Swimming with snapping turtles, video

This video from Canada says about itself:

15 July 2015

Swimming with large snapping turtles in Parry Sound. When approached slowly, these creatures don’t show any aggression and almost no fear. These two were looking for food and checking out the camera as I swam around with them for hours.

Waterbirds nesting in Ontario, Canada

This video says about itself:

23 May 2013

Video clips of some birds around my home Ontario Canada. Included: a Blue Jay, Female Rose Breasted Grosbeak, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Male Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Baltimore Oriole, White-throated Sparrow, and female Eastern Wild Turkey.

From Nature Conservancy Canada:

Colonial nesting waterbirds in Ontario

Colonial nesting waterbirds are birds that nest in groups or colonies. The birds that make up this group, including herons, terns, gulls and egrets, are a major component of many coastal ecosystems. Islands in the Great Lakes are important sites for globally significant populations of colonial nesting waterbirds. In Ontario, colonial nesting waterbirds can be found on the Western Lake Erie Islands Islands, Manitoulin Island, Northwestern Lake Superior Coast and the Eastern Georgian Bay Coast. Protecting these natural areas means protecting important nesting, migration stopover and foraging habitat for this unique bird group.

In Ontario you will find many colonial nesting waterbirds, including:

Eighty to 94 percent of the world’s breeding population of ring-billed gulls and as much as 60 percent of the North American population of breeding herring gulls nest in the Great Lakes, mostly on islands.

Each species of colonial nesting waterbird nests in a specific habitat, which may include beaches, marshes and forests, but they occur primarily on mainland coasts and islands. This group of birds may move from site to site each year within a favoured location, depending upon the availability of resources such as food or materials. During nesting season colonial nesting waterbirds are concentrated at colony sites, making them highly vulnerable.

Gulls are the most common of the colonial nesting waterbirds in Ontario. They forage for food near the surface of water or on shore. They are even known to steal food from each other. Gulls can swallow large prey, such as small mammals or other birds, whole. Many gulls are a common visitor to garbage dumps and some are considered a nuisance in urban areas.

Terns forage out in open water, plunging down during flight to capture prey, sometimes hovering briefly before diving down under the water’s surface. They feed on small fish and some invertebrates.

Wading birds — such as herons and egrets — search for prey in shallow water. Unsuspecting fish and other water invertebrates are snatched up in the patient birds’ long bills of  if they swim too close.

Colonial nesting waterbirds are very susceptible to disturbances in their local environment. Human activity such as recreation or development can flush birds from their roosts or nests. During breeding this can leave eggs or chicks vulnerable to predation, the elements and the footsteps of humans and their pets. Coastal development is on the rise in almost all areas where colonial nesting waterbirds occur, thus increasing disturbance as well as decreasing available suitable habitat. Colonial nesting waterbird numbers are showing a decline, and U.S. coastal studies attribute the decrease to increased disturbance, habitat degradation, contaminants in the water and predation.

Habitat restoration projects can help to rehabilitate damaged sites, and the proper management of existing habitat can ensure the survival of these birds. Restoration projects may include the removal of introduced predators, reduction of human disturbance and planting or removal of vegetation to improve nesting habitat.

You can help our colonial nesting waterbirds by:

  • keeping your pets on a leash when you visit areas that these birds inhabit;
  • avoiding breeding colonies during the spring and summer;
  • taking your litter with you;
  • educating yourself about where these groups occur and how to identify these birds;
  • volunteering in breeding birds surveys.


Austen, M. J., H. Blokpoel, and G. D. Tessier. (1996). Atlas of colonial waterbirds nesting on the Canadian Great Lakes, 1989-1991. Part 4. Marsh-nesting terns on Lake Huron and the lower Great Lakes system in 1991. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report 217.

Blokpoel, and G. D. Tessier. (1993). Atlas of colonial waterbirds nesting on the Canadian Great Lakes, 1989-1991. Part 1. Cormorants, gulls and island-nesting terns on Lake Superior in 1989. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report 181.

Blokpoel, and G. D. Tessier. (1996). Atlas of colonial waterbirds nesting on the Canadian Great Lakes, 1989-1991. Part 3. Cormorants, gulls and island-nesting terns on the lower Great Lakes system in 1990. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report 225.

Blokpoel, and G. D. Tessier. (1997). Atlas of colonial waterbirds nesting on the Canadian Great Lakes, 1989-1991. Part 2. Cormorants, gulls and island-nesting terns on Lake Huron in 1989. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report 259.

Blokpoel, and G. D. Tessier. (1998). Atlas of colonial waterbirds nesting on the Canadian Great Lakes, 1989-1991. Part 5. Herons and egrets in 1991. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report 272.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission [Accessed 20 August 2007].

