Wildlife on the Trail | Boreal Forest Animals
Mar. 05, 2020
The boreal forests of Canada cover about 55% of the country’s landmass and are home to thousands of species of wildlife. When you head out on the Iron Horse Trail in Alberta’s Lakeland, you are sure to cross the path of many different boreal forest animals.
The season that you visit the trail in, will determine what animals you might spot. Obviously there are many animals that hibernate or migrate during the winter months, so if you want the best chance at seeing a ton of different animals on your trip, we suggest visiting in spring and summer. Let’s talk about some of the animals you might find along the way.
Not always easily spotted, there are hundreds of different bird species that reside in the boreal forests. The birds with brighter colours such as cardinals, bluejays, warblers and grosbeaks might be easier to spot, but there are a ton of others living amongst the trees. You might find chick-a-dees, owls, geese, nuthatches, orioles, woodpeckers, hawks and even bald eagles. Bring your binoculars for a closer look at some of these beautiful birds.
These are one boreal forest animal we almost guarantee you’ll see each time you head out on the trail. Hundreds of deer live in the forests along the trail and you’ll often see them crossing the trail or grazing in fields.
These big guys are a little less likely to be spotted than deer, but they are roaming around the woods somewhere. If you pass by some of the lakes, rivers or swampy areas along the trail, you’ll stand a better chance at spotting a moose. During the summer months, they love to graze on aquatic plants in shallow bodies of water.
People often hear “bear” and think of danger. While you have to be cautious when any kind of wildlife crosses your path, bears aren’t actually out to hurt people, especially black bears. Black bears feed on berries, trees, grasses, insects and some fish and small rodents. They are beautiful creatures to watch from a distance and, if you’re lucky, you may find some along the trail. Always be bear safe when you come across one and remember you are in their home.
This only highlights a small fraction of the boreal forest animals that can be found on the Iron Horse Trail. The forests surrounding the trail are also home to foxes, rabbits, beavers, reptiles such as snakes, frogs, mice, coyotes, wolves, fish, red squirrels, skunks and thousands of insect species. Each and every species plays an integral role in the balance of the forest and its ecosystems. It’s important to remember that when we are exploring nature, we are a guest in the homes of all of these animals. Please respect their habitat and the trail.
To find out more about what you can find along the trail, click here.