Flora and fauna

Did you know?

• Lake Gibson boasts fine examples of the swamp rose-mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos):

Swamp rose mallow

Largely restricted to the Carolinian or Deciduous Forest Region, the swamp rose-mallow thrives in open water close to cattails and in meadow marshes – and responds especially well to water-level fluctuations.

• Birds of prey are frequent visitors to the park:

Red tailed hawk (web)

Bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, ospreys are but a few of the raptors to be seen soaring overhead – or perching for a moment.  

• Numerous species of wintering ducks, geese and swans can also be seen on Lake Gibson:

Common Maganzer (web)

A pair of binoculars or a good zoom lens will help distinguish characteristics among the many species of visiting Buffleheads, Mergansers, Goldeneyes, Swans, Cormorants, Geese, etc.

• There is no doubt that migratory patterns are being affected by climate change:

Eastern bluebird (web)

It is not uncommon to catch a glimpse of a Belted Kingfisher or an Eastern Bluebird during the winter months.

• The ban on DDT as a pesticide has positively impacted numbers of many raptors:

Peregrine falcon

Sightings of the Peregrine Falcons are becoming more and more common as a result of more environmentally sensitive policies.

• Aquatic mammals can also be found lurking in the marshes:

Starnosed Mole

Not one of Nature’s beauties, the Star-Nosed Mole – with its 22 nasal appendages and long- taloned claws – is also one of its most efficient predators. In fact, they can target and consume 13 insect larvae within one second!

• Ospreys are common sighted along the shores of Lake Gibson:

Osprey with fish SMALL

It is not unusual to see Ospreys flying by or indeed catching their dinners!

• Tundra swans enjoying a leisurely stroll over frozen Lake Gibson:

Tundra swans 2013

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