Butterball’s story

Today’s post comes to us from David Bree, our Discovery Program Lead at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

Butterball was a bit of a miracle child.

The way the year went, it was amazing that his egg was ever laid, let alone hatched. And he never should have flown.

But, somehow, he did.

To truly understand Butterball’s story, and the miracle it was, we must go back eight years. And oh yeah, you should know: Butterball is a Common Tern.

Continue reading Butterball’s story

Fall warbler migration at Rondeau Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Laura Penner, a Discovery Program Group Leader at Rondeau Provincial Park.

Thousands of birdwatchers flock to Rondeau each spring to take part in one of natures most spectacular events, the annual songbird migration.

The male warblers, in their attempt to attract mates, are in their finest plumage with bold patterns and bright colours. Their unique songs fill the air! Beginner birders focus on the bird’s appearance to identify it. For more advanced birders, the songs may help identify birds that aren’t out in the open putting on a show.

But for those who are ready to take their warbler identification skills to the next level, there is the fall migration!

Continue reading Fall warbler migration at Rondeau Provincial Park

Seeing spots at Pinery Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Tanya Berkers, Resource Management Group Leader at Pinery Provincial Park.

You may be seeing spots the next time you visit Pinery’s Visitor Centre, and hopefully the birds will see them too!

The park has just installed thousands of vinyl dots on the windows to make them visible to our feathered friends.

Continue reading Seeing spots at Pinery Provincial Park

A forest of friends

Today’s post comes to us from Heather Stern, a naturalist at Bon Echo Provincial Park

Many people visit parks each summer for vacation, relaxation, adventure, or more generally, a break from city life. These are all great reasons to get outside and enjoy nature.

However, while visitation to provincial parks is increasing, we want knowledge of the plants, animals, and the unique habitats that these parks protect to increase too.

Continue reading A forest of friends

Discover birds with your kids

Today’s post comes from Eva Paleczny, A/Learning & Education Specialist 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 other creatures?

Some fun ideas you can try out:

Continue reading Discover birds with your kids

Pecking away at Presqu’ile: High Bluff and Gull Island bird colonies

This post was written by David Bree, Natural Heritage Education Leader at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

While Presqu’ile is not the busiest park in Ontario, it can get quite hectic at times in the summer. However, I am pretty sure most people could not guess where the busiest place in the park is.

It is not the Friday line-up to register your campsite, or the beach on a sunny Sunday in July. It is not even the line-up for ice cream at the park store on a hot summer day.

It is a place most campers never go…

Continue reading Pecking away at Presqu’ile: High Bluff and Gull Island bird colonies

The spring bird migration

Today’s post was written by Laura Penner, Natural Heritage Education Leader at Rondeau Provincial Park.

Watching a forest wake up and spring back to life after a long winter is something almost everyone looks forward to. While the winter has charm and stunning beauty, the thought of those long, warm days simply change the pace of outdoor activity.

We aren’t the only ones anticipating the change of seasons. In fact, nature has been investing large amounts of energy in order to take advantage of this relatively short burst of warmth and the seemingly limitless supply of food that comes with it. This is evident in the countless flocks of birds that migrate north each spring.

Continue reading The spring bird migration

Spring birding festivals

The songbirds are returning and bringing spring with them!

Catch a bird-banding demonstration, take in a nature photography workshop, or sign on for a bird-themed hike with our park naturalists.

If you love songbirds, you won’t want to miss the Ontario Parks spring birding festivals:

Continue reading Spring birding festivals

Tundra Swans at Pinery

Imagine you’re standing in Pinery Provincial Park.

You close your eyes and take in the peace of nature all around you. All of the sudden, a loud yodel interrupts the quiet! That unbelievable sound is actually thousands of birds yodeling en masse as they fly over the park in search of their next feeding ground.

This unforgettable experience is courtesy of the Tundra Swan.

Continue reading Tundra Swans at Pinery