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…

Continue reading The height of land: Wakami Lake Provincial Park

IBAs of Ontario Parks: Turkey Point and the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA

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

Summer is a perfect time to talk about Turkey Point Provincial Park and the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA!

These forests are known for supporting a rich breeding bird community, as well as an astounding array of other species.

Continue reading IBAs of Ontario Parks: Turkey Point and the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA

Discover birds with your kids

Today’s post comes from Eva Paleczny, Learning & Education Leader 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 creatures?

Some fun ideas you can try out:

Continue reading Discover birds with your kids

IBAs of Ontario Parks: spring migration on Lake Erie

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

Did you know Saturday (May 12, 2018) is International Migratory Bird Day! What a wonderful reason to highlight sites renowned for migrating songbirds!

In today’s post, we’re chatting about two of Ontario’s southern-most Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas:

Continue reading IBAs of Ontario Parks: spring migration on Lake Erie

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

Ouimet Canyon: a northwestern birding hotspot

Today’s post comes from our Northwest Regional Planning Ecologist Bill Greaves.

Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park is typically visited for its jaw-dropping geological feature, but it’s also one of the better birding hotspots in the Thunder Bay area.

What might you see at Ouimet Canyon?

Continue reading Ouimet Canyon: a northwestern birding hotspot

IBAs of Ontario Parks: tundra swans and spring songbirds

This installment of our 2017 blog series IBAs in provincial parks — brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada —focuses on the spring migrations at two of our southwestern parks.

On my recent trip to Rondeau Provincial Park / IBA for the Wings of Spring festival and the Port Franks Forested Dunes IBA (close to Pinery Provincial Park), one thing was clear…

…tundra swans make a big impression.

Continue reading IBAs of Ontario Parks: tundra swans and spring songbirds

The IBAs of Polar Bear Provincial Park

This installment of our 2017 blog series IBAs in provincial parks — brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada — is very “cool.” 

Welcome to our year-long blog series! For our inaugural spotlight, we are staying in the winter spirit and focusing on Ontario’s far north. That’s right: our worlds collide up there in a big way.

Continue reading The IBAs of Polar Bear Provincial Park

A winter birding challenge

Today’s post is from Justin Peter, who was a Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Algonquin Provincial Park from 2006 through 2013. Now a professional travel planner, Justin is a keen local and worldwide explorer, and looks for birds everywhere he ventures.

It’s tempting to say that winter’s not the best time to look at birds in our Ontario Parks. Many species have migrated south. We’re hesitant to venture into the chilly weather.

But the quieter (and leafless) atmosphere of our parks during winter provides an excellent and unique challenge for our sense of environmental awareness.

Up for the challenge? Here’s a selection of birds (and bird signs) you can look for this winter:

Continue reading A winter birding challenge

December’s digital download

Our gift to you this December is this beautiful image of a Canada Jay.

You never know what you’ll see in pristine winter forests.  Birds are often easier to spot because of the leafless trees and serene quiet.

All you need is a set of binoculars, a pair of snowshoes, and some warm clothing.

Happy birding!

Continue reading December’s digital download