`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 marketing specialist and birding enthusiast, Tanya Berkers.
When Ontario Parks signed on as a supporter of the third Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, I eagerly volunteered on one of the organizing committees.
I love birding, and the Atlas is an important volunteer-dependent project that supports conservation and environmental policy across the entire province.
I wanted to contribute to the Atlas both behind the scenes and as an active data collector.
There is just one problem: I am not a strong birder, and have lots of gaps in my knowledge!
Continue reading 3 ways to level up your birding
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
Today’s post was written by Laura Penner, a Discovery leader at Rondeau Provincial Park.
Watching the world 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
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.
Continue reading Birding in the boreal
Today’s post comes from Eva Paleczny, Learning & Education Specialist with Ontario Parks.
On my drive to work one morning last month, 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?
Here are some fun ideas you can try out from your own backyard:
Continue reading Discover birds with your kids
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 often busy and bustling about as they begin to prepare for another season of campers.
Continue reading Turtle eggs and salamander spawn: spring monitoring at Grundy Lake
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
“The early bird gets the worm” usually makes us think of robins.
But the real early bird isn’t Robin Red-Breast. It’s the Canada Jay, also known as the whiskeyjack or Gray Jay.
Continue reading Canada Jays: the real early birds
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.
Continue reading Woodpeckers 101