Garden biodiversity

A forest in the city, the Arboretum is home to many species that find temporary shelter, food, or a place to grow. Often undervalued, such sites are critical to the health and sustainability of our cities.



A Robin nesting in the thorny branches of cherry prinsepia (Prinsepia sinensis).

Bird List 

Thanks to the Saskatoon Nature Society for keeping an eye and ear out for birds in the Arboretum. Since 2012 the following birds have been recorded:

black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

least flycatcher (Empidonax minimus)

American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni) 

black-billed magpie (Pica pica)

short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) - sighted nearby

Snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus)

rock (feral) pigeon (Columba livia)

common raven (corvus corax)

American redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)

American robin (Turdus migratorius)

pine siskin (Carduelis pinus)

chipping sparow (Spizella posserina)

clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida)

house sparrow (Passer montanus)

Lincoln's sparrow (Melopiza lincolnii)

brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)

black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia)

blackburain warbler (Setophaga fusca)

blackpoll warbler (Setophaga striata)

Canada warbler (Cardellina canadensis)

chestnut-sided warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)

magnolia warbler (Setophaga magnolia)

orange-crowned warbler (Oreathlypis celata)

palm warbler (Setophaga palmarum)

Tennessee warbler (Oreothylpis peregrina)

yellow warbler (Setophaga petechia)

Wilson's warbler (Cardinellina pusilla)

cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

house wren (Troglodytes aedon)

Fly overs, not in the Arboretum:

Canada goose (Branta canadensis)

Franklin's gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)

American white pelican (Pelecanas erythrorhynchos)

Insects and arachnids

Harris's three-spot caterpillar on a Viburnum

Jumping spider on Sakhalin cork tree (Phellodendron sachalinense). Saskatchewan has approximately 38 species of jumping spider.

Butterfly on a mayday tree (Prunus padus var. commutata)

A bee on flowers of Missouri currant (Ribes odoratum)

Lichens and fungi


Coral (Clavorioid) fungus appears occasionally 

Stinkhorn fungus 

Lichens grow in many unlikely places: on bark, soil, rocks, even on tree labels. The diversity of woody plants in the Arboretum provides many habitats and surfaces for these organisms to live. Lichens are unusual in being an organism made up of a fungus and a photosynthetic partner such as a green alga. When growing separately each species will exhibit a different form than when they are growing together. 

There are more than 500 lichen species in Saskatchewan, and identifying them to species level can be difficult. Lichens are named by combining the scientific name of the fungus with a common descriptive name such as "starry rosette lichen". 

lichens on elm tree

Lichens on an elm tree: Grey lichens are Physcia, probably Physcia stellaris (starry rosette lichen) and Physcia adscendens (rosette lichen); yellow lichens are species of Xanthomendoza.

lichens on tree label

An assortment of crustose (flat) lichen species along with a larger, grey species, probably Physcia stellaris, starry rosette lichen.

lichens on tree label

The dark grey-green lichen in the centre of the label may be Phaeophscia orbicularis, mealy shadow lichen.

Thanks to Diane Haughland, Lichenologist with the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton for helping us to identify these species.


Cedar apple rust fungus (Gymnosporanguim juniperi-virginianae) on a juniper, 


A moose passed through the Arboretum in the wet summer of 2010.

Mammal List

meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) - resident

deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) - resident

least chipmunk (Eutamias minimus) - occasional

white-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii) - occasional

coyote (Canis latrans) - occasional

moose (Alces alces) - tracks

Recommended website: Canadian Biodiversity Web Site