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RE: Modernizing Bird Names

American robin

Re: What’s in a (Bird) Name I can hear the chirps, trills and warbles of delighted birds – now proud possessors of new names. The once forlorn McCown’s longspur now revels in its glorious moniker, namely, ‘the thick-billed longspur’. And why not? Who wouldn’t want their nomenclature changed by the august American Ornithological Society (AOS)? […]

Modernizing Bird Names

Wilson's snipe, name subject to change

Re: What’s in a (Bird) Name With the greatest of respect, I, (a longstanding “birder”) find the proposed bird name changes written about in Julia Zarankin’s Last Word article asinine! What a flavour is lost when changing Lewis’s Woodpecker or the Baltimore Oriole when one knows of the reasons behind the name? Or Wilson’s Warbler, […]

Spring 2024

Read ON Nature magazine Spring 2024

20 | Protecting All That Hops, Slithers and Crawls A comprehensive guide to reptiles and amphibians in Ontario highlights profound threats to many of these creatures. Newly gathered data, however, can inform ways to help them survive. By Celia Milne 24 | A Stark Beauty Ontario’s alvars are biodiversity hot spots, but they are misunderstood, […]

Invasive Damages

Zebra mussels, invasive species

RE: The War on Invasive Species I was very disappointed in the article The War on Invasive Species, Last Word by By Conor Mihell in the current issue of the magazine (Winter 2023). Actually, I thought (hope) it was there to start discussion, not because it was really a serious approach to the topic. There […]

Winter 2023

Cochrane area wildfire, northern Ontario, 2023

24 | A Burning Issue The record-breaking wildfire season is highlighting the gaps in human knowledge of the impact of fires on wildlife. But what is known is worrisome. By Jade Prévost-Manuel 20 | Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees Tree-planting programs that prioritize the number of seedlings in the ground over creating forest […]

Fall 2023

Gray fox

20 | The Little Fox That Could A community science project shows that gray foxes are successfully adapting to the harsh climate of the province’s north. By Julia Zarankin 24 | Acclimating to Change Climate is warming and nature reserve managers are feeling the heat. What happens to conservation plans when the species and habitats […]

Travelling Into Nature

A group of people are taught the basics of foraging

Thank you for your email about Ontario Nature’s nature guides. At age 92 I’m not doing much travelling. But I watch nature in the courtyard of the large private seniors residence where I live. Some of the space is wooded and grassy. Do your nature guides include information about getting there by public transit? If […]

Of Roads and Wolves

Gray wolf navigating roadway

I read with interest your feature article “Lone Wolf” in the summer 2023 issue of ON Nature about gray wolves need for uninterrupted landscapes for habitat. Ontario Nature rightly cares about gray wolves. Unfortunately, just yesterday, I read the news from the Fur-Bearers group that B.C. had shot from helicopters 217 wolves and 8 cougars […]

Illustrated by AI

AI Illustration of fireflies in a field

RE: “Lights Out” (Summer 2023) I’ve been enjoying the latest print issue of ON Nature but was surprised (and disappointed) to see the “Lights Out?” fireflies story was illustrated with an Artificial Intelligence image. To me this seems rather disingenuous for a magazine focused on nature, science and education. In the future, I hope to […]

Wolves, Status Quo and Novelty

Grey wolf in winter

RE: “Lone Wolf” (Summer 2023) The canine habits described here suggest how we can enhance human society: We need the input of both pack- and lone-wolves. The former stick to “defined areas”, while the latter “establish new territories”. There’s value in keeping some aspects of the current order. Take democracy, for example. The principle of […]

Pawpaw Inspired by ON Nature

Newly planted pawpaw tree, Cambridge

Dear Editor, I wanted to share with you this pawpaw tree that my folks just planted, inspired by the ON Nature magazine feature, The Forgotten Fruit. Now they just need to plant a second one to get some fruit! – Jenna Cardoso, Cambridge

Summer 2023


20 | Lights Out? The enchanting light shows of adult fireflies make ignoring the rest of their life cycle easy. But therein lie the threats to them. By Brian Banks 24 | Lone Wolf An extraordinary journey by a solitary gray wolf reveals the challenges these animals encounter in their search for open territory. By […]

Nature of the North

This guide is intended as a starting point for learning more about the many wonderful natural features that northern Ontario has to offer. There are many knowledgeable local businesses and tourism operators who may be able to provide additional information and services. For any hiking, canoeing, or other adventures ensure you are well prepared!

