Keeping up with the Canada Jay

Today’s blog post comes from bird researchers Alex Sutton and Koley Freeman, PhD candidates at the University of Guelph.

In the world of Canada Jays, winter means one thing: it’s breeding season!

Canada Jays are common in Algonquin Provincial Park. Continuing a 55 year-old tradition, a dedicated team of researchers is monitoring breeding pairs. This is the longest study of its kind in the world!

With each passing year, more is learned about the breeding behaviour and life history of these remarkable birds.

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Turtle eggs and salamander spawn: spring monitoring at Grundy Lake

Today’s article comes from Emily Wright, Discovery Program Leader at Grundy Lake Provincial Park.

Spring at Grundy Lake is a quiet time of year. The lake waters are cold from the melting snow and ice, birds are just starting to arrive from their long migrations, and visitors are few and far between.

Park staff, however, are busy and bustling about as they begin to prepare for another season of campers.

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Birding in the boreal

Lev Frid, birder par excellence, recently explored some of our northern parks, and wrote us the following post. If you love songbirds, this is a must-read!

For many Ontario birdwatchers, it’s all about the spring. Great Lakes havens such as Rondeau, MacGregor Point and Presqu’ile Provincial Parks host birding festivals and draw lots of visitors itching to see newly-arrived spring migrants.

What you might not know is that there are many opportunities to view these same birds on their breeding grounds in the boreal forest in some of our northern parks.

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Presqu’ile’s Waterfowl Weekend

During March, spectacular events are taking place at Ontario Parks. One of them takes flight at Presqu’ile Provincial Park’s on March 21-22, 2020.

It’s the 44th anniversary of Waterfowl Weekend, hosted by park staff and Friends of Presqu’ile Provincial Park volunteers.

Make plans to witness one of the best waterfowl migrations in the world!

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Ollie and Oona’s new pad

Port Burwell Provincial Park is a hot spot for large raptors.

Two local Osprey (affectionately named Ollie and Oona) fish Big Otter Creek and the shores of Lake Erie, regularly bringing their “catch of the day” back to the park’s radio tower to settle in for some fine dining high above the park.

In February of 2019, local volunteer Cliff Dickinson approached the park about the feasibility of installing an Osprey nesting platform.

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Woodpeckers 101

Today’s post comes from Barb Rees, our Discovery Program and Marketing Specialist in the Northwest Zone of Ontario Parks.

Winter is a great time to watch for woodpeckers. Why? Simply because there are less leaves on trees making most birds more visible.

Typically, there are also more birdfeeders placed out in the winter than the summer (since the bears are hibernating). So attracting birds closer to your home makes bird-watching possible right from the warmth of your living room window.

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Tidewater Provincial Park and Pei lay sheesh kow IBA

Welcome to the September installment of “IBAs in provincial parks,” brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada.

Today’s Important Bird & Biodiversity Area started out as an area of seven IBAs and is now an amalgamated site with an added 716 km2 of area.

Tidewater Provincial Park and the tail end of Kesagami Provincial Park fit comfortably within our new IBA: Pei lay sheesh kow.

“Pei lay sheesh kow” means “an area that abounds with birds” in Cree. That couldn’t be more true!

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The height of land: Wakami Lake Provincial Park

Wakami Lake Provincial Park sits very near the “height of land.” That is, the place where water either flows to the Great Lakes and eventually out to the Atlantic Ocean, or north to Hudson Bay and the arctic watershed.

It’s also a place where the southern forests of Sugar Maple and Yellow Birch give way to the trees of the boreal forest. Poplar, White Birch, Jack Pine, Balsam Fir and Black Spruce begin to dominate here.

Bald Eagles and Osprey are commonly seen fishing the productive waters of the lake. Wakami Lake is one of the best Walleye lakes in the northeast. Wildlife is abundant. And so is the quiet…

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