Birding the Carden Alvar

golden-winged_warbler_header_copyright_noncommercial_David_Cree

Golden-winged warbler. Copyright David Cree

You know you have a birding problem when a recurring blue-winged warbler song enters your dream. The problem isn’t so much the song, but the accompanying panic related to an upcoming Carden Alvar trip and your inability to recall the song of the blue-winged warbler’s close relation – the golden-winged warbler. This is the bird you are desperate to hear and see.

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Huron County counts its lucky salamanders

Huron Bioblitz, June 2014 by Devin Sturgeon

Huron Bioblitz, June 2014 by Devin Sturgeon

Enthusiasm can be curiously catchy. Before heading out on my first-ever bioblitz last Saturday in Huron County, I was mildly interested in reptiles and amphibians. To be clear, I wished these critters no harm. In fact, I worried about their survival in this face of habitat fragmentation, pollution and climate change, but I did not yearn for encounters with them.  Continue reading

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Where do they stand?

Bald eagle, Terry-Alex

Bald eagle, Terry-Alex

Ontario Nature asked Ontario’s four major political parties five important questions about their plans for nature to find out where they stand on critical environmental issues that will impact the future health of the province.

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How to process a 45-pound snapping turtle in 10 (not so) easy steps

megan snapper resizedStep 1.  Scoop the turtle into your net.

Step 2. Lift the turtle into your canoe. Word of warning – this is easier said than done. Be prepared to need the strength of two people, and bend at the knees so you don’t put your back out. Continue reading

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The thrill of the chase

Louisiana waterthrush by Kelly Colgan Azar c/o Flickr.com

Louisiana waterthrush by Kelly Colgan Azar c/o Flickr.com

It’s not often that birding becomes an adventure sport, but some birds are worth chasing. And by chasing, I mean sliding through mud, crossing creeks and coming home slightly battered and dirty. But there’s a pride to showing-off the scrapes and bruises acquired in the pursuit of an elusive bird. Continue reading

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Discover our hidden nature gems

Malcolm Bluff Shores

Malcolm Bluff Shores

Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time.” Katrina Mayer

I couldn’t agree more. Fresh air, birds singing, the sound of running water – how can you go wrong? Today, I’d like to tell you about five of our nature reserves that are ideal for hiking and reconnecting with nature. I consider these properties to be hidden gems. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, you will have to drive a few hours to get to them, but trust me – they are worth the drive. Continue reading

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Nature asks only for protection in return for all it gives

Hungry chickadee by Leyla Top

Hungry chickadee by Leyla Top

The short time I spent as an intern in the communications department at Ontario Nature left me feeling like I don’t get outside nearly enough. After getting to know the wonderful staff and talking with passionate members at events, I felt inspired to get out and enjoy nature. Continue reading

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An election has been called: Voice your concerns!

Kinghurst wetland by Joe Crowley

Kinghurst wetland by Joe Crowley

With a provincial election on the horizon, we now have an opportunity to show political candidates of all stripes that voters care about the environment.

You can raise the profile of environmental issues in many ways: an email or call to your local constituency office, a letter to the editor of your local paper, and a question or comment shared at an all-candidates meeting or when a candidate knocks at your door.

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What’s all the buzz about?

monarchs and asters

monarchs and asters_Shutterstock

Every once in a while when I am walking through Thickson’s Woods in Whitby, I catch a glimpse of gold dancing over the meadow. Tragically, these magical encounters are becoming uncommon. The dramatic population decline of monarchs is of concern to scientists and naturalists, and of interest to the media. Continue reading

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Abuzz with excitement: Ontario Nature Youth Council’s passion for pollinators

Bee image by Leslie Bol.

Bee image by Leslie Bol.

Crocuses are finally poking up through their winter hiding places. Ontarians can rejoice: spring is here and summer is right around the corner. Soon the air will fill with the humming and fluttering of pollinators including bees, butterflies and birds. Continue reading

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