Today’s post comes from David LeGros, one of our Algonquin Provincial Park naturalists.
As the crisp fall days get colder and the occasional dusting of snow whitens the landscape, we know that winter is just around the corner. For the countless songbirds of our forests, they avoid our cold winters and lack of food by migrating south.
Other animals are adapted to the cold conditions and may grow a thicker coat of fur or feathers. Some, we think, have the enviable ability to sleep away the long Ontario winter by hibernating.
Continue reading Underground, underwater or frozen solid: how do frogs & toads spend the winter?
As winter weather rolls in, black bears are bedding down for hibernation.
Rick Stronks, the chief naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park, shares some interesting facts about these seasonal deep sleepers:
Continue reading 7 facts about black bears
Today’s post comes from Laura Myers, Senior Park Interpreter of Neys Provincial Park.
Driftwood – it makes a great bench to watch the sunset, a balancing beam to play on, or that perfect element to your photograph.
There’s something about driftwood that gives beaches that rugged beauty factor. Walking on a beach, listening to the waves and the birds, and looking at the different pieces of driftwood can be wondrous and relaxing.
Has a piece of driftwood ever caught your eye and made you wonder where it originally came from? How it got that far up the beach? The size of the wave that put it there? What species of tree or how old it is?
Each piece of driftwood has its own journey and its own story. But its story isn’t over when it washes up on the beach.
Continue reading Why driftwood matters
In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a backstage glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from Rosemary Minns from Emily Provincial Park.
Emily Provincial Park is a lovely place. Plenty of docks to fish, beaches to swim, and large campsites. I was extremely excited to work as a Discovery student at Emily. There was one catch to this job…
…I had to learn to take care of a Snapping Turtle.
Continue reading Love at first snap: caring for Spike at Emily Provincial Park
Frogs and toads have an ancient history, with fossils dating back to the time of the dinosaurs.
Algonquin Provincial Park Naturalist David LeGros has been fascinated by these amphibians since he was a toddler and he shares some fun facts about them.
Continue reading Are you friends with frogs?
Today’s post comes from naturalist Pilar Manorome from Rondeau Provincial Park.
Are you afraid of spiders? Our eight-legged friends are the kind of “creepy crawlies” that many people like to pretend don’t exist.
One of my goals as a naturalist is to break down those barriers with fun facts that can make those “less-appealing” creatures sound like they would be a hoot at any of your Halloween parties.
Continue reading 8 fun facts about spiders
In today’s post, Alistair MacKenzie, Naturalist Heritage Education Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park, recounts a dramatic encounter with an Eastern Screech Owl. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / mlorenz.
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.
Continue reading Owl-induced whiplash
We’re making the switch from citizen science to community science.
Here at Ontario Parks, we love it when our visitors can get involved in science.
From iNaturalist to Bumblebee Watch, eBird, bioblitzes, and more, volunteers help us to collect important information about our parks.
These efforts help us to understand how plant and animal populations are changing over time, and help us to discover previously unknown populations of rare species. They also allow us to react quickly if someone discovers an invasive species in a new area.
Continue reading Join our community of science
You might think that snakes are creatures of the night, slithering around in the dark, looking for prey and striking when they find it.
But you’d be wrong. Most of our snakes are active during the day, though the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Milksnake and Ring-necked Snake do come out at night.
Continue reading 8 cool facts about snakes
There are few sounds more haunting than the howl of a pack of wolves in the dead of night. It makes the hair on the back of our necks stand up!
But are these creatures really the “big bad wolves” we remember from bedtime stories?
Continue reading Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?