Discover Southern Ontario Blog

Welcome to the updates on the goings-on in Southern Ontario

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We are currently receiving many submissions to our website and have quite a backlog. I have just undergone open heart surgery and it will take some time for me to work my way through all our new 700+ submissions.

The Village of Sparta

Sparta Ontario - this pretty, historic village was founded by a group of Pennsylvania Quakers who settled here in 1822, led by Josiah Doan. The descendants of those early settlers still live in the area today. My hubby and I first discovered the village of Sparta Ontario one afternoon in the 1980's, when we were out for a ride on our motor-cycle - we were young and reckless!

Sparta Ontario

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Wolf or Coywolf sightings

Readers from Guelph, Barrie, Mt Albert, The Kawarthas, Pickering and Winona have written to tell us about their sightings ...

Wolves or Coywolves across Ontario

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Wolves in eastern Ontario

One of our readers from Eastern Ontario, sends us this report - Once while driving on Hwy 17 between Hawkesbury and the 417, I saw a Wolf waiting to cross the highway, it was standing beside the road shortly after dusk ...

The Wolf in Eastern Ontario

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Could this be a Barred Owl?

Terry Nieuwstraten from Whitby, Ontario, sent us this great picture of an owl ...

Mystery owl in Ontario perhaps a Barred Owl

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Kingsville, Ontario

The pretty town of Kingsville is located right on the north shore of Lake Erie and is well known for its mild weather, world-famous Jack Miner's Bird Sanctuary , and for Colasanti's Tropical Gardens. To other people, this small town is known as the most southerly town in mainland Canada.

The town of Kingsville Ontario

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Backyard Birds of Ontario

Attracting wild birds to your garden or back yard bird feeder can also be interesting when you choose which plants and shrubs attract various birds.

Backyard birds of Ontario

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Ospreys sighted in Thorndale

One of our readers wrote ... Today I was treated to a rare surprise! I noticed two hawk like birds circling the pond. Upon a closer view I noticed this pair of birds exhibited Osprey like features and wingspan but I was unaware that Ontario is home to any fishing birds. Sure enough one of them took to a dive straight into the water and took back to the air with a fish!

Osprey sighted in Ontario

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Bald Eagle eating a Deer

On our drive from Halliburton into Toronto on March 4th, 2020 we spotted a Bald Eagle eating a Deer on the side of Highway 35, close to Silver Lake.

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Indigo Bunting in May

Earlier this year, one of our readers wrote to say ... I saw my first Indigo Bunting this morning (May 15,2020)

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Ontario Wolf sightings

Wolf sightings across Ontario, submitted by our readers ...

Wolves across Ontario

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Is this a Red Tailed Hawk?

Terry from Brampton sent us these pictures and his report of his Hawk sighting ...

Ontario Red Tailed Hawk

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Indigo bunting

I first spotted him in our backyard in May 2018. Sweet! Thank you for sharing these pictures of the Indigo Bunting

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Downtown London, Old North area

A pair of Cooper’s hawks, possibly with one or more juveniles have been in my yard at dusk and dawn daily for a week or two now. Not a great photo,

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Nest Located for Great Horned Owl

My wife and I recently located the nest location for a Great Horned Owl in XXXX park. Over the past few days we have been back to visit and check up on

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Hawk or Vultures

I admire these birds circling as I'm driving down #3 highway near Port Glasgow, but I wonder if they are Hawks or Vultures. How can I tell from a distance?

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Night Heron in Toronto

My girlfriend and I were hanging out in the Brickworks area of the Don Valley in Toronto when we saw this heron on a log. The Brickworks has a plethora

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Peacocks near Kitchener

Spotted this Peacock on Shouldice Side Road between Glen Morris and Kitchener Ontario. Very tame. Thank you for sending us these great pictures - he's

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Please Help ID this Bird

One of our readers in Toronto spotted this bird of prey in his back yard ...

bird of prey in Toronto

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Baltimore Orioles at Hummingbird Feeder

Two pairs of Baltimore Orioles have returned to Susan Court, Oshawa this Spring! They are very skittish ...

Baltimore Oriole at hummingbird feeder, Oshawa, Ontario

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The Mallard Duck

The Mallard is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate areas of Canada, and is also widespread throughout North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

Mallard duck and drake in Ontario

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Simcoe Ontario

Located a few miles north of Lake Erie, and 38 km south of the city of Brantford, this town is the county seat of Norfolk County, and it has the largest population of any community in Norfolk County. At this point it is unknown whether the Fair will run this year, stay tuned.

The town of Simcoe Ontario

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Owl in the barn

A reader wrote ... We entered our barn to milk the cows for the evening and found this owl sitting on top of the door.

The Owl in the barn in Ontario

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The Mennonites in Ontario

Mennonites & Amish both come from a Protestant tradition known as Anabaptism, and they both believe that they should live out their beliefs in daily life.

Mennonites in Aylmer Ontario

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Great Horned Owl nest

Bill wrote to report ... It was amazing to spot this beautiful bird and two young peeking out of their nest. This was in early March, London, Ontario.

Great Horned owl and owlet in nest in Ontario

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The town of St Marys, Ontario

Hubby and I just took a drive to the pretty town of St Marys to have lunch and get an ice-cream with one of our grand-daughters ... Hearn's on the main street has a wonderful selection of ice cold treats!

