Monday 22 June 2015

Northern Ontario Wildlife

I have returned from the Kapuskasing region after a 12 day trip for work.  Overall it was a great trip and I had time before, after and during work to see plenty of wildlife!  I was able to see several of the boreal bird species such as Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Olive-sided Flycatcher and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.  I also found out that birding can be a dangerous sport as I broke my thumb by shutting the truck door on it while trying to keep it from slamming too loudly!  As always, I will let the photos do most of the talking.

The mighty Kapuskasing River

We were lucky enough to spot this cow Moose and her two calves on the edge of the river right near our campsite.  They watched us curiously until we got too close and mom ushered the calves into the woods.

Black Bear are incredibly common up in the Kapuskasing area. Evidence of them is everywhere and we saw 12 on this trip including a mother with 3 cubs!  We also saw a Gray Wolf run across the road in front of our truck but it was too fast to get a photo.

This one was out in the open but ran into the brush when we got out of the truck to snap some photos. I think he was annoyed that we made him have to wait so he could go back to munching grass in he meadow.

We saw lots of ducks on the river including Common Goldeneye such as this female and her puffball babies that would occasionally dive beneath the surface for a second or two at a time.

Olive-sided Flycatcher were fairly common in suitable habitat.  This bird brought my year total for Ontario to 238 species!  Note that distinctive "vest" which is a good field mark for this species.

Mornings bird watching before work were chilly at times.  This morning it was 3 degrees!  Hard to believe in June!

One of the target species of the trip, the globally rare Broad-tailed Shadowdragon.  This one had just emerged from its exuviae from the water.  This is the casing which held the final larval stage of this species as it transitioned from a water dwelling nymph to a airborne killing machine! This species feeds at dusk in areas of the river containing fast moving whitewater. 

Another great species, the Uhler's Sundragon.

At this time of the year, the river banks are blanketed in areas with larvae emerging.  This Boreal Snaketail is halfway out of its casing,  

Boreal Snaketail.  This one is still young and the markings are in the process of really showing up.

Mustached Clubtail were very common on the river.

Overall it was a great trip with some excellent wildlife viewing! If you can stand the biting insects, the north has a lot to offer at this time of year!  I have lots more photos which I may add at a later time.


  1. Nice pics Nathan! Looks like your thumb injury didn't hold you back for netting odes.

  2. Thanks Pat! Fortunately the injury was near the end of the trip

  3. Very interesting post! Glad you enjoyed our part of the province. The bugs can get pretty bad but the fact that we have so much to explore makes up for it! Your post makes me want to learn more about our odonate species!

  4. Thanks! I certainly did enjoy the trip despite the bugs!