Brittany, our summer student, has created a blog post detailing our adventures so far in the field! Read all about them below.
Spring has come and gone which means, the summer season begins! Over the past month working with Ontario Farmland Trust I have been able to experience first-hand the impact of permanently protecting farmland. Not only does it provide us with the food we eat, it also provides essential habitats for a variety of flora and fauna including species at risk. Travelling around to the farms and doing monitoring visits has been inspiring to say the least.
We have seen so many Barn Swallows swooping and soaring while enjoying the array of insects that farmland provides. On top of Barn Swallows, we have heard Eastern Wood-pewees singing their distinctive “pee-a-wee” calls in the woods. We have also been able to visit a healthy Butternut tree. One of the most exciting visits to one of the farms we permanently protect was in late May, when we spotted a White-tailed Deer in the wheat fields. Moments later once the deer had disappeared into the forest we saw a Coyote just a few feet from where we were standing! Even though these are not species at risk, seeing edge forest species on farmland reminds me how important it is to keep the land protected.
Other species we have been able to enjoy this spring have been Killdeer, Leopard Frogs, Jack-in-the-Pulpits, groups of Midland Painted Turtles, plenty of bees, and many more.
There are so many birds, reptiles, mammals, and plants that permanent farmland creates habitat for, I can only imagine what species we will see next!
Be sure to keep an eye out for more updates from Brittany as we progress through the field season! You can also learn more about our protected farms, and the habitats they provide here.