Coconut Coir Detrimental

Sifted compost

On page 33 of the spring (paper) edition, the author suggests that gardeners use coir as a substitute for Ontario, or Canadian, peat. My goodness. So more Indonesian rainforest, for example, should be destroyed for the planting of yet more coconut trees, for their coir, and oil, and whatever else we humans want? I think […]

Natural Burial

Natural burial, Salt Spring Island

On page 18 of your Spring 2023 issue of ON Nature, I am referred to as the founder of the Natural Burial Association. I am at best the Co-Founder along with the late pioneering green, Mary Anne Brinckman, who was a remarkable contributor to Canada’s natural heritage. Mary Anne pushed for less wasteful burial practices, […]

Local Potting Mix

Local rock dust from personal property, blood meal, perlite potting mix

Re: For Peat’s Sake For a couple years I’ve been working on a potting mix that is free of peat moss, cocoa coir, perlite or vermiculite. I think I’m finally there, or very close. All I’m using from off my property is a local rock dust, blood meal and perlite for drainage. The rock dust is […]

Spring 2023

5 | This Issue A history lesson. By Caroline Schultz 38 | Last Word The Downside of #NoMowMay By Lorraine Johnson and Dr. Sheila Colla 34 | Our Member Groups  A legacy of nature reserve stewardship. By Melissa Thomas 35 | Our Community   School of Flock raises awareness about bats. By Hayley Raymond ON Nature […]

MZO Impact on Scugog River

Osprey nest on platform along Scugog River

RE: Kingston Rejects Development on Wetland I am an Ontario Nature donor and a recipient of ON Nature magazine. There is an article by Sarah Hasenack in the Winter 2022 issue that is exactly on point for my community in north-east Lindsay. We are faced with a small community development in 17 hectares just north […]

Winter 2022

5 | This Issue The Web of Life. By Caroline Schultz 7 | Earth Watch A wetland win All about peatlands Kinghurst Forest in winter New carbon guide And more… 38 | Last Word How Carbon Offsets Can Better Help Nature By Sean Rudd 34 | Our Member Groups  Twenty-Five Years of Protecting Nature. By […]

Species at Risk Guide

Species at Risk Guide

Learn about more than 50 species at risk that are found in northern Ontario. We are now in the midst of the largest mass extinction since the disappearance of the dinosaurs more than 65 million years ago. Habitat loss and degradation, climate change, invasive species, pollution and over-exploitation of natural resources are some of the factors driving the decline. This handy guide covers mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, plants and insects.

Fall 2022

ON Nature Magazine Fall 2022 Cover

38 | Last Word Piping Plovers Prevail By Lisa Richardson 34 | Our Member Groups  Naturalists Expand a Reserve. By Lisa Richardson 36 | Our Community   Environmental Champions Recognized. By Zachary Pothier ON Nature magazine is an award-winning quarterly that brings readers closer to nature by exploring Ontario’s natural species and spaces, and providing insight […]

Backyard Habitats Guide

Cooper's hawks in naturalized backyard

While backyard habitats cannot take the place of large wilderness areas, they can foster the diversity of wildlife populations in urban areas. Regardless of where you live, you can turn even the smallest yard into a wildlife haven with a little time and careful planning. Wildlife considerations can be included in the design without sacrificing aesthetics.

Summer 2022

Summer 2022 Table of Contents website header , https://view.publitas.com/on-nature/on-nature-summer-2022/page/1

38 | Last Word There is no good type of disposable waste By Melina Damian 34 | Our Member Groups  A tree for every resident in Halton Hills. By Lisa Richardson 36 | Our Community   Hydro One is giving back to nature. By Kayla Salive ON Nature magazine is an award-winning quarterly that brings readers […]

Appraising Tree Planting

Last Word, ON Nature, Spring 2022

I love trees. I grow trees from seed and I’m a member of a group in Halton Hills, dedicated to planting trees. Nevertheless, I welcomed the article When Tree Planting Harms More Than It Helps by James Kamstra in the Spring 2022 issue of ON Nature. Tree planting, quite rightly, is seen as a way […]

Refuting Tree Planting Harms

ree planting, Sydenham River Nature Reserve

I was disappointed in your editorial, “When Tree Planting Harms More Than It Helps.” Several positive points were not mentioned: the carbon sequestering value of tree planting, the incredible loss of forest cover since European (human) invasion, opportunities to plant trees in urban and rural areas, and the fact that most top predators live in […]

Brook Trout

brook trout ON Nature Feature article

Thank you and Patricia Hluchy for the excellent article, “Trout in Trouble” in the Spring 2022 edition of Ontario Nature! It was skillfully crafted – well done! It’s obvious why Patricia was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for her article about American ginseng.  I’m pleased to report that Peel Region recently passed a […]

Spring 2022

38 | Last Word When Tree Planting Harms More Than It Helps By James Kamstra 34 | Our Member Groups  Advocacy Efforts Pay Off with the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists By Lisa Richardson 36 | Our Community   A Life Well Lived – Carolyn Joyce Keen By Kirsten Dahl with input from John, Paul, Scott […]

