Discover Southern Ontario Blog

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

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Due to our up-coming visit to Iceland, England & Ireland in May 2017, there may be a delay in seeing your submissions published, but I will be back and hard at work, on our return!

What kind of bird is this?

One of our readers asked if anyone knew what kind of bird he rescued ... When ever I got close to reaching down and getting it out, it would hiss at me sending me running... lol, so I used the towel trick and after about an hour of trying to help it, I finally got it out!

What kind of bird is this

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The Short Eared Owl of Southern Ontario

The Short Eared Owl belongs to the genus "Aseo" or "Eared Owls", although the ear tufts may or may not be visible on any particular individual, only showing them when on the defense.

Short Eared Owl, Ontario

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Rouge Hill Eagle

I was on GO train from Toronto to Oshawa on April 26th at about 4pm when I saw what at first I thought was a Turkey Vulture as per normal as my train

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Let's Talk Lake Erie ...

Lake Erie needs your help! Harmful and nuisance algal blooms are hurting Lake Erie’s environment and economy, and present risks to human health. But a healthier lake is possible. Please check this out - we can all make a difference! Let's keep Lake Erie healthy!

Let's Talk Lake Erie

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Hairy Woodpecker, Georgetown, Ontario

A great shot of a Hairy Woodpecker, submitted by Marinus Pater, or Georgetown, Ontario.

Hairy Woodpecker - Marinus Pater

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Help, how do I protect my Robins?

I'm looking for some advice on protecting two Robin nests and the babies when they fledge. I've done research on the internet, but some worries have not been answered.

North American Robin

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Canadian Actor Lorne Green

The first of his American television roles was as patriarch of the Cartwright family on the long-running western series "Bonanza", which made Lorne Greene a household name. He earned the role of Ben Cartwright after giving a stirring performance in a production of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" for the CBS.

Lorne Green, Canadian Actor

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Could this be a Great Horned Owl or a Long Eared Owl?

Erik from Hamilton sent this great picture of an Owl ...

Great Horned Owl

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Summer birds in Southern Ontario, the cheerful Robin, migratory

Birds in Southern Ontario & wildlife pictures of the Robin, one of the beautiful birds in Southern Ontario, Canada - migrates here each Spring, beautiful song ...

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Canadian Time Zones

Most people are aware that Canada is big, but did you know that Canada has six time zones? In the far west of the country on the Pacific coast, the time in British Columbia may be 5:00 am, but in Newfoundland on the Atlantic coast the time will be 9:30 am.

Canadian Clock

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Friendly resident in Stouffville

K Murray wrote to say ... I live in a rural part of Whitchurch Stouffville and this beauty is a regular on our quiet street.

Stouffville Owl

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Red Tail Hawk with young

Richard, from Walton, Ontario, sent us this charming picture of a Red Tailed Hawk in its nest ...

Red Tail Hawk with young

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Windsor, Ontario - a city of cultural diversity

Windsor Ontario lies at the western end of highway 401, which runs all the way from Quebec City, over 800 km (500 miles) away. With a population of 208,500, Windsor is the second largest city in Southwestern Ontario, after London , and is located directly across the Detroit River from the city of Detroit, Michigan.

Windsor water-front

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The North American Badger

The Badger is 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 larger than a Raccoon with a black & white facial pattern and they are short in stature and have coarse grey fur.

Ontario Badger

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The elusive Flying Squirrel

The Southern Flying Squirrel is one of two species of the genus Glaucomys, found in North America (the other is the somewhat larger Northern type, Glaucomys sabrinus) and it is found in deciduous and mixed woods in the eastern half of North America, from southeastern Canada, to Florida.

Ontario Flying Squirrels

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Coopers Hawk in the backyard

Mark Venema from Mississauga wrote to say ... there was a Cooper's Hawk (we think) on the fence, eating what we thought was a squirrel.

Coopers Hawk

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Bobcat, Lynx or Cougar?

These tracks were spotted in our woods in Flamborough, Ontario, just north of Hamilton on December 27, 2016. Does anyone recognize these prints? They

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Brantford, Ontario, my first Canadian home ...

I have a special place in my heart for this city as it was my first home when we emigrated to Canada in 1977, and I thought it was a beautiful here. This is where we made our first Canadian friends, and this is where we spent our first Canadian Christmas.

Brantford, Bell Homestead

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The Turkey Vultures are back in the area

Some of the sure signs of Spring in this area are the return of the Robins, Red Winged Blackbirds, the migrating Tundra Swans, and also the sighting of Turkey Vultures. This past week, I spotted them near St Thomas, Cayuga, Fonthill and Tillsonburg.

Turkey Vulture in flight

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Check out our Birdwatching books on Amazon

Bird Watching is a fascinating hobby, enjoyed by young and old alike, and all that is required is a quiet spot to observe the birds and a pair of binoculars and a Bird book, such as the Peterson Guide or other field guide to help you identify the birds you see.

Bird Watching books

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Wild Turkey

At the beginning of the 20th century the numbers of these birds had dwindled to such a point that they were in danger of extinction because of loss of habitat and over-hunting, but in the 1940's successful re-introduction programs were started all over North America and today the Turkey is well established again.

Wild Turkeys in Ontario

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Mennonites in Ontario

Here in Ontario, many Mennonites are often difficult to distinguish from their non-Mennonite neighbours but some are still recognizable by the way they live and dress, with many of the Old Order living the way their fore-fathers did - without ...

