July 22, 2015 (Ottawa) – Nature Canada, Ontario Nature and American Bird Conservancy are extremely disappointed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s decision last week to approve the White Pines Prince Edward County Wind Energy Project in an internationally designated Important Bird Area (IBA). “There are so many things wrong about this decision and the only reasonable conclusion is – that it is bad for nature” said Ted Cheskey, Senior Conservation Manager at Nature Canada. “More populations of species at risk will be put at risk and more critical habitat will be destroyed. Nature Canada is not opposed to the Project as a whole, but several specific turbines should not have been approved. We are also at a loss to… read more →
In an unprecedented partnership, Nature Canada has been joined by Ontario Nature, the Kingston Field Naturalists and the American Bird Conservancy in opposition to a recently approved industrial wind energy project that threatens birds and other wildlife on Amherst Island. “Ontario’s decision to approve Windlectric’s 26-turbine project on Amherst Island—one of the province’s crown jewels of nature—is another in a string of ‘tough on nature’ decisions to build wind energy projects in Important Bird Areas in the region” said Stephen Hazell, Nature Canada’s Director of Conservation. “Given Ontario’s failure to consider the cumulative effects of these projects on nature, the Environmental Review Tribunal should overturn the approval of the Amherst Island Project as well as that of White Pines. And… read more →
On Saturday May 30, 2015 Nature Canada hosted the third annual Bird Day Fair at Andrew Haydon Park. It was a day where Canadian’s welcomed back our migratory birds in a celebration of International Migratory Bird Day in the national capital region’s own Important Bird Area. 80% of the bird species that we consider Canadian birds leave our borders every fall and return every spring. Bird Day connects communities across the Northern Hemisphere in a celebration of this incredible journey. Excited early risers joined Nature Canada’s very own licensed bird bander, Ted Cheskey in the early bird activity: a bird banding demonstration. Ted and his assistants caught an American Robin (pictured above) and a Song Sparrow. Bird banding is a… read more →
Join Nature Canada at the third annual Bird Day Fair which will be held at Andrew Haydon Park in Ottawa on Saturday May 30, 2015 from 10am-3pm. Just as our migratory birds are returning to Canada from their wintering grounds south of the border, a huge celebration is unfolding across the continent to celebrate birds – and you can be part of it! Bird Day is a celebration of migratory birds and the wild spaces they inhabit. Join Nature Canada in a celebration of the incredible migration journey of birds through a day of fun activities for the whole family. There will be nature walks, crafts and activities, live animals, and an opportunity to meet local groups working to protect… read more →
Here are some interesting facts about Monarch butterflies! Scientific Name: Danaus plexippus SARA status: Special Concern; Ontario: Special Concern Taxonomic Group: Arthropods Size: wingspan of 8.6-10.5 cm Adult monarch butterflies are orange and black with white spots on the borders of the wings. The caterpillars are black, white and yellow stripped and can be found on milkweed plants. The chrysalis is a distinctive green and gold. Monarchs can sometimes be confused with the similar-looking, but smaller Viceroy, but are easily distinguished by the lack of a black band on the hind wing that runs parallel to the wing edge. During the summer months, you can find adult Monarchs feeding on the nectar of wildflowers, while the caterpillars can be found feeding… read more →
Nature Canada and BC Nature are standing up for nature as the National Energy Board (NEB) hearings on the TransMountain pipeline and tanker project draw nearer. The 1,180 TransMountain pipeline would increase capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day, and result in oil tankers moving almost daily through the Salish Sea past critical Important Bird Areas such as Boundary Bay. On January 16, 2015, our lawyers at the UVic Environmental Law Centre submitted a 125-page request for information on our behalf to the Proponent concerning the project’s effects on marine and shorebirds and other wildlife. For example, the information request questions whether the Proponent’s documents understate the risk of harm to birds from a spill and overestimate the resilience… read more →
Nature Canada wants to thank the wonderful volunteers at Foresters for joining us at the Fall BioBlitz. Foresters insurance company partners with charitable organizations to support families and communities through volunteering events. The Fall BioBlitz was one such event. 15 volunteers joined Nature Canada at the Fall BioBlitz at Mud Lake to build bird and bat houses. In total 24 bird houses and 12 bat houses were constructed and donated to Nature Canada. We will work with communities to place the bird and bat houses in critical spots around the city to support healthy urban wildlife populations. Thank you Foresters volunteers! Photography by Susanne Ure.
Thanks to everyone who came out to take part in the adventure and help us identify local wildlife at Nature Canada’s Fall BioBlitz. Over 150 citizens of the national capital region accompanied local expert naturalists on guided walks where they learned to identify plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles and more! The BioBlitz brought out experts and amateur enthusiasts alike on one of the first brisk weekends of the fall to Mud Lake conservation area. Mud Lake is considered by many to be a wilderness gem in the heart of our busy city and is found within the Lac Deschênes- Ottawa River Important Bird Area. It was the perfect location for such an inventory. Easy to get to and containing various habitats… read more →
This past weekend Nature Canada hosted a Fall BioBlitz at Mud Lake Conservation Area in Ottawa, ON. Over 150 local citizens came out to explore the area and learn the secrets of identifying birds, plants, insects, reptiles and more! Everyone had a great time enjoying the beautiful area and the brisk weather. Here are some photos from the event. Thanks to our wonderful experts for making this event possible. You can read full details of the event and see the complete list of species identified at the BioBlitz (coming soon).
Get to know some of the species at risk in the Lac Deschênes IBA with the Species Spotlight, aka “Sp-Spot”. Today meet the: Red Knot Scientific Name: Calidris canutus SARA status: Least Concern Ontario: Endangered Taxonomic Group: Birds Size: 23-26 cm in length, 47-53 cm wingspan Red Knots are medium sized shorebirds with a short, straight bill and olive-coloured legs. It is named for its brick-red face, throat and breast when in breeding plumage. Its back is a speckled grey-brown colour. In the winter, they are mostly grey with a white belly. The Red Knot feeds on invertebrates such as small snails, bivalves and crustaceans. The Red Knot makes one of the longest yearly migrations of any bird, traveling 15… read more →