouse, commonly called a partridge, is a common game bird in the Sudbury area. It is a member of the pheasant family. It is a favourite food of the fox.

Location: Agnew Lake
Date: June 6, 2003.

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Ruffed Grouse in tree, Sudbury, Ontario Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

This Ruffed Grouse was eating the new and tender leaves of the poplar tree.

Location: Trout Lake Road, Sudbury
Date: May 25, 2002.

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Ruffed Grouse mating display, Thunder Bay Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Here a male Ruffed Grouse displays his mating performance to a female. The image is poor because it was taken in the late evening, under very low light conditions.

Location: Thunder Bay bush
Date: May 1, 2002.

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We did not see the Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) during the winter. It appeared in early April as soon as the snow began to melt. This species varies in colour across  North America.  In the east, the eastern male, or slate-coloured Junco, is dark slate-gray on head, upper breast, flanks, and upper parts, with white lower breast and belly. It frequents openings and edges of coniferous and mixed woods, fields, roadsides, parks, suburban gardens.  Its song is a ringing metallic trill on the same pitch. In flight, its voice is a buzzy trill.

Location: Sudbury
Date: April , 2002.

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Dark-eyed or slate-colored junco , Sudbury, Ontario, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon

Canada Jay, www.ontariowildflower.com, copyright 2002, Andy Fyon

The Canada Jay (Perisoreus Canadensis) is also known as "Gray Jay", "Whisky Jack", "Whisky John," "Moose Bird", "Camp Robber", "Hudson Bay Bird", "Caribou Bird", "Meat Bird", "Grease Bird", and "Venison Heron." It is a bold bird. It follows you as you walk or eat lunch in the bush and it is attracted to campsites, hoping to steal a piece of food. It uses its saliva to glue meat, suet and/or hide into balls and hides it among pine needles. The Canada Jay begins to nest before the snow has disappeared. The nest is large, made of twigs, fibers, bark and lined with finer material. The eggs are of a pale gray color, flecked and spotted over the surface with brown, slate gray, and lavender. They have a "whee-ah, chuck-chuck" call and scold, scream and whistle.

Location: Rantala Road bush, Sudbury
Date: April 21, 2003.

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White-crowned sparrow, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

The White-crowned sparrow is likely visible in the spring as it passes north to the Hudson Bay lowlands where it breads. The smart black-and-white head is distinctive. It nests in low bushes or on the ground under shrubs. It lays 3-5 brown-marked grey or greenish-blue eggs.

More information about the White-crowned sparrow - The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Location: Sudbury, Fyon garden
Date: May 10, 2009.

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White-crowned sparrow, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Late spring snow storm in Sudbury where flocks of White-crowned sparrows stocked up on seed.

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

White-crowned sparrow, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Late spring snow storm in Sudbury where flocks of White-crowned sparrows stocked up on seed. Two males tolerate each other to get a feed.

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

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White-crowned sparrow, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Late spring snow storm in Sudbury where a White-crowned sparrow gets stocked up on seed.

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

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The White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) marks a welcome return of spring. These birds  bread in brushy or semiopen mixed woods. The song is distinctive, translated to sound like: "Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody" or "Oh Sweet Canada, Canada, Canada".  The White-throated sparrow feeds on tree, wildflower, and weed seeds. They scratch in the leaves on the ground in  search of ants, beetles, flies and other insects. They build their nests in wet or dry thickets, often on the ground at the edge of clearings. The nests often occur under a bush or in roots of upturned stumps. They build their nests with grasses, twigs, pine needles.

Location: Sudbury
Date: May 5, 2002.

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White-throated sparrow, Sudbury, Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Chipping Sparrow, Burwash Ontario, Cpyright 2002 Andy Fyon

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) does not overwinter in the Sudbury area. It arrives in the early spring - generally in April.  It has a distinctive chestnut-coloured crown and a  conspicuous white line over its eye, margined by black line that runs through eye.  It also has white bars on its wings. The nest usually occurs on a  the low limb of a deciduous or an evergreen tree. The nest is composed of fine twigs and grass stems. It lays 4 blue eggs with dark brown or black markings around the larger end. The Chipping Sparrow lives in open woods, edges of  the coniferous forest, orchards and towns. It is adapted to areas modified by human and is  often found in gardens and parks. It will feed from a hanging feeder. Its call is a simple, long, frequently heard trill.

Location: Sudbury
Date: July 26, 2009.

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Chipping sparrow, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

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

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Chipping sparrow, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

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

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Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) is common in the Sudbury area during the summer. It does not over-winter in this area. The Ring-billed Gulls are very sociable and nest in groups of about 100 pairs on islands in lakes.  Their nest consists of a scrape in the ground lined by grasses. The gulls lay two to four buffy to gray eggs, marked with dark brown and lavender. The Gulls eat insects, worms, fish, eggs from other birds, and small mammals. They will eat human garbage. You may have read a book called "Jonathan Livingstone Seagull". The book described a Ring-billed Gull who wanted to fly higher and faster than any other seagull ever had.

Location: Sudbury
Date: May 5, 2002.

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Ring-billed gull, Burwash Ontario, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Ring-billed gull, seagull, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Juvenile Ring-billed Gulls.

Location: Fielding Park, Kelly Lake Road, Sudbury
Date: November 13, 2006.

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Ring-billed sea gull, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Ring-billed Gulls in the early morning light, Mindemoya Lake, Manitoulin Island.

Location: Mindemoya Lake, Manitoulin Island
Date: October 3, 2010.

