Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart. www.bondi-village-resort.com
Monday, October 28, 2013
The gray jay is one of our favourite birds of all time, although they aren't common here at Bondi any longer.
Our good friend and Algonquin Park researcher Dan Strickland has studied these birds for decades. For thirteen and a half years, there was a nesting pair in our Hidden Lake Bog who were part of that study. I didn't know they could live that long, but yes, they can!
Amazing little birds, these don't migrate. While the technique of staying home lets them avoid the perils of migration (most migratory birds rarely survive for more than five years and there is a 40 to50% mortality rate during migration. No wonder we are losing our song birds...) it brings other problems. The biggie is, what to eat come winter time? The answer comes from the birds habit of stashing food during the months of plenty to get them through the months of lean. Carefully coating each piece of food with saliva so it will stick in their hiding sites, the birds squirrel (jay?) away food in a wide variety of locations. It's amazing that they can find them again! Do you think YOU have that good a memory? I doubt it. So do the researchers. You can give it a try if you like, with this interactive Gray Jay Game, courtesy of the wonderful site, The Science Behind Algonquin Animals.
Jim and Sue sent along this beautiful photo, taken last week. One of this bird's most endearing traits is its willingness to come right to your hand, curious and unafraid and utterly charming. They are commonly called Whiskeyjacks, which was an adaptation given them by the early loggers of the Indian name for the birds: "Wisakajack," which means a mischevious spirit of the woods.
I'm trying to learn which bird this is -- when our bird was being studied here at Bondi, the birds were 'named' by the bands on their legs -- in this instance it is Pink over Orange Right, and Red over Silver Left, so it might be called POOR ROSL... I'll keep you posted if I'm close (or even, shock and awe, right!)
These birds nest in February and March, relying on their hidden food sources to raise the young. Which works well if the winters are cold. Global warming bringing warmer winters brings with it the risk of the food spoiling in the cache, and being of no use (even being toxic) to the birds. As we all know, if the fridge goes down, the food goes bad...
It's not all fun and games being a gray jay however. These birds need a very large territory to provide for a single pair -- about 150 hectares. That means that as the babies grow up, they have to find new territory, and a rather deadly harrassment game begins where the strongest bird tries to drive away the siblings so they must find new territory. Sadly, this often results in up to 80% mortality as the young birds try to find their way.
Algonquin Park is well-known among Ontario naturalists as being one of the best
and most convenient places to see Gray Jays in the province but it is less
certain how long this will be true in the future. Starting in the 1970s, Gray
Jays have been slowly declining in Algonquin Park, with one or two territories
going vacant almost every year. Originally, we think that virtually all the land
along Highway 60 was occupied by Gray Jays but now very little is. The stretch
of highway between Smoke Lake and the Hemlock Bluff Trail, for example, once cut
through nine different Gray Jay territories but, in 1994, the last of them went
vacant. Overall, fewer than half of the territories occupied in the 1970s are
still occupied today. The worst losses have been in areas dominated by hardwood
forests of Sugar Maple and the least attrition has occurred in boggy, lowland
areas covered with Black Spruce.
It will be a great tragedy if we lose these cheerful and amazing birds from our Park, and our lives. We are all touched by the changes in the environment, even seemingly small changes have enormous and far reaching and long lasting repercussions.
This link will take you to the research on these beautiful birds in the Park.
Don't overlook our specials for COUPLES! As well as families and groups, we offer great deals for couples looking to just get away.
You can check our availability on-line. We work hard to keep this current, but it may lag actual bookings. And it may not be 100% accurate...
We do have vacancies throughout July and August, but not that many... so you should scoop up yours! In fact, there are only about nine vacancies left for this summer!! We've got your cottage waiting, but you should call now!
We much prefer to keep the personal touch, and to discuss your booking the 'old-fashioned' way, directly, person to person! This helps us ensure that we've got your booking just the way you want it.
1 888 300 2132 or 705 635 2261 or email us. We've got your cottage ready!
Changing the Season
August is on the doorstep. We currently have no vacancies until September, and our guests are enjoying the lake, the calling loons, the quiet times and all the activities that go with a summer here at Bondi Village. Get out of the city, restore your soul...
This means that we are now accepting reservations for two night stays and weekend packages during September and October -- the fall colours are astonishing, and on our own 600 acre property, there are so many walking trails and lookout views that there's no need to battle traffic into the Park just to see the beauty! Algonquin is always amazing, but during high colour season, best seen mid-week. There are so many other wonderful places around where you can enjoy the autumn without the congestion of the road, and we are happy to direct you to them.
We have great deals during the fall season, for couples, up to small groups of 18 people.
And don't forget Winter -- we've got vacancies for Christmas! We'll provide the tree, and you bring the family.
We've got a fantastic place to gather, enjoy the scenery, relax by a fire, and spend time with family and friends. Whether a quiet couples' getaway, or a family reunion or a club outing , we've got your cottage waiting.
We'd love to hear from you. The experiences our guests have are precious to us. If you have photos you took at Bondi, we'd love to have those as well. You can email them to Nancy at email@example.com
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We are very proud of Napster, our tail-painting cat, who uses his lovely artwork to raise money for charities. This lovely little creature passed away July 2015, but left a huge legacy, having raised over $12,000 for various charities through the sale of his artwork. That artwork, through prints and notecards, is still available. Click here to visit Napster's Blog and visit the gallery of his tail-paintings.
Now sold around the world, he was honoured to have his artwork sold around the globe -- he even has a print with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Click on the following links to enjoy a 'virtual ski' round some of our 15 km. of groomed track set cross country ski trails. Thanks to Altitude and Attitude, North Muskoka gets the kind of winter you can really enjoy. Huge thanks to Eric Prince, the creative mind that made this videos happen!
Click here to enjoy seeing a variety of our trails.
And Click Here for another cross country ski adventure.
and this one, in 2014, just days before the snow vanished, from Hawke Lake on down. Click Here
And Click Here for just one more...