Half of the bumble bee species in eastern North America are in decline. This trend holds true in southern Ontario, where seven of the 14 bumble bee species found in surveys from 1971 – 1973 were found to be either absent or in decline when surveyed 30 years later. Some of these, like the rusty-patched, the gypsy cuckoo and the American bumble bee, were once common and/or widespread in parts of the province. The causes of decline are not fully understood, though it is widely accepted that habitat destruction and the use of pesticides are significant threats. Continue reading
I frequently visit the Carden Plain Important Bird Area in the Kawarthas to photograph the many birds that pass through there during spring and fall migration. Having read that it was difficult to photograph the eastern loggerhead shrike – a critically endangered species in Canada – I was intrigued by a captive breeding and release program taking place in the area.
Photography has always been a passion of mine. At first, I was interested only in macro photography, but soon enough I began challenging myself to look at the big picture and shoot landscapes. Now I enjoy capturing all types of images. Continue reading
Ontario Nature’s 24 nature reserves are teeming with life. Along with the many common species, about one-fifth of Ontario’s more than 200 species at risk are found on the reserves. This past spring and summer, I visited a few of the reserves and saw songbirds, butterflies, wildflowers, dragonflies, and many other plants and animals. Here are a few of my favourites. Continue reading
I admit it. The possibility of a bee sting made me uneasy, and I more than likely mixed up a bee and a wasp mid-swat. I certainly didn’t think much about the honey or wild native bees’ ongoing survival. There are millions of them out there, right?
Even though a grand adventure was on the horizon, I dreaded leaving Ontario Nature last month. On my last day, I was sappy one moment, numb the next.
Let me explain … Continue reading
As an Ontario Nature intern this past summer, I had the opportunity to visit farmers in the ALUS Ontario community of Grey-Bruce, one of four such communities in Ontario. ALUS is short for Alternative Land Use Services, which is a community-developed, farmer-delivered program that supports the enhancement and maintenance of nature’s benefits on farms. Continue reading
I am sipping coffee and munching an apple as I write this blog. To enjoy such daily pleasures, we rely on pollinators. In fact, about one of every three bites of food we eat depends on insect pollinators. Unfortunately, the populations of insect pollinators like bumblebees and honeybees are declining. Continue reading
It was a warm Saturday afternoon in June when we gathered at Keppel Croft Gardens for a 1.5 hour bioblitz focusing on reptiles and amphibians. Our enthusiastic leader was Ontario Nature volunteer Ryan Lauzon, and our gracious hosts were Dawn and Bill, Keppel Croft’s owners. All three are serious nature lovers, and Ryan is particularly enthusiastic about herpetology. Some of the kids in the group had previous herping experience. One boy told the group that he had spotted 17 salamanders at his cottage nearby. Continue reading