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. Your chances of being published quickly are greater if you are able to include a picture if you have an animal sighting report.

Hawk in Oakville

I was sitting in my house I glanced out of the front window and saw people staring into my driveway. When I went to investigate I saw a Coopers Hawk sitting on top of my van.

Hawk in Oakville Ontario

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Cooper's Hawk sighting

Mark Williams took this photo of a Cooper's Hawk on November 14th, 2019 at La Salle Park in Burlington, Ontario.

Cooper's Hawk in Burlington Ontario

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Backyard Possum in Toronto

On January 24, in Toronto, Ontario, we were sitting having a late night tea with the light on out back and saw a small opossum just sitting there munching on bird seed.

Possum in Toronto Ontario

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Great Canadians ... Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland has appeared in over 150 different shows and films starting in the mid-1960's, when he got some small parts in British movies and television, including roles in horror films such as "Castle of the Living Dead" (1964) and "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors" (1965) with Christopher Lee. He then appeared in two episodes of "The Saint" and then his big break "The Dirty Dozen" (1967) with Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine which was the first of three War films.

Donald Sutherland, a great Canadian!

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Genealogical Research

Besides building and maintaining this website, my other passion is genealogical research, so if you have ever wanted to trace your families roots but don't know where to start ... I can do that for you!

Search birth and death records genealogical research

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The Charming Chickadee

The cheerful Chickadee with it's clear call of "Chicka-dee-dee-dee" is easy to spot, as this little bird is not shy and is easily enticed to the back yard bird feeder. We see them in our garden in both Summer and Winter as these birds are non-migratory and stay in this area all year long.

Winter Chickadee in Ontario Canada

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Possum sighted in Quinte west

Our farm had a new visitor today - a large, shaggy possum! We live in the country near Wooler, northwest of Trenton, and this is the first possum we've seen here in thirteen years.

Possum in Quinte west  Ontario

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Unknown Bird

Jeannine observed this beauty near Dunnville, Ontario. The nest is on top of a hydro pole and it stayed very close to it's nest.

Possible Osprey near Dunville

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Big Cats in Ontario

Ontario is known to have populations of big cats, Lynx and Bobcat, and the occasional Cougar being sighted ...

Bobcat in Ontario

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Another visit from this bird of prey

Tiffany from London, Ontario wrote ... Please let me know exactly what kind of bird this is as I'm sure there are plenty of experts out there, but unfortunately I am not one so I can't be sure. Thank you.

a visit from this bird of prey - red tailed hawk

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Deer beside my house!

We spotted these deer outside our house recently. The pictures were taken through the window screens so the quality isn't good. I do love seeing the white tailed deer around this ...

White Tailed Deer beside my house

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It's Maple Syrup time!

One of the most famous Canadian tastes, is Maple Syrup! Harvested from Maple trees across Southern Ontario and Quebec this delicious treat is truly a taste of Canada - la bon sirop d'érable! Not only is the leaf of the Maple tree the emblem of our country, this beautiful tree is widespread throughout this area of Ontario.

maple syrup time in Ontario

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Tundra Swan Migration

Tundra Swans are the most widespread and numerous species of swan in North America and there are two distinct populations of these birds. One is the the Eastern population and the other, the Western population.

Tundra Swan migration in Ontario

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Bald Eagles across Ontario

Readers from Collingwood, Bolton, Caistor Centre, Dundas, Port Perry, Mississauga, Chandos Lake, Georgetown, Tiny, Centre Wellington, Cape Hurd, Kingston, Seguin Township, Milton, Omemee, and Clinton wrote to tell us about their Bald Eagle sightings ...

Ontario Bald Eagle in flight

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Peacocks in Mount Albert area

One of our readers wrote to tell us about their peacock sighting!

