Today’s post comes from Cortney LeGros, the Healthy Parks Healthy People coordinator at Ontario Parks.
The holiday season is steeped in tradition.
No matter how you celebrate, there’s one scientific tradition that’s been around for over 120 years to help mark the holidays.
For me, the holidays would not be complete without participating in at least one Christmas Bird Count.
Continue reading Christmas Bird Count — keep the community science tradition going!
`In today’s post, Kettle Lakes Provincial Park‘s senior park naturalist Sarah Wiebe shows us that loons and campers aren’t so different!
Just like many families, Common Loons choose Kettle Lakes as the place to stay with their family in the summer.
You could say that loon families love parks as much as we do!
Like many visitors, I grew up visiting parks, spending every summer of my childhood exploring shorelines and lakes.
I would spend hours making sandcastles at Arrowhead Provincial Park, splashing in the water at Balsam Lake Provincial Park, going fishing in The Massasauga Provincial Park, and paddling through Algonquin Provincial Park.
I can easily say that I love parks.
As I was watching a family of loons return to the lake near our staff house at Kettle Lakes this spring, it got me thinking about how loons like to spend their summers in Ontario Parks, too!
By observing the loons, I’ve noticed that loons love parks as much we do.
Continue reading Loons are like campers — they love their park!
Today’s post comes from Mitch Kellar, a Discovery Leader at Bon Echo Provincial Park.
Being a staff member at Bon Echo has given me a lot of incredible experiences: seeing the Mazinaw Rock at sunset, camping on Joeperry Lake, and a very memorable Kishkebus canoe trip, to name a few.
Above all, my experiences with Peregrine Falcons — small birds of prey and the fastest animals on the planet — will always be one of my favourites.
Continue reading The fastest animal in Bon Echo, Canada, and the world!
Today’s post comes from Habitat Stewardship Technician Justin Johnson from Pinery Provincial Park. Justin has a M.Sc. in biology with a focus on bird acoustics.
Birders are an interesting breed of people. Sometimes everything they do seems to subvert the norms of society.
Sleeping in? Rather not. Too much coffee? No such thing. $4500 binoculars? Yeah, I’ve seen it.
Birders’ bread and butter is local natural spaces and their trails. They can be very particular about which trails they walk. Seasoned birders often only use trails they perceive as “birdy,” neglecting those off their sacred path.
But how do we really know which trails are the “birdiest?”
Continue reading Uncovering the “birdiest” trail at Pinery
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
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.
Continue reading Spot the fall migrators
Today’s article comes from our bird recording specialists, Zone Ecologist Ed Morris and Zone Operations Technician Rebecca Rogge.
Birds are interesting. Most are visually striking, with noteworthy songs to match their brilliant feathers.
They are also very important.
Birds contribute to the health of our environment. They disperse seeds, pollinate plants, and help to control insect populations.
They have direct and indirect effects on human health and well-being as well.
The medical community recognizes the health benefits of spending time with nature and for many people, their connection with the natural world is through birds.
Continue reading Monitoring birds in northern protected areas
In today’s post, Piping Plover Biologist Monica Fromberger shares the hot gossip surrounding this season’s plover population.
We had TWO Piping Plover nests in southeastern Ontario this year!
One at Darlington Provincial Park and the other at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.
Continue reading 2022 Piping Plover season recap
Today’s post comes from Sarah Wiebe, the senior park naturalist at Kettle Lakes Provincial Park.
Before this year, I would have never considered myself a “Bird Nerd.”
My journey began in my southern Ontario home, but it wasn’t until I arrived at my summer destination (Kettle Lakes!) that I truly hit my nerdy stride.
Continue reading Migrating north: how I became a “Bird Nerd”
In today’s post, Rondeau Provincial Park Interpreter Shane Smits will take us through identifying just a few of the many sparrow species found in Ontario.
For several reasons, whether rightfully so or not, sparrows are often overlooked when it comes to birdwatching.
For starters, they tend to be plentiful. There are usually many sparrows seen hopping around near the forest floor or within dense cover.
But seemingly the most common reason to overlook sparrows amongst beginner bird watchers — that “all sparrows look the same” — is actually a misconception.
This is admittedly something that I have said on multiple occasions. Here’s why it’s wrong. Yes, all sparrows have their similarities. But after spending some time getting to know these little brown birds, their differences become more apparent.
Continue reading Sparrows: It’s all in their heads