Owl-induced whiplash

In today’s post, Alistair MacKenzie, Naturalist Heritage Education Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park, recounts a dramatic encounter with an Eastern Screech Owl.

We desperately needed to confirm breeding evidence for Eastern Screech Owls in our survey squares for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas back in 2005.

It was our last chance given that the atlas was wrapping up the collection period and I was frustrated since I confidently knew that screech owls did indeed breed in the park, but sadly we just hadn’t managed to be in the right place at the right time to confirm it.

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Slithering into fall: hibernation for Ontario’s reptiles

Today’s post was written by seasonal student Heather Van Den Diepstraten from Rondeau Provincial Park.

It’s not just students and birds on the move this fall.

As the cold weather approaches, reptiles are trekking across Rondeau Provincial Park in search of hibernacula (places in which wildlife overwinter). Researchers for Wildlife Preservation Canada are busy tracking the movements of snakes, turtles, and skinks within the park as they find suitable habitat for their hibernation.

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The amazing journey of Ontario’s provincial tree

What is it about White Pine? No other tree species in Ontario seems to inspire as much reverence and passion.

The history of White Pine is deeply intertwined with the history of people in Ontario. It has been an important species for Indigenous people for millennia, played a huge role in establishing Ontario’s cities, and has faced some tough challenges, including one that led to one of our province’s most amazing ecological restoration stories.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves — let’s start at the beginning!

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Spot the fall migrators

The signs of spring always grab our attention.

We’re excited by the arrival of the familiar birds, butterflies, and fish that we see each summer. Perhaps it’s simply because we yearn for the end of winter. Or maybe it’s the feeling that a good friend has returned from a long vacation down south.

What we neglect to notice sometimes though, is the beauty of their departure.

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Back to school at Pinery

Today’s blog comes from Nicole Benn and Annalise Twomey, senior park interpreters at Pinery Provincial Park.

Cicadas are singing, Monarchs are migrating, and students and teachers are preparing!

Back to school season is upon us, but returning to class does not mean exploring Ontario Parks is over. We can still build memories in our parks by learning with students of all ages at Pinery Provincial Park.

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Monarch Butterflies

Today’s post was written by summer student Danielle Bullen from Rondeau Provincial Park.

It’s that time of year again, and across Ontario, we’re starting to see those beautiful orange and black wings.

Monarch Butterflies come all the way from Mexico over a few generations, depending on the amount of milkweed available during their travels, spending summer here in Ontario.

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It’s aster season!

Today’s post comes to us from Natural Heritage Education Specialist Dave Sproule.

Around the middle of August, Ontario’s landscape starts to change colour. A bit of gold here, swaths of white there, and even a touch of purple in places. No, it’s not fall yet, although the odd maple tree may think so. It’s actually the “second flowering of summer,” and it lasts well into the autumn.

While many of the flowering plants in the landscape have quit for the season, the asters and goldenrods are just getting going.
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