Tag Archives: Great Lakes

Pelicans in Hamilton Canada?

Pelicans in Hamilton Canada?

Monday August 19 2013

American White Pelican

Pelican from long distance
Pelican from long distance

On Sunday August 18 2013 I saw a large bird in middle of a  lake -What a shock to understand it was a PELICAN, I never had an idea that Pelicans would ever come this far off-course, they do go up to North Bay, Southern Ontario is quite out of there way.These images were taken in Hamilton Canada , the lake is actually a wetlands called Cootes Paradise. The Harbourfront Trail runs into Cootes paradise from Harbourfront Park. Hamilton has a Harbour that is part of the  Lake Ontario Ecosystem-very close too Toronto Canada.

Below is some interesting information, and Images, Enjoy


Doug Worrall

The American White Pelican is a very large bird weighing about 6-7 kg, with white feathers and black wing tips. It has a large orange-yellow bill and pouch, a short, stout tail, webbed feet and a wingspan of up to three metres. Juvenile birds have greyish feathers during their first summer and autumn. This bird usually does not stray far from the water.

 friend and Cormorants
friend and Cormorants


 Pelican flying
Pelican flying

American White Pelicans are found across the north-central and western United States. In Canada, they are found from the interior of British Columbia, east to northwestern Ontario. These birds migrate south to the Gulf Coast states and Mexico. Ontario has about 10 per cent of the world’s population of American White Pelicans.

 Pelican in flight
Pelican in flight

American White Pelicans nest in groups on remote islands that are barren or sparsely treed located in lakes, reservoirs, or on large rivers. Remote islands offer eggs and chicks some protection from predators. Pelicans nest in slight depressions in the ground with sticks and vegetation piled up around them. Their diet is mainly fish.


Changes in water levels can have a major impact on breeding American White Pelicans. High water levels can flood nests whereas low water levels can make nesting colonies susceptible to more predators, such as coyotes, through land-bridges. Disease (e.g., avian botulism and West Nile) and human disturbance are also threats. American White Pelicans are also susceptible to shooting, oil spills and water contamination on their southern wintering grounds.

The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the American White Pelican . You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful.

Was Hoping to Capture the Bird again today.
Was Hoping to Capture the Bird again today.
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
    • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
    • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. You may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
    • Bird Studies Canada is working to advance the understanding, appreciation and conservation of wild birds and their habitat in Ontario and elsewhere.


Sources: Wikipedia-The Ministry of Natural Resoursces


Doug Worrall Photographer

Hurricane Sandy Bringing Rain and Strong Winds Southern Ontario

Hurricane Sandy bringing rain and strong winds to Canadian territory 

Monday October 29 2012

50KM winds sustained

The above image “Hamilton Harbour” was after 50 KM winds sustained for six hours, with Sandy, we are looking at much more.

Southern and eastern Ontario and western Quebec could see between 50 and 100 millimetres of  much needed rain late Monday and early Tuesday.

Calm before the storm

Hurricane Sandy strengthened before dawn this morning and remains on course to hit Canada tonight with howling winds and drenching rain after blowing through the U.S. eastern seaboard.

Drought and strange weather

Hundreds of Air Canada flights have already been affected and the airline is advising travellers to check the status of their flight ahead of time.

Drought hits home

The Canadian Hurricane Centre expects the so-called Frankenstorm to punish parts of southern and eastern Ontario and western Quebec with potentially damaging winds up to 100 kilometres per hour.Below is am image after winds were 50KM an hour.

Results High Winds and rain

Seven metre waves could lash the Great Lakes, especially southern Lake Huron, and large waves are also expected to pound Nova Scotia’s south shore.

It is a massive storm with tropical storm-force winds that extend some 800 kilometres from its centre.

Brighten the week up a bit

With the flooding and probable Canadian deaths from this storm comes much needed rain. The great lakes “our drinking water” is down over one foot.This storm will not make much difference, we need this too happen a few times a year.

