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Great Horned Owl


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Owl by the stream

Today, with a class from Sandhills PS, we encountered a very unique situation – an Eastern Screech Owl fishing in the stream!
Earlier, we had seen a Mink come out of the forest and slip into a small, open section of the pond, and we decided to investigate. We took a good look at the tracks, but could not locate the weasel, despite our best efforts. During this time, we heard a male Pileated Woodpecker drumming in the distance and decided to try to track it down. As we came around the corner, some movement caught my eye down the by stream. I was shocked to see an Eastern Screech Owl flying from a low perch, landing in the stream belly-deep, then flying back up. It was only about 15m away! We watched it fishing several times. What a wonderful sighting for everyone! It certainly is not something I will forget, and to be able to share that experience with students was really incredible.

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Natural Distractions

At Laurel Creek with students from Winston Churchill Public School.

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Here is a trail cam video of a coyote at Laurel Creek. The trail camera has a 2-second delay before it comes on, so I bet another coyote set off the camera, and it captured the second one trailing behind. There were two sets of tracks in the snow. For the two seconds it is […]

Bird list

Each year I keep a list of birds seen at Laurel Creek over the calendar year. I usually have a goal for 100 species. Here is my 2017 list: Northern Cardinal Black-capped Chickadee American Crow White-breasted Nuthatch Fox Sparrow Red-bellied Woodpecker Dark-eyed Junco Mourning Dove European Starling Tree Sparrow Canada Goose Tundra Swan Killdeer Red-winged […]


Here is a young opossum that wandered around the Laurel Creek Nature Centre a couple of weeks ago.

Good Morning, Deer

A doe and two fawns on the lawn at Laurel Creek Tuesday morning.


Sunday, September 24th marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Laurel Creek Nature Centre. It represents a successful partnership between the Waterloo Region District School Board, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board and the Grand River Conservation Authority. It has been a pleasure to work here for the last 18 years. Happy birthday Laurel […]

Words of Wisdom

  A great poem, reproduced with the author’s permission.   On Being A Naturalist By David J. Hawke   They came here today on a big yellow bus, Another class of students that were booked in with us. I had tidied displays and made things just right, They were just off the bus when two […]

Wild Goose Chase

Yesterday evening, after a relaxing dinner on the back patio, I gave chase to a wild goose.  Here is how it happened. We live near Laurel Creek (the creek not the Nature Centre) and we we have a couple of parks near our house.  Since the spring there have been at least 4 adult geese […]

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