Today’s post comes from Jess Matthews, chief park naturalist at Rondeau Provincial Park. Special thanks to Kevin Gevaert for providing Prothonotary Warblers photos!
Close your eyes.
Try to imagine a spring with no birdsong.
A spring without flashes of colour flitting through the bushes.
A silent forest void of oranges, yellows, blues, and reds…
…it may be hard to imagine, especially if you spend springtime in Rondeau Provincial Park, where migrating warblers appear to be dripping from the branches in all colours of the rainbow.
While such a dire situation may be difficult for us to imagine, the reality for one spring singer is one of disappearance, silence, and extinction.
The Prothonotary Warbler is currently listed as endangered in Canada, which means it is facing imminent extirpation (no longer exists in Canada) or extinction.
Continue reading The flight of the Prothonotary Warbler
Provincial parks are home to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in Ontario.
They protect unique plant and wildlife species, some of which cannot be found anywhere else in the province!
Thanks to the proceeds from our 2021 online holiday store, our staff are hard at work on ecological integrity projects that help these species, like finding Pitch Pine at Charleston Lake Provincial Park.
Continue reading Your purchase helps parks: plotting Charleston Lake’s Pitch Pines
If you’ve ever seen a Five-lined Skink, you know just how neat they are!
The Five-lined Skink, which looks a bit like a salamander, is the only lizard species native to Ontario. And while researchers continue to study skinks, we still don’t know very much about what they do on a day-to-day basis, particularly from September to May when they’re hibernating.
Here are five cool things we DO know about Five-lined Skinks, courtesy of Alistair MacKenzie, Resource Management Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park.
Continue reading 5 cool facts about skinks
Note: this blog is about the non-native, highly invasive moth species Lymantria dispar dispar, which we have previously referred to as the Gypsy Moth or by the acronym LDD. In this article, we will refer to the moth using its new common name, Spongy Moth.
If you’ve seen an Ontario oak tree recently, you’ve likely been introduced to the invasive Spongy Moth (Lymantria dispar dispar).
Spongy Moth caterpillars were first introduced to North America in the late 1860s and are voracious eaters! Their favourite cuisine is oak leaves, but in particularly bad outbreak years — like this one — they can spread to many other tree species.
Continue reading The very hungry caterpillars
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.
Whatever 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
Our “Forever Protected” series shares why each and every park belongs in Ontario Parks. In today’s post, Kathleen Houlahan Chayer tells us MacGregor Point’s story.
I worked as the Discovery Leader at MacGregor Point Provincial Park for four years, but it wasn’t really until I started working at Pinery (another park that I’m glad is forever protected) that I fully appreciated why MacGregor Point belongs in the Ontario Parks system.
Continue reading Forever protected: why MacGregor Point belongs
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!
Today’s post comes from Olivia Pomajba, a summer student at Rondeau Provincial Park.
A turtle hatchling making its way to water reminds us of the perilous journey we all face in life.
The world must seem incredibly vast to these centimetre-long hatchlings, and they face many challenges.
Many Ontario Parks have their “signature” wildlife: commonly-encountered and charismatic animals that most park visitors hope to catch a glimpse of during their stay.
Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is named for the iconic Woodland Caribou. Murphys Point Provincial Park is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of the elusive Gray Ratsnake. Rondeau Provincial Park is the place to see the rare Prothonotary Warbler.
But did you know Grundy Lake Provincial Park is the place to see a Blanding’s Turtle?
Continue reading Spring is turtle season at Grundy Lake
Today’s post comes from Amy Tanner, Biology/Ecology Intern with Ontario Parks’ Southwest Zone.
Before heading out for a fun day of fishing, we all go through our checklists. Have we got:
But here are two questions many people don’t ask:
- what other living things could I accidentally catch while fishing?
- do I know how to handle an unexpected catch?
Continue reading Keeping turtles off the hook