Alberta Nature Happenings - October

  • Pine Grosbeaks start to move into populated urban areas.
  • This is the month to install and repair nest boxes for use next year.
  • Waterfowl migration continues to build throughout month.
  • Peak of raptor and hawk migration.
  • Pine Siskins return to lower elevations and feeders this month.
  • Peak Blue-winged Teal migration is well underway.
  • Bluebird and other nest boxes need to be cleaned out this month to prepare for winter roosting.
  • First juncos and American Tree Sparrows can appear this month.
  • End of Sandhill Crane migration this month..
  • Beavers are very active in the evenings while caching a winter supply of food.
  • Autumn colours peak in October.
  • Brown and Brook Trout spawn.
  • Big Lake on the west side of St. Albert is a staging location (a place birds gather prior to group migration) for swans and other waterfowl.
  • Rough-legged hawks are on the move down to the prairies.
  • Wolves can be heard howling in the boreal forest.
  • By mid-October large numbers of Bald Eagles arrive at Hastings Lake, approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) southeast of Sherwood Park. At this time, as lakes begin to freeze and the amount of open water diminishes, the eagles prey on waterfowl until freeze-up is complete.
  • House finches add a dash of colour to urban yards in winter.
  • Prairie Jack-rabbits begin to turn white.
  • Look closely at the large goose flocks migrating through the province to pick out tiny Ross' geese.
  • If you are a winter-only feeder, get your bird feeders ready as our early snowfall can have birds looking for secondary food sources.
  • Cold Lake stays ice free very late and often attracts rarities like Harlequin ducks, Arctic loons, and uncommon gulls.
  • Holes dug by badgers (species at risk, in conservation status) serve as important shelters for a host of other species.
  • The October moon is full on October 14, 2019