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 →
Get to know some of the species at risk in the Lac Deschênes IBA with the Species Spotlight, aka “Sp-Spot”. Today meet the: American Ginseng Scientific Name: Panax quinquefolius SARA status: Endangered Ontario: Endangered Taxonomic Group: Perennial plant Size: Up to 60 cm tall American Ginseng is a perennial herb commonly used as herbal medicine. It is a light tan, gnarled root that often looks like a human body with stringy shoots for arms and legs. The single stem ends in a whorl of one to four or five leaves. Mature plants will have a cluster of 6-20 greenish-white flowers that produce bright-red berries. American ginseng is effective in boosting the immune system and as an antioxidant. Many studies have… read more →
Get to know some of the species at risk in the Lac Deschênes IBA with the Species Spotlight, aka “Sp-Spot”. Today meet the: Golden Eagle Scientific Name: Aquila chrysaetos SARA status: Least Concern Ontario: Endangered Taxonomic Group: Birds Size: 84-97 cm wingspan As one of the largest birds in North America, Golden Eagles are extremely powerful and agile. They can reach up to speeds of over 240km/h when they dive for their prey. Golden Eagles use their speed and sharp talons to hunt animals such as rabbits, marmots, squirrels or even smaller birds. A mature Golden Eagle is dark brown with a golden sheen on the back of the head and neck. Young ones will have white patches at the… read more →
The first phase of the Purple Martin Project has been completed! Over the second week of July, nearly 60 adult birds were fitted with tracking devices in order to find out more about what kind of risks this declining species might be facing on their migratory journey to Brazil. In this blog I’ve included a summary of our fieldwork, some of my favorite photos, media coverage and links, as well as our goals moving forward. Field Work Summary Over the course of the week, we had a dream team of researchers, volunteers, naturalist groups, hosts, and landlords (purple martin caretakers) participate. Field work was lead by researchers from York University and the University of Manitoba. Approximately a dozen volunteers received… read more →
Nature Canada invites you to join in the Spring BioBlitz. Come join Nature Canada for its annual spring BioBlitz Saturday June 14, 2014 at Mud Lake! BioBlitzes are 24 hour surveys of a location where we attempt to identify as many living things as possible in the area. Visitor events will begin at 8:00 a.m. and continue throughout the day. They include guided walks, and tours where guests can learn to identify the diverse wildlife found at Mud Lake. Each guided nature walk will focus on a different topic. This year’s subjects to be explored include: song birds, water birds, mosses, liverworts, insects, reptiles and amphibians. Our last Fall bioblitz was a huge success. Over 200 people came out and… read more →