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.
Continue reading Owl-induced whiplash
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?
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 rattlesnake, milksnake and ring-necked snake do come out at night.
Continue reading 8 cool facts about snakes
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 Laura Penner of Rondeau Provincial Park.
Every Halloween, we are bombarded with spooky images: haunted houses, cemeteries, dark nights, deserted roads and — of course — bats!
Continue reading Bats in your belfry?
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
If you’ve ever seen a Five-lined Skink, you know just how cute they are!
The Five-lined Skink, which looks a bit like a salamander, is the only lizard species native to Ontario. And while researchers continue to study skinks, we still don’t know very much about what they do on a day-to-day basis, particularly from September to May when they’re hibernating.
Here are five cool things we DO know about Five-lined Skinks, courtesy of Alistair MacKenzie, Resource Management Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park.
Continue reading 5 cool facts about skinks
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.
Continue reading Slithering into fall: hibernation for Ontario’s reptiles
Today’s post is from Mark D. Read, a senior interpreter at Murphys Point Provincial Park.
It’s a common question that park interpreters face almost daily during the summer and one that many folks already think they know the answer to:
Continue reading I heard a strange sound last night – what was it?
Imagine walking through the forest during a nice sunny day. You hear birds chirping, see the fall colours rustle in the breeze, and watch squirrels gathering food. We stop; we take pictures; we enjoy.
Now take that same trail at dusk.
You just had a flash of danger.
Continue reading Creatures of the night