Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s that time of year again!

Although they have been back in the area for a while, with the annual influx of Snowy Owls now in full swing, the roads in Clearview Township have been filled with avid birdwatchers looking for the chance to see a visitor from the north.

We are very fortunate to see quite a few of these beautiful birds perched on hydro poles, on trees along the fence rows, and in the large fields along the sideroads west of the Minesing Wetlands.

Our annual visiting owls attract quite a crowd and bring in bird watchers and naturalists from a wide area. To learn more about these birds, and their visit to southern Ontario, check our our earlier blog .

These striking birds are however not the only highlight on road-side bird watching trips at this time of year.

You can also see a variety of hawks in the area including Rough-legged, Northern Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Red-tailed, and Sharp-shinned hawks, as well as numerous American Kestrels.

If you are fortunate you will also see one of more of our resident Bald Eagles!

Other highlights include Pileated Woodpeckers, Northern Shrikes, and Great Blue Herons.

Along the south-west edge of the Minesing Wetlands you will also have a good chance of running into Wild Turkeys as they make their way through woodlands and neighbouring fields.

Spending just an hour along the sideroads bordering the Minesing Wetlands in the month of January can be a rewarding trip.

Bring your binoculars and cameras and stay safe!

Article in Ontario Planning Journal

The July/August 2017, Vol32, No4, issue of the Ontario Planning Journal contains our article on the work we did with the Canadian Wildlife Service to promote their How Much Habitat is Enough? Guidelines and related materials.  For more information you can also check out our previous Post on the natural heritage workshops held earlier this year.

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2017 Natural Heritage Planning Workshops

Earlier in 2017 there were a series of workshops held across southern Ontario to provide guidance on natural heritage system planning.  The goal of these workshops was to provide information to land use planners and others involved in land use planning as it relates to the identification, protection and management of natural heritage systems.

Workshops2017These workshops were held in Peterborough, Parry Sound, London and Toronto.  They were a joint effort of the Environment and Climate Change Canada – Canadian Wildlife Service and Ontario Nature delivered in partnership with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute , Skelton, Brumwell and Associates Inc. and Krystawyn.

Intro to Sessions MJW 2017-04-19 11-07-18Topics covered at the workshops included a natural heritage policy update and the Ontario Nature Natural Heritage Planning Best Practices Manual.  The Canadian Wildlife Service also provided information about their How Much Habitat is Enough? and How Much Development is Too Much? guidelines.  A highlight at the workshops was the release of the Canadian Wildlife Service Biodiversity Atlas.  The atlas products provide a geospatial representation of the Canadian Wildlife Service biodiversity portfolio: species richness, migratory bird densities, habitat extent & quality.  They were created to better see and understand the distribution of species and habitats, share information with others, and help facilitate the conservation of important natural places by provide guidance on places of high biodiversity value.

The workshops also featured presentations from the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve and Kawarthas, Naturally Connected discussing local natural heritage program initiatives.

There was also a presentation highlighting the diversity of tools available to planners in the development of policies and programs to identify and protect natural heritage systems including a variety of citizen science applications to engage the public (e.g. Ontario Nature Citizen Science Directory, iNaturalist).

Information from the workshops and a copy of the presentations can be obtained from the following links:

Part 1 Natural Heritage Policy Update

Part 1 Policy

Part 1 Policy Parry Sound

Part 2 Natural Heritage Systems Planning Best Practices Guide

Part 2 The Manual

Download of the Manual

Ontario Nature Presentation – Natural Heritage Systems

Ontario Nature Presentation

Canadian Wildlife Service Presentations

How Much Habitat Is Enough? Presentation

How Much Disturbance is Too Much? Presentation

CWS Biodiversity Atlas Presentation

CWS Biodiversity Atlas Shield Presentation

How Much Disturbance is Too Much? Circulation Copy


Part 3 Other Tools

Part 3 Other Tools

Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve Presentation

Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve Presentation

Kawarthas, Naturally Connected Presentation

Kawarthas Naturally Connected Presentation


Krystawyn Nature Blog is pleased to announce that some of our photographs have been featured in the Spring 2016 issue of ON Nature magazine !

We are planning on publishing several new blogs in the near future.  Upcoming blogs will feature profiles of visits to nature centres and parks in Florida and South Carolina, some spring visits to natural areas in Ontario, and a series of profiles on species at risk. In the mean time you can follow our Facebook Page for regular updates and information.