UMVGLP. (2005). Upper Mississippi Valley/Great Lakes Waterbird Conservation Plan, Draft 3, October 2005. [Accessed 24 August 2007].

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southern New England-New York Bight [Accessed 20 August 2007].

Genocide of thousands of native American children in Canada

This video from Canada says about itself:

UNREPENTANT: Kevin Annett and Canada’s Genocide (Documentary)

7 December 2013

This award winning documentary reveals Canada’s darkest secret – the deliberate extermination of indigenous (Native American) peoples and the theft of their land under the guise of religion. This never before told history as seen through the eyes of this former minister (Kevin Annett) who blew the whistle on his own church, after he learned of thousands of murders in its Indian Residential Schools.


First-hand testimonies from residential school survivors are interwoven with Kevin Annett’s own story of how he faced firing, de-frocking, and the loss of his family, reputation and livelihood as a result of his efforts to help survivors and bring out the truth of the residential schools.

Best Director Award at the 2006 New York Independent Film and Video Festival, and Best International Documentary at the 2006 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival


Produced By Louie Lawless, Kevin Annett and Lorie O’Rourke


From daily The Independent in Britain:

6,000 aboriginal children died in ‘cultural genocide‘ in Canadian residential school system, officials say

‘If anybody tried to do this today, they would easily be subject to prosecution under the genocide convention’

Louis Doré

Saturday 30 May 2015

At least 6,000 aboriginal children died while in the residential school system in Canada, in a “cultural genocide”, officials have said.

Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who is responsible for studying the legacy of the residential schools, said the figure is an estimate and the true figure could be much higher.

“We think that we have not uncovered anywhere near what the total would be because the record keeping around that question was very poor,” Sinclair told Rosemary Barton of CBC‘s Power & Politics. “You would have thought they would have concentrated more on keeping track.”

The new death toll comes after comments from the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin, who said that Canada attempted to commit “cultural genocide” against aboriginal peoples.

“The most glaring blemish on the Canadian historic record relates to our treatment of the First Nations that lived here at the time of colonization,” McLachlin said.

Canada, she said, sustained an “ethos of exclusion and cultural annihilation”, an assessment which Justice Sinclair agreed with.

“I think as commissioners we have concluded that cultural genocide is probably the best description of what went on here.

“If anybody tried to do this today, they would easily be subject to prosecution under the genocide convention.”

More wader news from England

This video from Canada says about itself:

White-rumped Sandpiper (feeding and preening)

White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis, Vitgumpsnäppa) and Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla, Sandsnäppa), Tommy Thompson Park (Leslie Street Spit), Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 6 June 2010. Digiscoped with a Swarovski ATM-80 HD spotting scope and a Casio Exilim EX-Z750 snapshot camera using the Swarovski digital camera base (DCB) adapter.

From Rare Bird Network on Twitter in Britain today:

Linc[oln]s[hire]: WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER 1 still at RSPB Frampton Marsh. Also Temminck’s Stint & Curlew Sandpiper.

The white-rumped sandpiper is in capital letters, being a North American bird, rare in Europe.

African American civil rights singer Mavis Staples interviewed

This video says about itself:

Mavis! – Documentary Trailer

Her family group, the Staple Singers, inspired millions and helped propel the civil rights movement with their music. After 60 years of performing, legendary singer Mavis Staples’ message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.

Mavis!, the first documentary about Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers is directed by Jessica Edwards. The film will have it’s world premiere at the 2015 South By Southwest Film Festival and will screen at the Full Frame Documentary Festival and Hot Docs.

From CBC radio in Canada:

Monday April 27, 2015

Mavis Staples on crafting a soundtrack for the civil rights era

In a special two-part interview, Mavis Staples joins Shad to discuss her decades-long career, her family’s role in the civil rights movement and why — in the aftermath of Ferguson — we must collectively heed the lessons of history.

The legendary gospel/soul singer and civil rights activist is the subject of a new documentary titled Mavis!, screening at this year’s Hot Docs Festival. She tells Shad it was time to put the Staples story on the record, and “let the world know pops and his daughters were here”.

Staples also weighs in on the lack of modern day freedom songs, tells the back story of the hit song “Why am I treated so bad?”, and sets the record straight on why she turned down Bob Dylan‘s marriage proposal.

This music video from Switzerland says about itself:

Staple Singers – Why Am I Treated So Bad

Montreux Jazz Festival 1981 with Roebuck Staples on solo and Michael Logan on keyboards

“How do you start a conversation with children on America’s legacy of racial injustice? You tell them the story of an artist who confronted segregation and exposed that legacy. A new picture book, Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America, takes on the admirable task of translating challenging material to readers ages five to eight. Written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jamey Christoph, the book traces Parks’ journey from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Washington, D.C., as he nurtured his interest in photography as a way to document and expose oppression in the United States.” (Read more here)