Mennonites in Ontario

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Southern Ontario Squirrels

The North American Grey squirrel is native to this area of Southern Ontario and these animals occur in grey or black, and sometimes their fur has a reddish tinge.

Squirrels in Ontario

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Native Canadian Art

The desire to decorate and beautify their environment is strong in all people, and long before the arrival of Europeans, the Native Peoples of Canada were producing art, each tribe having their own traditions for clothing, decoration, dance and music.

Soapstone Carving

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London Photographer, Aaron Blanshard

For the past several years, I have known a family from London, Ontario, who also home educate their children, but in the past year or so I have become aware that not only are their kids a great group of young people, but they are, each in their own way, gifted.

Young Fawn

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What kind of Hawk?

I saw a hawk on my fence in my yard, watching the birds at my feeder.

What Hawk

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Red Tailed Hawks near London

Since I started bird watching (focusing on raptors) about a year or so ago, I've realized how many Red Tailed Hawks there are in London.

Red Tailed Hawk

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Coyotes have been silent for the past three years

We moved to the country about 1/2 hour west of London Ontario 6 years ago, this is our 7th summer. We used to hear the Coyotes nightly and enjoyed it. A cull was performed 3 years ago and our nights are now silent.

Coyote near Wallacetown

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The Brown Thrasher

Every spring we listen to the male Brown Thrasher sing for hours on end. He mimics every other bird species, usually repeating each call two to three times (similar to the Mockingbird).

Brown Thrasher

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Favourite Birds - by Marinus Pater

The sight any of these beautiful creatures brightens the dullest of days.

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

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Eagles in North Perth County

Over the past month I have seen 4 individual eagles in North Perth County on the outskirts of Listowel, Ontario. Two of these are mated, and one was a large juvenile Eagle.

Eagles in Perth County, Ontario

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What is living in Ontario like?

My family and I are hoping to move there in the next year from the UK. We are all Canadian Citizens, so applying for visas/ passports etc is not a problem. I am just interested to hear what you have to say about Ontario.

Canadian Mountie

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The Pileated Woodpecker

I found this gorgeous Pileated Woodpecker just behind my house in the Hungry Hollow Ravine (Georgetown, Ontario, Canada). He was only about 15 feet away, and didn't seem to mind about 10 people looking at him while he pecked away for a minute or so.

Pileated Woodpecker - Georgetown

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Beautiful Backyard Birds

Thank you for sending these to us, Marinus, I know our readers will enjoy them!

Mourning Dove in Georgetown - Marinus Pater

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Porch Owl

Gary from Bath, Ontario, said ... I woke up this morning and while letting the cats out the front door, lo and behold sitting on the lamp fixture was this tiny owl.

Porch Owl in Bath, Ontario

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The Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary

Because of the efforts of Jack Miner to conserve Geese and Ducks, and provide a place of refuge and safety for migrating water-birds, and his efforts to band and track the migratory paths of waterfowl across North America, we know so much more about these birds today than in earlier generations.

Jack Miner Sanctuary

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What is this bird?

Beckie from Powassan said ... I have never seen it before. It got skittish and flew away, it has a very large wing span, didn't go very far, just to another tree.

What is this bird - Powassan

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The village of Sparta, Ontario

Sparta Ontario - this pretty, historic village was founded by a group of Pennsylvania Quakers who settled here in 1822, led by Josiah Doan. Many descendants of those early settlers still live in the area today.

Sparta Tea Room and Restaurant

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The Nuthatch - the acrobat of the bird-feeder!

These small, agile, birds prefer to live in woodland however, a few species have adapted to rocky habitats, and we often see them at our bird-feeder in the garden, especially in the winter time.

Southern Ontario Nuthatch

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Sighting of Wolves

25th January we awoke at 3.20 am to a very loud commotion close to our home. We live in a condo overlooking the 10th tee of Kanata Lakes Golf Course. We've heard howling and yipping for over 6 months in the late evening or early hours of the morning, but previously always in the distance, this was up close!

Wolf sighting - Kanata Golf Club

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Lynx in Winter

My family owns a cottage in the Lake of Bays area. A few years ago, in the late 1990's, I was outside walking on the frozen bay, watching to see if any wildlife came out and about.

Lynx in Winter

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Perhaps a Broad Wing Hawk?

One of our readers spotted a Hawk, she said ... at first I thought it was a Coopers or a Sharp Shinned Hawk - they are all very similar, but after comparing the photos with bird ID programs, I decided it was a Broad Winged Hawk.

Possible Broad Winged Hawk

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Turkey Vulture at Port Hope

I saw a Turkey Vulture by the Port Hope, Ontario, water tower today. It was soaring and then perched on a tree branch. The time was six seventeen

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Ridgeway - a Hidden Gem

Make sure you visit the town / village of ... Ridgeway, Ontario. It is actually the rural area of Fort Erie. It's like stepping back in time to

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I See You

I was out one day in the spring geocaching down some country roads. After having come out of the woods near Port Hope, Ontario, I just happened to

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Coyote in Cambridge

I live near Shade's Mills Conservation Area (part of the Grand River Conservation Authority) and back onto green-space. This morning at 8:15, I saw

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Mississauga Coyotes

Several readers reported Coyotes in Mississauga ... One of our reader gives a warning as there is a big Coyote on Etobicoke Creek Trail, he said ...

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More Pics of the Massacre

I thought someone might enjoy these. Thank you, I will also post this on our Facebook page, as our followers will also enjoy this!

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Identification needed for two birds

I'm not sure what this bird was that I saw this afternoon but I think it may have been a falcon. It hopped up from my neighbour's yard onto the back

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