Corporate Wildlife

American GoldfinchThe IBM Toronto Lab is a bit of a misnomer. Shortly after I joined we moved out of Toronto, up to Markham, to a brand new lab on a relatively large chunk of property (our ribbon cutting ceremony was September 11, 2001). The nice thing is that this relatively large property is also basically undeveloped except where the buildings and parking lots stand, leaving a fair bit of genuine certified nature lying about. I’ve been keeping a bit of a list, and so far in 2006 I’ve seen (in addition to plants and insects):

  • Deer x 1
  • Rabbits x 2.5 (2 adults, 1 baby)
  • Racoons x 2
  • Squirrels x N

Not a particularly formidable list, though the doe in particular was quite captivating, and quite close. But then there’s the birds…

(alphabetized because I love you)

  • American Crows
  • American Goldfinches
  • American Robins
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Bank Swallows
  • Barn Swallows
  • Black-Capped Chickadees
  • Blue Jays
  • Brown-Headed Cowbirds
  • Canada Geese
  • Cardinals
  • Cedar Waxwings
  • Common Grackles
  • Downy Woodpeckers
  • Eastern Kingbirds
  • European Starlings
  • Great Blue Herons
  • Hairy Woodpeckers
  • House Sparrows
  • Killdeer
  • Mallard Ducks
  • Mourning Doves
  • Pigeons
  • Red-Tailed Hawks
  • Red-Winged Blackbirds
  • Ring-Billed Gulls
  • Rough-Legged Hawks
  • Tree Sparrows
  • Tree Swallows
  • Turkey Vultures

That’s 30 bird species on the walk to and from my car. And those are the confirmed hits and multiple sightings – I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Cooper’s Hawks and Pileated Woodpeckers too, for example. 30 species isn’t particularly a lot for a randomly selected location in Ontario, but it might be a touch above average for a randomly selected 2500-person software development lab, so all in all I am pleased.

(Goldfinch photo courtesy of electric echoes)

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