If you’re an animal lover, you probably take a camera with you on every walk and hike to try and catch a shot of the beautiful wildlife that lives in our lush forests and blue lakes. We want to make your animal-sighting a little easier, and to help you be safe along your next journey.
Here are some amazing animals that live among or visit South Eastern Ontario’s National and Provincial Parks.
1. Grey Wolves – Frontenac Provincial Park
Grey Wolves appear in colours ranging from dark grey to black, and can resemble a large shepard if spotted. With over 9,600 of these wolves living in Ontario, Grey Wolves have been known to be heard more than they are seen in the Frontenac Provincial Park. You will not likely catch a glimpse of one of these elusive animals but we have a feeling you will have your camera ready as there are so many other interesting creatures to see along the trails.
2. Northern River Otter – Frontenac Provincial Park
These small but mighty mammals lives near rivers, lakes or swamps and enjoys both land and water. Northern River Otters are incredible swimmers, and can hold their breath for several minutes while hunting for fish and amphibians. These little guys are very sensitive to changes in their home so if you are lucky enough to spot one of these elusive yet cute swimmers be sure to keep your distance when snapping a photo.
3. Fishers – Frontenac Provincial Park
Small yet mighty, the Fisher is an incredible hunter and one of the few animals that will take on a more formidable mammal such as the porcupine. Considered to be part of the weasel family, these strong hairy carnivores are often seen near trees, stumps and burrows hunting for its next meal or catching some z’s.
While you might not get the chance to see all of the animals on this list, we recommend travelling over to Doe Lake Trail for the most picturesque adventure to get some incredible photos of both flora and fauna.
4. American Black Bear – Frontenac Provincial Park
These massive omnivores have a hefty appetite and will eat plants, insects, mammals and fruits. Preferring to enjoy their time solitude, American Black Bears are another animal that
5. Painted Turtles, Swamp Sparrows & Red-winged Blackbirds – Springside Park
Commonly found along rivers that run aside wooded trails you will find turles, sparrows and blackbirds on any given day if the weather is right. If you look towards the water or wetlands you should see painted turtles basking on outstanding logs or rocks along the waterfront and in the trees and wetlands you will find Swamp Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds among their branches.
6. Common Loons – Guindon Park
Loons are easy to spot with their striking black and white feathers and to be heard by their loud call. A loon finds most of its food underwater as it is able to swim quite well using its feet to propel itself under water. It is also an amazing flyer and can reach great speeds while gliding. If your looking to see one of these on your next hike, just scan the water frequently to see if you can spot one popping up to the surface.
7. Redheads – Guindon Park
Similar to loons, yet vastly different in terms of their appearance and appetite, the Redhead is a diving duck that can be seen now and then among the lake and river waters. These divers are practically vegetarians as they mostly enjoy eating plants and weeds that grow underwater so they may be hard to spot as they are often snacking away under the surface.
8. White-tailed Deer – Frontenac Arch Biosphere
You can distinguish a white-tailed deer by its starkly white coloured behind if spotted while exploring Presqu’ile Provincial Park. Often seen in the early morning or as night falls foraging camp sites and pathways for food, you may be able to grab a wonderful photo of these stunning and delicate creatures if one happens to cross your path.
9. Snowshoe Hare – Frontenac Arch Biosphere
Some may not know that the snowshoe hare is one of the most common animals in Canada, and they are only known to reside in North America. These field and forest dwellers are get at camouflage as their fur changes its shade from dusty brown to a snowy white to blend in with the scenery. You will want to squint and zoom in to catch a picture of these sneaky hares in unexpected places such as fields and swamps.
10. Southern and Northern Flying Squirrels – Frontenac Arch Biosphere
Both of these gliding rodents are found native to North America, and come in a greyish-brown colour. These tiny flyers don’t really fly, but use their unique body to glide between their habitat with ease up to 150 feet. These little guys are great at hiding, and usually live in heavily wooded areas so keep your eyes to the sky during and aimed towards the more wooded areas if you are hoping to catch a glimpse of a Flying Squirrel on your next hike at the Frontenac Arch Biosphere.
11. Eastern Rat Snake – Frontenac Arch Biosphere
While you are wandering through the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, you may notice nesting boxes placed strategically to assist in the laying of eggs and growth of this species. The F.A.B. has been known to be a migration route for these serpents and they can be seen among the forest ground along trails during the Spring and along rocky areas during the Winter.
12. Mallards, Black Ducks and Blue and Green Winged Teals – Point Petre Wildlife Conservation
Point Petre Wildlife Conservation is the best place to go if you are interested in seeing some different duck species floating along the coastline. Picturesque with its sea-green waters and rocky shoreline, you can see families of mallards and
13. Hawks, Saw-whet Owls and Turkey Vultures – North Beach Provincial Park
These sneaky birds have a way of blending into their scenery, so we highly implore you to bring some binoculars if you are trying to spot one of these stunning creatures. North Beach is a stunning spot that offers a long sandy coastline as well as some dense woods and enclosed trails where you can listen for the chirps of birds who are alerting that one of these flying predators is close by.
14. Red Fox – Thousand Islands National Park
Extraordinarily elusive and easily camouflaged, the Red Fox has been known to search for its food among the tall grasses and dense woods in St. Lawrence Islands National Park. If you are trying to spot one of these guys on your next hike, we recommend taking an early walk as they are most likely to be out at dawn and dusk, scavenging for their next meal.
15. Trumpeter Swans – Mac Johnson Wildlife Area
Since 1999, the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area has been participating in Trumpeter Swan Restoration Programs to continue the positive growth of the species, and while there is no longer a breeding pair being cared for, hikers and nature enthusiasts often see the stunningly tall birds visiting the wetland and open water as it is kept in optimal shape for the swans year-round.
16. Great Blue Herons – Cataraqui Trail
If you are an early
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