Today’s post comes to us from David Bree, former 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
Today’s post comes from Bronte Creek Provincial Park Discovery Ranger Hannah Stockford and Darlington Provincial Park Piping Plover Student Jax Nasimok.
Once upon a time, bird migration was a great mystery!
Early ideas about migration by philosophers and scientists from hundreds of years ago were quite unusual. They varied from thinking birds hibernated in the mud at the bottom of lakes to flying to the moon!
Now we know most birds that migrate do so to find food, or travel to seasonal habitat or reproductive grounds.
While our understanding of migration is limited, with new technologies like Motus, humans are on the right track expand our knowledge in order to better understand and conserve migratory wildlife.
Continue reading Tracking the mysteries of migration
Today’s post comes from Charlotte Westcott, a Discovery Program staff member at Lake Superior Provincial Park.
As the sun sets, the stars begin to appear. Like old friends, their familiar glow brings us home no matter how far away our house may be. Our friendly acquaintances, the constellations, trace their way across the sky. The white glow of the Milky Way emerges slowly to drown out its fainter neighbours.
Far away from the light pollution of major cities, Lake Superior Provincial Park’s night sky is one of the darkest in North America.
Continue reading The long road to Lake Superior Provincial Park’s Dark Sky Preserve
Today’s post is by Jess Matthews, the chief park naturalist at Rondeau Provincial Park.
One hundred years ago, there was a lot we didn’t know about managing parks.
The idea of maintaining ecological integrity is relatively new. Ontario’s first parks were primarily established for recreation and tourism.
During the first half of the 20th century, wildlife was often seen as a tourist attraction or a nuisance. There was little understanding of how animal diseases spread, or how local populations were adapted to the places they lived.
Because park managers didn’t know about any of this, some animals found themselves packed up and shipped off far from their homes.
This is the story of squirrels from Rondeau Provincial Park that, due to their fashionable coats, traveled as far as the White House lawn.
Continue reading Squirrels for sale: the incredible history of squirrels at Rondeau
Protected areas are fascinating places.
If you’re lucky, during your visit you may spot a wide variety of wildlife who call these parks home.
However, you may not always see healthy animals.
In these natural spaces, you could see animals that look sick, injured, or orphaned. We know you want to help wildlife, but helping wildlife means keeping your hands off! Continue reading Hands off park wildlife!
Today’s post comes from Cara Freitag, a past Park Naturalist at Neys Provincial Park.
There are many misconceptions about nature: climb a tree to escape bears, moose are friendly, coolers are strong enough to prevent bears getting your food.
Before I became a naturalist, I thought that all insects were bugs, not just the Hemiptera order. My cousins in Germany thought that every Canadian had a pet Polar Bear!
None of these things are true.
Big mammals tend to get most of the attention, but there are misconceptions about smaller organisms too.
We have many visitors at the Neys Visitor Centre wondering: “Is that lichen killing those trees?” (Don’t worry, the answer is no.)
Continue reading Is that lichen killing those trees?
Today’s blog was written by Discovery Program Project Coordinator Jessica Stillman.
This summer, Grundy Lake Provincial Park, Killbear Provincial Park, and The Massasauga Provincial Park collaborated with the Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere (GBB) to host bioblitzes within the world’s largest freshwater archipelago.
What is a bioblitz? In short, it is a community science event for recording different species within a certain location and time.
For these events, park visitors, Friends members, and staff from both Ontario Parks and GBB came together to inventory living things by uploading them to iNaturalist.
Continue reading Community science with the Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere
The opportunity to look up into a beautiful starry sky has forever been a part of the Quetico Provincial Park camping experience.
But did you know that on February 23, 2021, Quetico Provincial Park was officially designated as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association?
Imagine yourself lying on your back gazing up into a wide-open sky filled with a million points of distant light (like the sky captured above by David Jackson!). You take a deep breath of clean air and stare upwards in wonder.
Continue reading Quetico: an International Dark Sky Park
Written by Discovery Program Project Coordinator Jessica Stillman.
Teachers, did you know you can help your students be more engaged and enthusiastic in all areas of their learning by taking them outside?
Studies show that students who experience nature as part of the educational process score higher on tests in reading, writing, and math and have demonstrated better listening skills.
Not that you need any more reasons to get outside, but here are four more reasons to take your class outside for Take Me Outside Day:
Continue reading It’s Take Me Outside Day!
We are so happy to welcome visitors to Ontario Parks…
…on the other hand, we are not so delighted to see what accompanies them.
We know many of you have also noticed this and have expressed your concerns. We appreciate and encourage park-lovers who are committed to protecting our environment for the future.
Continue reading Everything you need to know about disposing of trash in provincial parks