The town of St Marys Ontario, view of the river

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Small Grey Owl at Birdbath

One of our readers wrote ... My wife spotted this little grey coloured Owl sitting in the grass just off our deck stairs into the back yard where there are lots of trees, gardens and cover.

Small grey Owl at the bird bath in Ontario

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Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Thank you Marinus for sending more pictures of your favourite birds!

The Rose Breasted Grosbeak in Ontario

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Is this a fluffy Oriole?

What do you think? Is this a fluffy Oriole?

Oriole eating an orange

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Where we live, if we sit quietly outside, and watch carefully, the evening show starts with just one or two flashes in the trees and long grass, as darkness spreads over the garden and then, slowly, more and more, and soon there are tens of thousands of green flashes of light, each one only lasting for a moment, until the air is full of these amazing creatures.

The Firefly on a blade of grass

Continue reading "Fireflies"

The Groundhog

The rodent known as the Groundhog is known in other parts of North America as the Woodchuck, and is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, and belongs to the group of ground dwelling Squirrels known as Marmots.

The Groundhog in Ontario

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The Garter Snake

These reptiles range across North America and are successful because they eat almost any food which is available, and are able to adapt to various climactic areas and many habitats, from grasslands to marshes, in dry or wet regions.

The Garter Snake in Ontario

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The Canadian Beaver - Happy Canada Day!

One of the reasons that North America was first colonized by Europeans was the abundance of natural resources, such as whales and fish off the Atlantic coast, huge pine trees for use as the masts of ships and rich, warm furs.

The Beaver in Ontario

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Ontario Strawberries

Each June in Southern Ontario, we are blessed with an abundance of fresh strawberries, you can buy them at the grocery store, at the road-side Farmer's fruit stands or you can pick them yourself.

Strawberries, a treat grown in Ontario

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Baby Robins

One of our readers wrote ... One day I heard the parent singing/chirping very loudly and when I went to look, the bird was out of the nest and sitting on a wire attached to the house just chirping away ...

robin on nest in Ontario

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The beautiful Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwings, and their close relative, the Bohemian Waxwing, are members of the Bobycillidea family of birds and are medium sized birds which are mostly brown and are named for the wax-like wing tips.

The Cedar Waxwing in Ontario

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The Grey Catbird

The Catbird is a medium-sized Northern American perching bird and is named for its cat-like call. Catbirds give the impression of being entirely slate gray, but on closer observation you will see see that these birds have a small black cap, blackish tail, and a brown patch under the tail.

The Catbird in Ontario

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Big Cat sighted in Fonthill

Today at 7 am in Fonthill crossing highway 20 just before the 406, a large tan coloured cat ran across the road and headed into the bush. At first I thought I was seeing things but there was no mistaking it, this was a Cougar.

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Hawk stealing other bird's nest

One of our readers reported seeing a hawk steal another bird's nest ...

Hawk stealing another bird's nest in Ontario

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Baltimore Orioles and friends

What a colour show, along with the usual assortment of brightly coloured finches. It was a delight each day to see these visitors that we hoped would stay. We had to prepare our patio door to prevent the beauties from hitting.

The Oriole in Ontario

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The cute and adorable Chipmunk

These are great animals to watch - they are so charming that many campers and hikers see them in the woods and are enchanted by their small size, their boldness and their apparent busyness.

The Chipmunk in Ontario

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The Badger

Today, these animals are so rare in Ontario, that experts think there may only be 200 of them remaining in the wild, and therefore they need our protection. It isn't easy to mistake these animals for anything else - they are a little larger than a Raccoon with a black & white facial pattern, they are short in stature and have coarse grey fur.

Badger in Ontario

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The Osprey

Sometimes known as the Fish Hawk, fish make up 99% of their diet and it is unique among raptors as it is the only North American bird whose diet is exclusively fish and its ability to dive into water to catch them.

Osprey in Ontario

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Little Brown Bats

I'm not sure why, but many people are afraid of bats, including the Little Brown Bat, but I have always had an affection for them. All bats are mammals and are therefore are warm-blooded and give birth to live young which they suckle. They are the only mammals which have the ability to fly, which they do using the flaps of skin which are between their "fingers".

Little Brown Bats in Ontario

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The Monarch Butterfly

When I first came to live in Canada, I remember seeing huge clouds of flying Monarchs, as they gathered together for their fall migration south - it was a breathtaking sight indeed!

Monarch butterfly in Ontario

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Rhubarb is a perennial plant which means that once you have planted it, it will survive the winter, and come up and produce every year. Each Spring the plant buds from rhizomes underground, and produces stalks bearing large leaves.

Rhubarb recipes Ontario

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What is it?

A female and offspring have appeared in my yard, they are the size of doves, grey brown in colour, with long bill. They have a red patch on the back of the head, and a black patch on the breast, with a white patch near the tail. What are they?

Northern Flicker in Ontario

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Opossum in Lakefield, Ontario

Lori from Lakefield, Ontario sent us this picture of a Possum ...

Possum, Albino Rat in Lakefield, Ontario

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An Unusual Visitor

This little water feeder has also frequented our duck pond in Ottawa, and we have no idea what it is.

Small Green heron or Bittern in Ontario

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The Eastern Bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird is a medium sized member of the Thrush family which can be found in the woods, orchards and farm lands of Southern Ontario. Their numbers have increased in the past few decades, after this pretty bird was in serious decline in the mid 20th century.

Eastern Bluebird of Ontario

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The beautiful Blue Jay

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Red Tailed Hawk