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.

It's time to put the feeders out

the males return to the north before the females do, and they immediately establish foraging territories. Their food is nectar from flowers and flowering trees, but their diet can occasionally include small insects and tree sap taken from woodpecker drilling. Hummingbirds show a preference for red, tubular flowers as a nectar source from which they feed using a long extendable tongue.

Ruby throated humming bird at the feeder for nectar

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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.

blue Mountain resort Collingwood

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Great Grey Owl

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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Lake Erie Sailing!

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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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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Prey bird having lunch

Saw this bird on our back fence in Oakville, Ontario on April 21, 2020. Not sure what it is but it’s eating a Blue Jay.

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Peacock in Fisherville Ontario

We were out for a drive and found this beautiful peacock in Fisherville, Ontario near lake Erie. It was just strolling around and even approached our

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A Lone Coyote

R. Penrose recently wrote to us to tell us about their recent Coyote sighting ... We live on a country road 20 minutes northwest of Kingston, in Stone Mills Township, on 4 acres of land with neighbouring homes about 70 metres away on either side of us. About 8:30 am on Feb. 2nd, 2020 in full daylight, a coyote strolled between our home and the neighbours heading from the brush at the back of the property to the road out front, stopping now and then to listen.

Lone Coyote  Stone Mills Township, Ontario

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The White Squirrel of Thornbury

This little squirrel travelled over 200 meters to get to the seeds I dropped by accident when filling up our bird feeder.

White albino squirrel in Thornbury Ontario

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What is this in the mulberry bush

This bird has grey feathers with a black cap, we have a pair of them. They are about the size of a small Robin. I have not seen them before.

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Great Horned Owl Encounters

Three of our readers wrote to report their Great Horned Owl sightings ...

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Large for a bird ...

I spotted this in my back yard in Cambridge/North Dumfries border.

The back is dark slate colour and the breast, neck and head is a very light grey or white with small spots.

mystery bird

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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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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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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

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JUNCO IN WINTER

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

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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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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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The beautiful Blue Jay

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Red Tailed Hawk