RBG Fishway low water

 Stay safe

Yellow legs


Doug Worrall


Drought leaves Southern Ontario Thirsty

Cootes paradise our filter “Aquifer” almost dries-up
Friday September 14 2012
Dry Cootes Paradise
Thirsty for clean water
Thirsty for images
Seasons dictate life and beauty
We are heading into Autumn……………………………NOW
Another day
I hope we have not sealed our fate regarding pollution, degradation and population.  In my opinion, awareness and education do not seem to be working.  High school grads are now overweight and hooked to their cell phones, and are mostly still ignorant about their environment after years of education.  Immigrants seem to be unable to read signs that are not in their language.
As above so is below
Our water has to deal with so much.  How long can we sustain what sustains us?  If we are “what we eat,” we are full of crap ;).
Juvenile Black crowned night heron
Black crowned night heron
This year the images were hard to come by due to the lack of visible wildlife along many of our regional hiking/biking trails and conservation areas.  The City of Hamilton has outdone themselves by oiling mute swan eggs to the point that only one signet was born in Hamilton Harbour.  Still, this year was worse than all other years for e-coli bacteria.  So why do they blame the swans?  It is unwarranted and heavy handed management.  At least the RBG does not oil the eggs of mute swans.
Broad-winged Hawk
Southern Ontario Lacking Water
Continuing poor seasons threatens our way of life.
Southern Ontario’s severe weather leaves farmers with crop losses.
Water quality suffers, and all that feeds or lives from the water, which includes humans, suffer also.  Coulson said the warm spate of weather has been caused by warm fronts moving in from the southern states, which is not unusual but, because of the lack of snow, the air is not being cooled by the time it reaches Ontario.
Busy Canadian Beaver
Normally we still have snow cover over winter.  The warmer air masses, when they encounter snowpack, it modifies them and cools them off.  They would have travelled hundreds of kilometers over snow.
Monarch Butterfly

Big rain was too little, too late

Last Year -much needed water this year

Farmer Jim Vuckovic has been wishing for rain for weeks. But the way it came pouring down Sunday in a torrential storm wasn’t what he had in mind.

Great Egret with Fish

Rather than helping his dried out crops, the winds and heavy water further damaged some of his distressed corn.

Great Blue Heron

And now the 35-year-old corn, wheat and soy farmer in Beamsville finds himself contemplating one of his worst growing seasons in memory — at least with his corn fields, which are about half as high as they should be for this time of year.

Hide and seek

“I don’t ever recall it being this dry. A lot of the crops are damaged beyond saving,” says Vuckovic. “A lot of the damage is irrevocable … It’s been a bad year. Obviously, yields will be nowhere near what we’re use to.”

In Flight

Vuckovic’s farm was toured by provincial Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin on Tuesday.

“I saw a field of corn (Tuesday) that was clearly distressed,” McMeekin said. “The soy beans were doing OK. More importantly, the farmer was pretty distressed with the situation.”

Greater Yellowlegs

Gross Goo! Antibiotic Resistance Flourishes In Freshwater Systems

Green Antibiotic resistant -Goo
McMaster University researchers have now discovered that floc – “goo-like” substances that occur suspended in water and that host large communities of bacteria – also contain high levels of antibiotic resistance.
“This has important public health implications because the more antibiotic resistance there is, the less effective our antibiotic arsenal is against infectious diseases,” said Lesley Warren, the principal investigator for the study that looked at floc in different freshwater systems.The research was led by Warren, professor of earth sciences and Gerry Wright, scientific director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, both of McMaster, along with Ian Droppo, a research scientist at Environment Canada.

Morning flights

They examined floc collected from Hamilton Harbour, which is impacted by sewer overflow; Sunnyside Beach in Toronto, which is impacted by wastewater; a rural stream near Guelph, impacted by light agricultural activities; and a remote lake in a natural preserve area in Algonquin Park, accessible only by float plane.

One fine morning

Researchers analyzed the water and floc samples for trace element concentrations and the presence of 54 antibiotic resistant genes.

Sixteen egrets

They were surprised to discover that genes encoding resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics were present in floc bacteria at all four sites, although resistance varied in intensity based on human influence. That is, there was less antibiotic resistance detectable from Algonquin Lake compared to Hamilton Harbour, which harbored the highest concentration of floc trace elements.

“What this tells us is that antibiotic resistance is widespread in aquatic environments ranging from heavily impacted urban sites to remote areas,” said Warren. “Yet, it also demonstrates that areas with greater human impact are important reservoirs for clinically important antibiotic resistance.Floc are vibrant microbial communities that attract contaminants such as trace metals that are markers of resistance, Wright said.
Warren added the study of antibiotic resistance in floc has never been done, “and we are only scratching the surface. The presence of environmental bacterial communities in aquatic environments represents a significant, largely unknown source of antibiotic resistance,” she said. “The better we understand what is out there, the better we can develop policies to safeguard human health as best we can.”The research has been published in the science journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Funding for the study was received from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Environment Canada.

Wild Orchid

Contacts and sources:
Veronica Mcguire

McMaster University

Environment Canada.
Doug Worrall
Lois Mcnaught