50 Monkstown Rd. St. John's, Nfld. Canada. A1C 3T3
The five-legged Boreal Asterias Sea Star (Asterias vulgaris), shows great variation in colour with red, purple and orange forms being common. These invertebrate marine animals inhabit intertidal regions along the Newfoundland coast. They grow rapidly and prey on mussels and other molluscs.
Along the South Coast of Newfoundland there is a five to eight foot
rise and fall of tide twice daily. The nearest tidal reporting station or
Reference Ports as they are called in the Canadian Tide and Current Tables
in Placentia Bay. The tide in Fortune Bay is 43 minutes later than at
Argentia at high water and 1 hour and 7 minutes later at low water.
Fortune Bay is very seldom frozen over but during January and February some
of the harbours freeze especially where there is an influx of
freshwater from the inflow of rivers.
Depending on the season a wide variety of birds and animals forage
in the intertidal zone for food. Caribou come down to the beaches in the
summer to eat kelp and enjoy the prevailing onshore south westerly winds
that keep temperatures pleasant.
Just back from the high tide mark a wide variety of animals find
suitable habitat for rearing their young.
Common Snipe (Capella gallingo) are birds of the bogs and fens of Newfoundland. The winnowing sound made by flying snipe occurs when air whistles through their tail feathers. Snipe leave Newfoundland in Fall and migrate as far as South America.
The late Dr. Les Tuck wrote a great book about snipe based on his
research in Newfoundland called The Snipes: A Study of the Genus
Capella published in 1971 by the Canadian Wildlife Service. An interesting
passage from this book describes the return of snipe to Newfoundland from
their over-wintering grounds in Louisiana, Florida and the Caribbean Islands: