Chukar Partridges

It’s May 3rd – Day 3 of the 30 x 30 Nature Challenge. The David Suzuki Foundation has challenged Canadians to spend 30 minutes in nature each day for 30 days, starting on May 1, 2013. I’m pretty familiar with the health benefits of spending time outside, so I was quick to sign-up for the challenge. It’s not too late to sign-up for the rest of the month – just click here to join!

For Day 1, I walked about 7 km (2 km to the LRT station, 3 km through downtown Calgary, and 2 km back from the LRT station). Unfortunately, I came home more stressed than when I left, on account of a major evacuation of the courthouse and surrounding area because of a suspicious package. Prince’s Island Park was strangely empty when I walked through just after the noon hour. I guess a lot of people went home from work.

On Day 2, I worked outside in the yard for about 3 hours, tidying up the flower beds and planting 8 or 9 packets of flower seeds. That was quite a bit more relaxing.

Today I’d planned to walk to the closest branch of the Calgary Public Library, but somehow never quite got around to it. When I finally walked down to the Canada Post Super Mailbox to collect the mail, I took my camera just in case I spotted something interesting and green (green = this week’s theme for the HooHaa 52).

Instead, Mother Nature surprised me – I spotted a pair of Chukar Partridges visiting the neighbourhood. I didn’t know what they were at first, so had to look through my bird book after I was done watching them. I even convinced K to get up from his computer screen to come outside and observe them with me and we enjoyed their company for almost 45 minutes before they wandered off into the neighbours’ back yard. They really do softly call “chuk” and “chukar” to each other!

Here they are!

I’ve since learned that these birds were native to Asia. They were introduced to North America as a game bird, and feral populations have become established in the United States Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, high desert areas of California, and in Canada. Their usual range in Canada is in south-central British Columbia, but a few have been spotted in the Calgary area over the past couple of years.

What a great way to connect with nature! Did you get your dose today?

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