Carolinian Friends on the Berm

The following article was written by the Grade 8 Eco-Class at Kettle Creek Public School in Port Stanley to highlight Carolinian species at a site near and dear to their hearts called "The Berm". The Berm is located along the Lake Erie shoreline and is important regional habitat for a variety of species. We'd like to give a big thank you to the Grade 8 Eco-Class for sharing their work with us and high-fives all around for being such caring and passionate students for the protection of nature!


The Carolinian Zone may only make up 1% of Canada’s total land mass, yet it is bursting with more flora and fauna than any other ecosystem in the country. We who are privileged to live here in the most unique life zone must take care to acknowledge and respect that it is also the most endangered ecological zone in Ontario.

Did You Know?
“The Carolinian zone habitats and ecosystems include forests, tallgrass prairies and savannas, wetlands, shorelines, and other aquatic habitats. Fifty-eight of these ecosystem types is considered rare. Each of these ecosystems has a distinctive set of species”. Carolinian Canada

“The Berm”, the eastern headlands of the waterfront, is home to many Carolinian friends. Some of the following species you might have seen in the natural wetlands, others surveying the area for food, or migrating. The Berm has become part of our natural ecosystem.

Everyday, Katey Berzins, a Port Stanley resident, takes photos on the waterfront lands and shares them with the community. Katey’s pictures convey just how nature is around us and more important how key a healthy ecosystem is for not only clean air and water but our well-being.

The photos below are from Katey Berzins. Thank you Katey for sharing these amazing photos with us!

Wetlands and Wildlife Ponds

Green Frog

Green frogs find homes in permanent bodies of water and have done so in our ponds on the Berm.
Have you heard them croak?
Of course in the winter they hibernate in the mud at the bottom of the ponds.



Ruddy Turnstones                         

They like to eat fly larva, beetles, snails and other aquatic insect larva. Our ponds are full of nutrients for the Ruddy Turnstones as they migrate through.





Killdeer nesting in the grasses close to the ponds so it can feed. They have a very high pitched call, very much like their name, “kideeer, kideeer”.



Blue Teal Ducks

Did You Know?
There are two types of ducks, Dabblers and Divers. Dabbling ducks have their “bottoms up” when they feed, while the Divers, dive below the water’s surface.

Have a look next time when you are on the Berm wetlands to observe if the Blue Teal ducks are Divers or Dabblers.

Green Herons

It is easy to admire this Green Heron perched on the rocks enjoying the tranquility of the Berm.

Did You Know?
A Green Heron likes to eat minnows, aquatic insects, frogs and tadpoles. They are solitary creatures that like to live near small bodies of water. They must like our wetlands.


The Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron likes to wade in shallow water to feed on fish and other prey.

Did You Know?
The Blue Heron symbolizes “self-reliance and self-determination”. In the Native American tradition, those with the Blue Heron spirit, hold wisdom and strength.

The Red-tailed Hawk and Bald Eagles are frequent visitors to the edges of the Berm.

The Bald Eagle fishes off the shoreline.






Snowy Owl

Last year the Snowy Owl could be spotted along the waterfront lands of Port Stanley. Katey captured the Snowy Owl on the Berm.

Did You Know?
They prefer open habitats as it resembles their native wide-open tundra habitat. They are known for their piercing yellow eyes. If you spot one this year, please respect the owl and keep a good distance away.


Is this a mink spotted on the rocks at the shoreline of the Berm?

Mink have to be quick because they are prey to larger animals. A mink's diet consists of earthworms, frogs, mice, crayfish and insects. No wonder it is making the Berm its habitat.




White-tailed Deer

The White-tailed Deer are usually nocturnal animals, but Katey has captured them on camera many mornings on and around the Berm.

Did You Know?
The diet of the White-tailed Deer is green plants, nuts and in the winter they feed on wood vegetation.


The Berm was wild for several years before it was remediated in 2017. As nature, all her creatures, would have it, the Berm has rewilded itself into a natural and safe habitat for many Carolinian friends.