Of Birds, Cats and the Urban Landscape

by Don Scallen - There are ten species of birds that commonly nest in suburban Georgetown: Mourning Dove, Black-capped Chickadee, House Wren, American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow, Common Grackle and Brown-headed Cowbird - a nest parasite. One other, less common nesting species is the Chimney Swift, relying on the specialized nesting habitat of uncapped chimneys. I have observed another three species nesting one time in suburban Georgetown: American Crow, Tree Swallow and Baltimore Oriole. Blue Jays and … Continue Reading ››

Support turtle research in Ontario

Did you know that snapping turles can live 100 years? Researchers with the Algonquin Turtle Project recently tracked Cujo, who was tagged in 1976 and has grown only 1cm in the intervening 38 years. The Algonquin Wildlife Research Station has posted this and other interesting updates on their work at Algonquin Park. And while you're there, please consider supporting their fundraising effort to keep the research station open. Bookmark the links in this video:

Salamanders under threat

By guest author Matt Ellerbeck
Yellow-Spotted Salamander. Photo by Matt Ellerbeck.
Yellow-Spotted Salamander. Photo by Matt Ellerbeck.
Although they are rarely given much thought, and often overlooked when they are, salamanders are in a terrible crisis. Around half of all the world's salamander species are listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These species are all facing a high risk of extinction. A further 62 species … Continue Reading ››

President’s Message

Greetings to all, Goodbye summer, hello fall. Come to think of it, where was summer this year? Summer was not a wow for those of us who like it hot (tomato crops were poor, moth numbers down), but we are seeing some very pleasant weather now that September has arrived. The trees have at least been able to take up sufficient moisture to encourage new growth after the ravages of winter, and I expect the fall colours will be especially good this … Continue Reading ››

The Significance of the Transit of Venus

By W.D. McIlveen About two years ago, there was an event that made a notable item in the news. This was the phenomenon where the planet Venus traces a course across the face of the sun. This happened on June 5, 2012. A similar transit took place on June 8, 2004. Transits of Venus are rare events, occurring in pairs about eight years apart but separated by periods of over a century. As notable as this recent event might have been, … Continue Reading ››

Great Egrets

By Don Scallen Great egrets evoke notions of southern swamps - of alligators, bald cypress trees and Spanish moss. And yet, they are now common inhabitants of Ontario wetlands. At this time of year, post- nesting egrets are assembling at foraging sites, prior to their southward migration. Sandy Gillians and I counted about 50 egrets along the Beaver River near Kimberly recently. Other late summer roosts include Luther Marsh and Cootes Paradise. Great egrets are a balm to disillusioned naturalists all too … Continue Reading ››

Report on Evening Walks for 2014 – South Peel Naturalists And Halton North Peel Naturalists

By W. D. McIlveeen During the summer of 2014 (May 26 to August 25), a total of 14 evening walks were organized for various areas of Halton and Peel Regions. The site locations are listed in the following table along with the names of the leaders and the numbers of participants on each walk. An attempt was made to alternate sites in the south and the north part of the area. Overall, there were five different leaders (Ray Blower, Kirsten Burling, … Continue Reading ››

Late spring birds by Anne McDermaid

Protecting roadside turtle nests

The weather is warm, overcast, and humid - conditions that female snapping turtles in our region apparently consider ideal to unload their burden of eggs on the gravel shoulders of rural roads. Yesterday afternoon HNPNC President Fiona Reid spotted several egg-laying turtles during one short drive:
On my way home from dropping my son at school yesterday I found three snapping turtles laying eggs along the side of the road. One was at a fast and quite busy intersection. … Continue Reading ››

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