Peacocks in southern Ontario

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Wolves sighted in Ottawa

Several of our readers wrote to tell us about their Wolf sightings in Ottawa. One of our readers said - I just returned from walking my dog in my neighborhood, located off of Thomas Dolan Parkway and heard a very large pack of either Wolves or Coyotes! They were excited about something. Very cool experience! I have seen a lone Wolf on several occasions in my neighborhood, either very early in the morning or at dusk. Most recent sighting was about 3 weeks ago.

Wolf sightings in Ottawa, Ontario

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Long-Eared Owl couple spend Winter at York University

N. Mosley wrote ... on successive Nigh-birding outings throughout the winter the pair could readily be found hunting around the same territory, usually perched stoically on branches and street signs watching for movement.

Long-Eared Owls in Ontario

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Collingwood, Ontario - great in summer or winter

In 1858 the town was incorporated as a town and was named after Admiral Lord Cuthbert Collingwood, who was second in command under Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar. Today, Collingwood is known as a resort town for all seasons, with great skiing, snowmobiling and for its close proximity to Wasaga Beach on Georgian Bay.

annual Elvis festival in Collingwood

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Broad Winged Hawk?

Saw this raptor perched high up in a tree in the Maple Hills neighbourhood of Waterloo. Sighting was around 9 am. I believe it's a broad-winged hawk, but please correct me if I'm wrong!

Bird of prey on a branch - Broad Winged Hawk

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Winter is still here!

Whether you love snow or hate the cold weather, winter is on its way! Check out the winter season here in southern Ontario ...

Winter scenery in Ontario

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Great Canadians ... Sir Frederick Banting

Frederick Banting was the co-discoverer of insulin for the treatment of Diabetes along with Charles H Best, his assistant, who was a medical student at that time and together they started the work which resulted in the discovery of insulin.

Sir Frederick Banting

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The Red Fox in Ontario

In Children's story books, foxes are often seen as cunning and sly, but in reality we know that they are shy, quite nervous and appear to be highly intelligent, but secretive.

Foxes are everywhere in southern Ontario

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Deer in London, Ontario

Photos by Aaron Blanshard ... thank you so much for letting us publish your pictures on this website Aaron, you have such a gift!

White Tailed Deer by Aaron Blanshard, taken in southern Ontario

Continue reading "Deer in London, Ontario"

The Robins will soon be returning to Ontario

One of my favourite birds in Southern Ontario is the pretty Robin, with it's lovely song, which to me is one of the first signs of Spring. I think this one came back a little early!

Winter robin in the snow, Ontario, Canada

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Red Tailed Hawk in Toronto

Lynne from Mimico saw this beautiful hawk on her neighbour's roof!

Red Tailed hawk on neighbour's roof, Mimico, Ontario

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Bald Eagles on St Clair River

Wow, thank you Kai, for sending up your wonderful pictures and your report of your Bald Eagle sighting!

Ontario Bald Eagles on St Clair River

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Two Coyotes

Jorge D wrote ... Anyone going for walks to the York regional forest, please be mindful of this and keep your pets on a leash preferably and be prepared in case you encounter the Coyotes.

Ontario Coyotes near Ballantrae

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Great Canadians ... William Shatner

In addition to the hugely popular "Star Trek" TV series, between 1979 and 1991, he also played Captain James Kirk in the first six Star Trek films, and directed the fifth, and in 1973, returned to the role, by being the voice of Captain Kirk, in the animated Star Trek series.

William Shatner, a great Canadian!

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The Blue Jay

This is an unmistakable bird, both for its beautiful, bright plumage and for its noisy raucous call. These birds stay in Ontario all winter and don't migrate south. The male and female birds are of similar size, although the female is slightly smaller and both birds have a crest.

The beautiful Blue Jay with bright plumage and crest

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A light lunch for a hawk

Spotted in Oakville 2017.

Bird of prey enjoying lunch

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Keanu Reeves - a great Canadian!

The movie career of Keanu Reeves started after a few stage performances and a handful of made-for-TV movies, he had a supporting role in the Rob Lowe hockey flick "Youngblood", which was filmed in Canada. Shortly after production ended, Reeves headed for Hollywood and soon popped up on critics' radar with his performance in the dark adolescent drama "River's Edge" .

