Fredericton Nature Club has many activities the community can participate in. Bird watching is an activity for the whole family. All you need is a good pair of binoculars and an interest in birds. In Fredericton and surrounding areas there is lots of opportunities for bird watching - summer or winter. below are some of the hot spots for birding.
Photos by David Lilly,
Fredericton Nature Club Member.
Click on photo to see a larger view.
Length: numerous loop trails of 300m to 3.7km
Directions: Odell Park is a large public park that extends from the lower sections of Fredericton up the ridge to the ‘top of the hill’ on the south side of Fredericton. The park can be reached from numerous entrances but the two main entrances are from Prospect Street at the top of the ‘hill’, or from Rookwood Avenue at the lower end of the Park, closer to the river. Either entrance will get you into the forest, but the southern end of the Park has a more diverse set of forest types and more trail options.
Difficulty rating: Easy-moderate. Some trails at the beginning of either main entrance are relatively flat but most of the Park is on a gentle (5◦) slope; most people will barely notice the slope. Traction is good because most trails are covered with stone or wood chips. A map of the trails can be seen at both main entrances, with the lower entrance map at the gazebo by the parking lot. A public bathroom is located in the main lodge at the lower Rookwood entrance. The Park closes each night and a gate extends across the Rookwood road, but usually not till 10 pm or so.
Habitat: Odell Park is considered to be a good example of an Acadian Forest, with a mix of deciduous and coniferous tree species. Eastern hemlock, red -, and black spruce dominate the upper and lower sections, and a tolerant hardwood forest section of sugar maple, American beech, and yellow birch exists in the middle of the Park. The Park contains hundreds of large eastern hemlock and the grove at the lower section is likely the largest and densest grove of ancient hemlock in New Brunswick; some trees are estimated to be over 400 years old. Several brooks move down the slope, and the one on the eastern side ends in a wet area, containing various ash species. There are two artificial ponds, one near the Rookwood parking lot, and the other 150m upslope. Meadows and open scrub occur on the northern part of Odell, managed as the Fredericton Botanic Garden, but this area is discussed in ‘Odell Park- Botanic Gardens’.
Birding: The site is a good example of a mature Acadian Forest and most forest bird species of the Maritimes can be recorded, particularly during migration. Notable species expected during non-winter (May-October) in the hemlock-dominated and mixed forest sections include Blackburnian warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Northern parula, Blue-headed vireo, Hermit thrush, Veery, and Eastern wood pewee. The tolerant hardwood section regularly yields Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Scarlet tanager, Great-crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed vireo, and Rose-breasted grosbeak. Merlins have typically nested in the large white pine near the Rookwood parking lot. Common year-round residents include Brown creeper, Black-capped chickadee, Golden-crowned kinglet, Red-breasted nuthatch, American goldfinch, Barred owl, Great-horned owl, Raven, and 3 woodpecker species – Pileated, Hairy, Downy.