Fauna of Lake Isle
A wide variety of fish,
birds and animals are seen around and in Lake Isle, from early spring
until freeze-up in the fall. Most of the waterfowl on the lake use it as
a breeding area, other birds, both waterfowl and songbirds use it as a
stopover on their way to their breeding grounds farther north in the
Arctic and in Northern Alberta. Listed below are the species identified
during the course of a five year study (2000-2005) on the lake for data
inputted for the Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta. This list is by no means complete as it is the observations of only a few local atlassers.
Common breeders on and around the lake are:
Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Western Grebe, American
White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Canada Goose,
American Wigeon, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern
Shoveler, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup,
White-winged Scoter, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser,
Ruddy Duck, Osprey, American Coot, Mew Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Black
Tern, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Common Snipe, Northern Harrier,
Swainson's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Merlin, Ring-necked
Pheasant, Rock Dove, Northern Hawk Owl, Great Gray Owl, Great Horned
Owl, Short-eared Owl, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow-bellied
Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker,
Northern Flicker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Northern Shrike, Gray Jay,
Blue Jay, Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, Common Raven, Purple
Martin, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Boreal
Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren,
Mountain Bluebird, American Robin, European Starling, Black-and-white
Warbler, Western Tanager, American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Song
Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco,
Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pine Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak, Red-winged
Blackbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed
Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole, Purple Finch, House Finch.
Common migrant species:
Trumpeter Swan, Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Common Redpoll, Hoary Redpoll and many species of Warblers, to name only a few.
It is not uncommon to see many Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles remaining at the lake year round.
Four Legged Species:
animal species also call Lake Isle their home. Some of these are
Coyotes, Fox, Wolves, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Moose, Elk and
occasionally Black Bear and Cougar.
Beaver, Muskrats, Chipmunks and Red Squirrels are also abundant around the lake.
species of frogs (Wood Frog and Boreal Chorus Frog) and two species of
toads (Canada Toad and Boreal Toad) can also be found in and around the
Several species of Game
Fish and coarse fish co-exist in Lake Isle. Game fish include Northern
Pike, Walleye, Yellow Perch and Burbot or Ling Cod. Coarse fish are
mainly Suckers. There are also many species of minnows in the lake,
including but not limited to, Shiners and Stickelback, and the
fingerlings of the above named game fish, on which the adult game fish
and stalking as well as diving birds feed.
excellent barometer of a lakes health is indicated by the insect life
in and around a lake. Lake Isle is rich in numerous species of insects,
including several different species of Dragon Flies, Damsel Flies,
Midges (Cronomids), Mosquitos and many species of water beetles (in both
the larval and adult stages).
Other Water-bound Species
are quite common near the shoreline in and amongst the Cattails and
Reeds, while the lake itself is rich in Scud (a form of freshwater
shrimp although not a real shrimp), which many of the fish species and
several species of birds feed heavily upon.
Photo of Western Tanager courtesy of Bill Benford
Photos of Great Blue Heron, Muskrat and Trumpeter Swans courtesy of Sandi Benford