Birchbark Canoe Building

Birchbark canoes, Neebing, Ontario

After reading your interesting article about birchbark canoe building, The Art of the Craft, I thought that others would like to see, in practice, how it was done. Apparently, César Newashish, in 1971, was one of the few people practicing the art. This documentary shows how a canoe is built the old way. César Newashish, […]

Model Forests

Thank you for the feature by Ian Coutts, in the Winter 2021 issue, about Edmund Zavitz’s extraordinary reforestation efforts. During the centennial of the Reforestation Act, our family is celebrating 51 years of forest stewardship in Lanark County thanks to the remarkable legacy of agreement forests. You can read about it in the December 2020, […]

Great Winter Edition

Spoon-leaved moss

I have been a member of Ontario Nature since a small child in the 40s and continue to be amazed and nurtured by nature. I am an amateur botanist and love trying to identify mosses. But the use of just common names is confusing as “we are the folk” and there are many folk names […]

Edmund Zavitz

Saugeen-Bruce Peninsula forest and Georgian Bay shoreline

Thank-you, thank-you for publishing Ian Coutts article about Ontario’s father of forestry. I trained as a forester many years ago and was very much inspired by the work of foresters such as Zavitz. It always breaks my heart that so little is known about the love of ecology that so many foresters have. We are […]

Winter 2021

38 | Last Word Ontario Wetlands Deserve Better. By Anne Bell 34 | Our Member Groups  A Triumph in Oxford County By Lisa Richardson 37 | Our Community   (Im)patiently Waiting for Pollinators By Peter Soroye ON Nature magazine is an award-winning quarterly that brings readers closer to nature by exploring Ontario’s natural species and spaces, […]

Fall 2021

38 | Last Word Ode to Toronto’s Secret Slitherer. By Gideon Forman 34 | Our Member Groups  Northern Sanctuaries. By Lisa Richardson 36 | Our Community   Conservation Award Winners. By Ron Corkum ON Nature magazine is an award-winning quarterly that brings readers closer to nature by exploring Ontario’s natural species and spaces, and providing insight […]

Summer 2010

Summer 2010

DEPARTMENTS 5 | This IssueHow much for that ecosystem?By Caroline Schultz On the cover24 | Songs of the BobolinkSmall changes on farmlands could help reverse the steep decline of a grassland species whose joyous chorus once filled the air.By Cecily Ross 8 | Earth WatchOntario Nature’s Biodiversity Watch List; more reasons to go outside; the […]

Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes

small island, cottage, water levels

In the article “The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes” in the Summer 2021 issue of ON Nature Conor Mihell states that a storm in January 2020 “washed away the century-old Lion’s Head Lighthouse.” The lighthouse that the storm destroyed was not a century old. It was a replica of the lighthouse that was […]

Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes

small island, cottage, water levels

As a Director and Aquatic Ecologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (now retired), I had the pleasure of working with many people engaged in sustaining and restoring Great Lakes ecology. Managing water levels through bi-national boards is a complex ‘industry’. Historically, Great Lakes water levels have been impinged to support bi-national interests in hydroelectricity and […]

Summer 2021 Reflections

Georgian Bay © 2020 Kristina J. Loevenmark

I enjoyed reading the Summer 2021 issue of ON Nature. Two articles in particular caught my eye, primarily because solutions to the problems they presented could perhaps be explored in further issues. I would encourage you to let your readers know about the work done by Watersheds Canada (watersheds.ca). “The Rise and Fall of the […]

Going Wild

Rooftop gardens, naturalization, restoration, pollinator garden, urban habitat restoration, urban nature, habitat restoration

As a long-time member and subscriber, I read with interest ‘Going Wild‘ by David Israelson in the Summer 2021 issue of ON Nature (page 30). I commenced employment at the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) in 1979 eventually, through reclassifications, becoming Operations Manager until 1996. I oversaw all the conservation areas including Lynde Shores. […]

Trumpeting a Victory

Trumpeting a Victory, ON Nature magazine, Summer 2021 spread

Re: “Trumpeting a Victory“. It was interesting to read the article on the reintroduction of the swans to Ontario. The Toronto Zoo has also been involved with reintroduction efforts and have had a nesting area in the Weston Pond area for most of the years I volunteered there. They also had banded swans in a […]

Summer 2021

38 | Last Word Protecting Nature on Unceded Lands. By Tom Cowie 36 | Our Member Groups  Saving a Unique Landscape. By Lisa Richardson 37 | Our Community   Celebrating the Life of a Dedicated Birder. By Kirsten Dahl ON Nature magazine is an award-winning quarterly that brings readers closer to nature by exploring Ontario’s natural […]