Canada has way more wildlife species than any other country in the world
Wildlife fans are likely to take a camera with them on every walk hoping to catch that perfect shot. We want to make your animal-sighting a little easier, and to help you be safe along your next journey. Here are some amazing wildlife species 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 shepherd 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. At the Frontenac Provincial Park, you will likely catch a glimpse of these elusive animals. If not, there are so many other interesting creatures to see along the trails.
2. Northern River Otter – Frontenac Provincial Park
These mighty mammals live near rivers, lakes or swamps and enjoy 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, be sure to keep your distance.
3. Fishers – Frontenac Provincial Park
Fishers are incredible hunters and one of the few that will take on a formidable mammal such as the porcupine. Considered to be part of the weasel family, these strong carnivores are often seen near trees, stumps and burrows.
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 are not likely to be spotted during hikes. Although they may not be seen, it is an incredible feeling to know that we share the land we travel and live in with such special creatures.
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.
5. Painted Turtles, Swamp Sparrows & Red-winged Blackbirds – Springside Park
Commonly found along rivers that run aside wooded trails you will find turtles, sparrows and blackbirds on any given day. If you look towards the water or wetlands you should see painted turtles basking on outstanding logs or rocks. In the wetlands, you will find Swamp Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds.
6. Common Loons – Guindon Park
Loons are easy to spot with their striking black and white feathers and heard by their loud call. Loons find most of their food underwater as they are able to swim well using its feet to propel itself. If you’re 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
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. 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. They are often seen in the early morning or as night falls foraging campsites and pathways for food. You may be able to grab a photo of these stunning creatures if one happens to cross your path.
9. Snowshoe Hare – Frontenac Arch Biosphere
The snowshoe hare is one of the most common animals in Canada, and they are only known to reside in North America. These forest dwellers are good at camouflaging since their fur changes its shade from dusty brown to snowy white. 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 are found native to North America and come in a greyish-brown colour. These tiny flyers use their bodies to glide between their habitat with ease up to 150 feet. These squirrels are great at hiding, and usually live in a heavily wooded area. Keep your eyes to the sky if you are hoping to catch a glimpse of a Flying Squirrel on your next hike.
READ ALSO: 10 Stunning Trails In The Frontenac Arch Biosphere
11. Eastern Rat Snake – Frontenac Arch Biosphere
While you are wandering through, 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.
12. 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. We recommend taking an early walk as they are most likely to be out at dawn and dusk, scavenging for their next meal.
13. 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 green-winged teals hunting for food or enjoying a swim.
14. 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. North Beach is a stunning spot that offers a long sandy coastline, dense woods, and enclosed trails. Listen to the chirps of birds who are alerting that one of these flying predators is close by.
15. Trumpeter Swans – Mac Johnson Wildlife Area
Since 1999, the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area has been participating in Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program to continue the positive growth of the species. There is no longer a breeding pair being cared for, so nature enthusiasts often see the stunningly tall birds visiting the wetland and open water. This area is kept in optimal shape for the swans year-round.
16. Great Blue Herons – Cataraqui Trail
If you are an early riser, you may be lucky to see the Great Blue Heron. They gracefully scan the water for vibrations of their next potential meal. Stay quiet and calm and you may get close enough to take a stunning photo.
16. “Birds of The Bay”
Canadians sure love bird watching! The Bay of Quinte has 33 Conservation Areas, making it a dream for any ornithologist, amateur or otherwise. Check out this post on Birds of The Bay, to learn more!
READ ALSO: Rediscover Winter: Conservation Areas in the Bay of Quinte Region