Saving the unseen: managing habitat for Eastern Whip-poor-will at Pinery

For some, it’s the song of summertime. For others, it’s the song that signals impending doom. It was part of what made Hank Williams (so) lonesome, but many consider its presence far too surrounding.

Despite your interpretation, it’s easy to learn this bird’s classic “WHUP-poor-WILL” song.

Continue reading Saving the unseen: managing habitat for Eastern Whip-poor-will at Pinery

The Breeding Bird Atlas is coming to Ontario Parks!

This year marks the beginning of an exciting five years for Ontario Parks (2021-2025)!

We’re supporting the third Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas: an enormous community science initiative that aims to survey all the province’s breeding birds.

It’s a big job, so if you like birds and care about their conservation, we could use your help!

Continue reading The Breeding Bird Atlas is coming to Ontario Parks!

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.

Continue reading Keeping up with the Canada Jay

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 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

Just roll with it: how one park adapts to an unpredictable shoreline

Today’s post comes from Amy Hall, a Resource Management Project Technician at Pinery Provincial Park.

Many of our visitors have been coming to Pinery for decades, witnessing the park change in many ways over time.

If you’ve been here in the last few years, you may have noticed that our beach is constantly changing month to month, and even day to day!

We’re asking everyone to do their part to minimize the risk to yourself and others by following all public health advice, including physical distancing, and only engaging in outdoor activities close to where you live. Please do not travel outside of your area. 

Continue reading Just roll with it: how one park adapts to an unpredictable shoreline

Why we should all aspire to be naturalists

In today’s post, Algonquin Provincial Park‘s David LeGros wishes everyone a happy Darwin Day!

Today, it seems that we know so much about the world around us: how it works, what lives here, and what threatens it.

Truthfully, it would be arrogant to think that we know it all — we don’t.

Discovering and explaining how the natural world works involves a lot of observations, patience, note-taking, comparisons, and creativity. It means spending time out in nature, observing the changing seasons, looking at how organisms interact with each other, their prey and predators, and their respective habitats.

Scientists have documented a great deal of life on Earth, but many species still remain undiscovered and understudied, and lots are only described and named and we know hardly anything more.

Continue reading Why we should all aspire to be naturalists

Turtles love water (bottles!)

What do turtles and reusable water bottles have in common? More than you might imagine.

Turtles need our help, and we’ve partnered with our friends at Chilly Moose (and their reusable bottles) to help meet the challenge! Continue reading Turtles love water (bottles!)

The Turtle Protection Project

Threats like habitat loss, predators, and vehicle collisions are causing turtles to disappear from the landscape at an alarming rate. All eight of Ontario’s turtle species are now at risk.

We’re seeking donations for our Turtle Protection Project. Every dollar raised will be used to fund turtle research and protection projects in provincial parks.

Continue reading The Turtle Protection Project

Forever protected: why Mark S. Burnham belongs

Our “Forever protected” series shares why each and every park belongs in Ontario Parks. In today’s post, Social Media Specialist Alexander Renaud tells us Mark S. Burnham’s story.

For almost two centuries — as the area around Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park turned from wilderness to farm fields, and eventually, to a bustling city — the trees within its boundaries have remained relatively untouched.

This lack of development is a rare phenomenon in southern Ontario. The ecosystem within has been able to thrive and provide habitat for a variety of species, becoming one of the best-preserved old-growth forests in the county.

For these reasons, Mark S. Burnham belongs. Continue reading Forever protected: why Mark S. Burnham belongs

Enhancing biodiversity in Killarney’s tree plantations

This article was written by Connor Oke, a marketing intern at Ontario Parks, using information provided by Ed Morris, Ontario Parks’ northeast zone ecologist. 

When Killarney Provincial Park was established in 1964, park managers faced a problem: what to do with old fields belonging to former homesteads within the park’s boundaries.

To prevent the spread of weedy species, they decided to plant trees, including White Spruce and Red Pine, and regrow the forests.

Continue reading Enhancing biodiversity in Killarney’s tree plantations