Mount Royal, A Territory to Discover

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Three Little Rodents in Mount Royal Park

Grey squirrel
They are found everywhere on the mountain and are hard to miss! Active year-round, grey squirrels can be easily observed in open and grassy areas, close to well-frequented places. They shelter in holes in trees in the winter and build big nests out of leaves in the spring.

Gray squirel eats a nut.

Grey squirrel
© Jacques Dorais

 

Red squirrel

Long absent on Mount Royal because of a lack of appropriate habitat, they now inhabit in the conifer forests that were planted in the 1960s. They are wilder and harder to observe than grey squirrels, but one often finds their leftovers on rocks or tree stumps: piles of chewed pine cones.


A red squirel eating a nut sitting on a tree.

Red squirrel
©Gilles Gonthier


Eastern chipmunk
They can be seen from spring to fall, darting along the ground, their cheeks stuffed with food. Chipmunks dig out burrows under rocks or stumps to spend winter in a state of pseudo-hibernation, close to their food reserves.

Chipmunk, a small brown striped fur rodent, has its front paws joint together.

Eastern chipmunk
© Collection Les amis de la montagne

 

These are wild animals. Their diet consists of acorns, seeds, insects or fungi.

People should not feed them.

 


 


Questions :

(1) Salamanders may be observed in the forest of Mount Royal.

Answer True

(2) There are deer on the mountain.

Answer False

Bat sp.
@ Collection Les amis de la montagne

Northern Ring - Necked Snake
Photographer: Martin Ouellet
© Martin Ouellet  Amphibia-Nature

Shrew sp.
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

 

 Eastern Chipmunk
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

 

Dog-day Cicada
Photographer: Samuel Montigné
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

 

 

 

Goldfish
Photographer: Samuel Montigné
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

 

 

 

Woodchuck
Photographer: Jean-Michel Villanove
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

Woodlouse
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

Commun Walking Stick
Photographer: Samuel Montigné
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

 

Eastern Red-backed Salamander
Photographer: Martin Ouellet
© Martin Ouellete Amphibia-Nature

 

Spotted Lady Beetle
Photographer: Samuel Montigné
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

Dragonfly (Darner sp.)
Photographer: Samuel Montigné
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

Red Fox
Photographer: Karine Gagné
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

Gray Squirrel
Photographer: Jacques Dorais
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

 

Racoon
Photographer: Jacques Dorais
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

Red Squirrel
Photographer: Gilles Gonthier
@ Les amis de la montagne's Collection

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Mission: Fox

Monday, January twelfth, ten ten a.m.
Minus fifteen degrees, light snow.I have a mission:
Confirm the existence of the fox on Mount Royal.
I strap on my snowshoes, and head towards the summit of Mount Royal, hot on the trail of the fox.

As soon as I get there, I can see lots of tracks. (No pause)
Car tracks.
Footprints.
Here, a seagull.
And there they are—fox tracks!... Oh no… it’s only a dog.
It's getting windy. I'm going to slip into the forest. More tracks in the snow…
… is it a groundhog?.... impossible, they hibernate all winter in their burrows…
….hmmm… it looks a lot like a rabbit, but…. there aren't any rabbits on the mountain.

There, a grey squirrel. Ah ha! That's what's leaving those big prints when it jumps! Look, it’s hiding its food in the snow. And… foxes eat squirrels, so I must be on the right track!

And those little prints… you can even see the outline of the tail on the snow… a chipmunk? No, in the winter they’re all sound asleep in their burrows.
… oh! … there he is, a little deer mouse... hmmmm, a nice snack for a fox—I'm getting closer.

There! Fresh tracks, all in a line… one right behind the other. It really looks like a fox this time! Let's follow… they lead behind those rocks, underneath the tree trunk, shhh (shhing sounds), and there… there’s his red coat – wow!

Oh, oh! He saw me. There he goes into his den.
I just had time to take a picture.
And so, there are indeed red foxes on the mountain and I'm taking the proof home with me.
Mission accomplished. Case closed.