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Ring-necked pheasant: This bird is not native to Ontario. It was introduced from Eurasia in the late 1800's to serve as a game bird for hunters.  It lives on farm yards, woodlots, and bushy areas generally near a source of food. In addition to native seeds, they supplement their diet with corn or other crops on domestic farms. They are not strong flyers.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: July 11, 2010.

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Ring-necked pheasant, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Red-wing blackbird, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Red-wing Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is common across much of Canada. It has a "gurgling, watery" song. The Red-wing Blackbird lives on freshwater marshes. It has distinctive bright red shoulder patches and yellow border. The male bird is three years old before its develops the red wing patch. In the summer, they eat mostly insects. Their nest consists of dry grasses and reeds strung between cat tails.

 

Location: Burwash
Date: June 21, 2008.

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Female red-wing Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus).

Location: Burwash
Date: June 21, 2008.

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Female red wing blackbird, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) is common in the open fields of Burwash. In the spring, the male plumage is black except for the white shoulders and lower back and has a buff nape. The male looks like a flying skunk!  After the breeding season, the male plumage becomes yellowish brown streaked like that of the female. The female makes a nest on the ground and lays 5 or 6 eggs. During mating season, the male song is distinctive and funny, sounding like an electronic arcade game. They eat insects, seeds, and fruit.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 22, 2002.

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Bobolink bird, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Bobolink bird, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Profile view of the Bobolink.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 22, 2002.

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Brown-headed cowbird, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Brown-headed cowbird are roaming birds. They generally do not build their own nests, but rather, they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds! The parent birds of the parasitized nests do not recognize the alien eggs and incubate and raise the hatchings. Because the cowbird eggs hatch first, the babies push the parent eggs out - that way, the cowbird ensures its breeding success.

More information about the Brown-headed Cowbird - The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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

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The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is the largest and most widely distributed heron in Canada. Herons leave most of Canada for the winter, except the British Columbia coast, where herons remain all year. They winter in the United States and south to Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela.  Adults are over 1 m tall. The head is white with a black stripe on each side extending back from the eyes. They have a greyish blue-coloured back and a white breast streaked with black. In flight, the Great Blue Heron's neck is doubled back and the head rests against the shoulders. The Great Blue Heron feeds on small fish, shellfish, insects, rodents, frogs, reptiles, and occasionally small birds.  Great Blue Herons usually nest in colonies in woodland areas located a few kilometers from their feeding area. Older nests look bulky and are usually about 1 m in diameter.

Location: Burwash
Date: October 14, 2007

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Great Blue Heron, Burwash, Copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Great Blue Heron, Elbow Lake, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Great Blue Heron in flight. Note the position of the neck and head - a distinctive flight profile of the Great Blue Heron.

Location: Elbow Lake
Date: August 9, 2002.

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Northern Goshawk, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Northern Harrier Hawks (Cirus cyaneus) were common over the Burwash meadows in the early spring. Perhaps one of the more distinctive characteristics of the Northern Harrier Hawk is its tendency to fly very close to the ground, just a few metres above the ground. It is able to maneuver quickly and erratically.  It was formerly known as the Marsh Hawk.

Click here to hear the call of the Northern Harrier Hawk

Location: Burwash
Date: April 10, 2004.

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Osprey are fish eaters and so they are found close to water. Osprey drive from great heights to capture fish swimming in lakes or rivers.

 Click here to learn more about Osprey - Hinterland Who's Who

Click here to see a YouTube Video with Osprey call

Location: Little Sturgeon Road, Sturgeon Falls area
Date: May 15, 2010.

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Osprey on nest, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Osprey landing on nest, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Osprey build their nest on tree-tops and specially made platforms established for Osprey.

 

Location: Little Sturgeon Road, Sturgeon Falls area
Date: May 15, 2010.

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Male purple finch, with mating colour in full display. The purple finch nests in the boreal forest. The nest occurs on a horizontal branch of a coniferous tree, away from the trunk or in the fork in a tree. The nest is made of rootlets, twigs, and weeds and lined with grass, hair, and moss. The female bird builds the nest.

 Learn more about Purple Finch: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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

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Purple Finch, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Great gray owl, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Great Gray Owl, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Great Gray Owls (Strix nebulosa) were reported in the Sudbury area in late December 2004 and January 2005. This one was perching on trees in the Burwash area on the edge of an open meadow. It has a distinctive set of yellow eyes, yellow bill, no ear tufts, a long tail, and a rounded head. It is considered rare to very uncommon and is a year-round resident on Ontario. It prefers forest clearings, open meadows, and tree stands adjacent to muskeg, fens, bogs or meadows.  The Great Gray Owl is Canada's largest owl by size.

Click here to hear the call of the Great Gray Owl

Location: Burwash
Date: January 9, 2005.

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Wild turkey is a "chicken-like" bird that is related to the grouse, quail and pheasant and is the largest game bird in North America. Of the five types of wild turkeys found in North America, the Eastern Wild Turkey is most abundant.  Male turkeys are called gobblers or toms; females are called hens; and young are called poults.  The Eastern Wild Turkey lives in wooded areas, roosts in trees at night. In the winter, the turkey lives in the woods.  In summer it searches for food at the edge of the woods, in forest clearings and near farms.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: May 18, 2008.

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Wild eastern turkey, manitoulin island, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com


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URL: http://www.ontariowildflower.com/wildlife_bird.html
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Andy Fyon

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