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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:


Common 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:


Many 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.


Two 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 lake.


Fish Species


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.


Insect Species


An 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


Leeches 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