Birding in the boreal

Lev Frid, birder par excellence, recently explored some of our northern parks, and wrote us the following post. If you love songbirds, this is a must-read!

For many Ontario birdwatchers, it’s all about the spring. Great Lakes havens such as Rondeau, MacGregor Point and Presqu’ile Provincial Parks host birding festivals and draw lots of visitors itching to see newly-arrived spring migrants.

What you might not know is that there are many opportunities to view these same birds on their breeding grounds in the boreal forest in some of our northern parks.

Continue reading Birding in the boreal

IBAs of Ontario Parks: Turkey Point and the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA

Welcome to the August installment of “IBAs in provincial parks,” brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada.

Summer is a perfect time to talk about Turkey Point Provincial Park and the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA!

These forests are known for supporting a rich breeding bird community, as well as an astounding array of other species.

Continue reading IBAs of Ontario Parks: Turkey Point and the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA

Carden Alvar Provincial Park and Important Bird & Biodiversity Area

Welcome to the July installment of “IBAs in provincial parks,” brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada.

This month, we’ll be talking about the Carden Alvar, a terrific example of harmony between Ontario Parks and the Important Bird & Biodiversity Area program.

Carden Alvar is a very special story, weaving together its rare habitat and species, and the stewardship efforts put forth to protect them.

Continue reading Carden Alvar Provincial Park and Important Bird & Biodiversity Area

Bobo-what?

When Bobolinks are mentioned in mixed audiences, you invariably get muffled laughter, quizzical looks and finally the question, “A bobo-what?”

Bobolinks are small songbirds in the same family as grackles and meadowlarks.  The breeding male is most recognizable by its black body and white back with a buff patch at the nape.

Continue reading Bobo-what?

Discover birds with your kids

Today’s post comes from Eva Paleczny, Learning & Education Leader with Ontario Parks.

On my drive to work one morning, I noticed a bunch of Mourning Doves sitting in a row along an electrical line. As I continued driving, I wondered why birds gather in groups like that…are they being social? Is it advantageous to their survival?

Birds are among the most commonly seen wildlife in our parks and cities, yet probably among the most difficult to observe and identify, due to their intricate colour patterns, quick movements, and ability to stay hidden from view. Not to mention the HUGE variety of bird species out there!

Despite this, I’ve seen many young children express awe and excitement when they see a bird fly by or land on a nearby window sill. These are new sightings for them and they are curious…but eventually, they become ordinary sightings.

How can you tap into discovering birds with your children at home? How can you spark a lifelong curiosity in birds and creatures?

Some fun ideas you can try out:

Continue reading Discover birds with your kids

IBAs of Ontario Parks: spring migration on Lake Erie

Welcome to the May installment “IBAs in provincial parks,” brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada.

Did you know Saturday (May 12, 2018) is International Migratory Bird Day! What a wonderful reason to highlight sites renowned for migrating songbirds!

In today’s post, we’re chatting about two of Ontario’s southern-most Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas:

Continue reading IBAs of Ontario Parks: spring migration on Lake Erie

The boreal forest: Ontario’s songbird nursery

Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education and Marketing Specialist Dave Sproule.

Migrating birds are already arriving along the edges of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and many southern parks have birding events and festivals.

But for most of the migrants, these parks are just a rest stop after crossing those big stretches of water. Their destination may be much further north: the boreal forest.

Continue reading The boreal forest: Ontario’s songbird nursery