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Weekly Wisdom: High Park’s spooky nature friends

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Welcome to Weekly Wisdom! Stay tuned for some fun nature facts to amp up your nature knowledge!

High Park is home to some spooky or rather not-so-spooky nature friends — owls, bats, spiders, and more. This Halloween is the perfect season to get acquainted with them!

Here’s a mini listicle of some common “spooky” species that have been recorded in High Park over the years:

1. Owls

Some species of owl that have been seen in High Park include:

While owls are commonly associated with all things spooky, the truth is they can get far more spooked by human presence. Several species of owls can be very sensitive to disturbances, like the presence of people, and can be driven from their roosts. Hence it’s important to not disturb or bait them, avoid flash when shooting photos and in general just observe them from a distance.

READ MORE: Owl observation tips for birders and photographers, Birds Canada

2. Bats

At least five species of bat have been confirmed in High Park. These are:

READ MORE: Ontario Bat Guide, Ontario Nature Magazine | Bats in High Park, High Park Nature

3. Spiders

Fear of arachnids is a common spooky theme during Halloween. However, spiders are not aggressive by nature and a majority of spiders are not harmful to humans!

While its hard to pin the down the exact number of spider species in High Park, there are at least 200 species of spiders in Toronto. This number is only from published spider records and the real number of species is probably three or four times more!

READ MORE: Spiders of Toronto, City of Toronto Biodiversity Series | Spiders in High Park, High Park Nature

4. Frogs and Toads

There are three species of frogs and toads in High Park. As far as we know, kissing them does not turn them into princes and no witches use them to make potions!

READ MORE: Reptiles and Amphibians, Ontario Nature | Amphibians in High ark, High Park Nature

5. Snakes

There are two species of snakes in found in High Park:

READ MORE: Reptiles and Amphibians, Ontario Nature | Snakes in High Park, High Park Nature

Learn more about High Park’s spooky nature friends and you’ll find them to be generally cautious and harmless inhabitants of the park that are not so spooky after all!