Winter Ornithology (2 of 4)

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I spent the month of January in Florida, escaping the worst month of the year, but since the winter period is so long I still experienced a few weeks of cold. My ears didn’t fall off, but I was indeed freezing.

As always, I was a member of environmental groups and that year as well I registered to different organizations. I was a volunteer at the WWF offices, shelving the libraries, putting pictures into place among other things.

I also signed up to the Société de biologie de Montréal (Montreal Biology Society) to take part in ornithology outings (bird watching), mycology outings (study of fungi) and attend conference. I had my binoculars, bought my first bird guides to bird of North America: one in English, the other in French and I ready to go.

The first fall outings were very interesting. It was difficult for me to understand the bird names at the speed to which the experts were showing me the species new to me. The experts had telescopes they installed on the river banks. The array of ducks surprised me a lot.

Now the winter was here, and I kept going on outings to see birds migrating a little more South than their summer area of distribution. I didn’t own good boots therefore my feet were always cold from walking so much on the snow-filled trails. If we visited a park, we would stop at the interpretation center to warm up and have something hot.

Helena Arroyo

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