Keanu Reeves, great Canadian actor, producer and musician

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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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Wiarton, Ontario

Legend says that, if the Groundhog sees his shadow as he emerges from his burrow on February 2nd, then the area will have to endure six more weeks of winter - which, seeing as this is Canada, never is such a big surprise to us!

Wiarton, Ontario

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Possums are everywhere in Southern Ontario!

Sightings of Possums from Windsor, Hillsburgh, Ottawa, Waterloo, Reidsville, Bridgenorth, and Trenton from our readers.

Possums are everywhere in southern Ontario

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My new-found friend

Dave wrote ... yesterday while walking around my property in Pine Orchard, Whitchurch - Stouffville Ontario, I observed an owl which I believe is a Great Grey Owl.

new-found owl friend, great grey owl

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Beautiful Snowy Owl

Taken Nov 25, 2019 in Port Rowan, Ontario. Our first sighting ever.

Beautiful Snowy Owl

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Wild Peacocks near Kitchener

Mary wrote to tell us about her sighting of wild Peacocks near Kitchener, Ontario ...

Wild Peacock near Kitchener Ontario

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Sailing ... it's fun!

Gerry from St Thomas wrote to us about the great sailing on Lake Erie ...

Lake Erie sailing is fun in Ontario

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Albino Rat in Lakefield

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

Possum, Albino Rat in Lakefield, Ontario

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Wolf - Coyote mix? Rouge Park

Saw this today. Is it a coyote-wolf mix? Thank you for sending these pictures. I don't know whether this is a Coyote or a Wolf-Coyote hybrid, but perhaps

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Backyard birds and friend.

Junco, male and female Cardinal and squirrel. All stoking up for a cold Minus 22 C. night With no sparrows around, to chase it away from the feeder, I

Continue reading " Backyard birds and friend."


Frequent wintertime backyard visitor. Thanks for the picture Marinus, what a cute little chap he is! We also frequently see these little birds in the

Continue reading "JUNCO IN WINTER"

Coyote spotted

Coming back from work, approximately around 4:30 am, a coyote crossed the road in front of my car forcing me to brake. The coyote didn't seem scared and

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Old Cougar sighting report

My name is Josh, I'm 23 years of age, often hiker. Two years ago I witnessed a quick sighting of what appeared to be a younger adult Cougar here in Grey

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Snowy Owl seen in Woolwich township

One of our readers sent us this report ... I live in Woolwich Township. I'm an amateur photographer and after 3 years of trying to find an owl in the wild to photograph I came across this beauty! He seemed to pose for for the pictures and smile in some of them! Even though it was freezing out I spent about an hour just enjoying my good fortune in being able to be in the presence of one of nature's most majestic creatures!

Snowy Owl in Canada

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What are these birds?

I am trying to find out the name of the birds that flock together on the side of the road in the winter time. Lots of people call them snow birds but I do not think that is what they are.

Ontario wild birds in Canada

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Ontario Wild Birds

Birdwatching has been a long-time hobby of mine, and this area of Ontario is rich with bird life - from the fleeting glimpses of Hummingbirds in the Summer, to the arrival of the graceful Tundra Swans each Spring, the birds of this area are well worth watching.

Ontario wild birds in Canada

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The Canada Goose

It is said that these birds mate for life, but I have heard that when one of the pair dies or is killed, the other bird will choose another mate the following year. The geese often return to the same nesting spot, year after year, sometimes even to where they themselves were hatched!

Mother Canadian Goose with goslings in Canada

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Ontario Snowmobiling

When you consider that your snowmobile can take you to places that are inaccessible by any other means of transport, it is vital that you make sure that you have the correct clothing, an up-to-date trail map, and enough fuel for your destination and to reach home safely.

Winter snowmobiling in Canada

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The beautiful Blue Jay

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Red Tailed Hawk