Happy trails in the Happy Valley Forest
We heard the eastern wood pewee before we saw it. Just as the name suggests, we could hear it calling “Pee-oo-wee! Pee-oo-wee!” as we walked along the trail in the Happy Valley Forest.
We stopped to admire some of the older-growth trees, and to our amazement the bird landed on a branch in plain view. It seemed to be watching us as we watched it.
The eastern wood pewee was listed as a species of special concern in Canada in November 2012. Although it’s fairly common across eastern North America, its numbers have seen a steep decline in recent years for reasons that are still unclear.
The wood pewee is a flycatcher, feeding on insects and arthropods; they will sit on a branch and wait until their prey passes by and then fly out to grab them. Probably that’s what it was doing as we watched it that day.
As an LIC myself, it’s gratifying to go out to see the areas I’m helping to conserve through my donations, and it’s doubly gratifying to see the wildlife that we aim to protect through these land acquisitions.
Our guide took us along the new trail that’s been created on the nature reserve. It winds for about two and a half kilometres through various habitat types – regenerating forest, an old hemlock grove, over a coldwater stream, and up to the highest point on the property where you can look out over the Oak Ridges Moraine. The trail route really helps to highlight the many reasons why it’s important to conserve the Happy Valley Forest.
The Goldie Feldman Nature Reserve is open year-round for walk-in access.
If you go, give my regards to the eastern wood pewee when you see him!