Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Beavers and badgers and bears...oh my!

Spring is an ideal time to view wildlife in Muskoka. Some of our local critters are just coming out of hibernation, the ones that endured the winter conditions can now move more freely with the snow and ice gone, and others are moving back into the area after heading south for the winter. And with leaf cover just starting to come in, it’s easier to spot them as they go about their daily lives.

Here are some tips for viewing wildlife in Muskoka (and anywhere else, really):

  • Get up early. While it’s possible to see animals at any time of day, many are most active in early morning or late evening (dusk).

  • Be patient and observant. Walking slowly or sitting quietly for a few minutes can make smaller animals in particular easier to spot.

  • Go where the animals are. You can sometimes see wildlife from the highway, but for the best views you’ll need to get out of your car. Visit local trails or get out in a canoe.

  • Look for specific wildlife habitat and signs. Moose are forest animals but can often be found in marshy areas in the spring and where there’s a beaver lodge there’s bound to be a beaver.

  • Keep your distance. They are wild animals, after all, and cute doesn’t necessarily mean cuddly. Bring binoculars for a close-up view.

  • Don’t forget your camera. You never know where an animal might pop up. Be prepared and you’ll have a picture to show off to everyone at home instead of just having a story to tell.

The Algonquin Visitor Centre is a good source of information about local plants and animals. You can also see orphaned or injured animals that have been rescued and rehabilitated at the Muskoka Wildlife Center and Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Be sure to call ahead for hours of operation.

Here at Colonial Bay, the loons are back on the lake, deer are pruning the shrubs for us, and we eagerly await visits of the human kind (that means you!). We still have some cottages available for the May long weekend and beyond.

From our family to yours,
Bruce, Nicolle, Luke, Ben and Addie

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