Firefly Reports from Canada
Selected by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

To submit your own report email burger@burger.com
Please include your city/town and state, and the date of your sighting. Include as many details as you can, such as numbers of fireflies, location (rural/city/wooded area, etc), temperature, time, and so on. Thanks for helping with this project.

Below are reports from Canada, listed in date order, alphabetically by city.

Blind Bay, British Columbia:

July 1997: A sighting of fireflies at Herman Lake, near Blind Bay, British Columbia.

Alberta:

Late May, 1998: A reader writes: I've been an amateur entomologist for about thirty years. For most of that time I had never seen fireflies in this region (Southern Alberta, between the US border and the city of Edmonton). However in the last two years I have seen & collected them here. There seems to have been a range extension or a population boom for them in this region. They seem to live in grassy meadows near wetlands. They are most luminous about one to three hours after sunset, usually on hot evenings with high humidities (around here that's often before a nighttime thunderstorm) during late May and June. I don't have a species ID yet, but I've succeeded in breeding captive specimens. Viability and offspring is still a question.

Calgary, Alberta:

June 28, 2002: Mark Tetz writes: I've lived just north of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, thirty five years and the only time I've every seen a firefly was in North Carolina, until now. It's 02:30 am, it's 60 deg F, 15 deg C, 48% humidity (very high for here). There are lots of them around our lilacs on an acreage, but they have very small and short bursts compared to the ones I have seen in Carolina.
July 4, 1998: A reader writes: My wife and I were tending to our horses when we noticed a firefly flash. Stepping outside the barn we saw at least 20 flitting about. It was a dark evening about 10:30 p.m. and the temperature was around 60 F. We live on a farm 25 miles north of Calgary, Alberta. The land is rolling pasture with a lot of 10 ft. high brush. We have had a lot of rain recently. I haven't seen fireflies for at least 35 years around these parts.

Barrie, Ontario:

June 13, 2005: Dave Chalmers writes: We have fireflies around our house located in the country, just outside Barrie, Ontario, 1.5 hours north of Toronto Ontario Canada.

East Preston, Nova Scotia:

June 25, 2013: A reader reports: Hello! This is for your firefly project. We saw three in our yard tonight at 10:15 pm, in East Preston, Nova Scotia, Canada, There were three greenish-whiteish firflies. We have woods and swampy areas in our yard. This is a full week before we saw them last year.

Edmonton, Alberta:

July 5, 2010: A reader reports: We were fortunate enough to see fireflies out at our RV Resort West of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Lake Arnault is about 45 minutes west of Edmonton. We have seen them on a number of occasions there this year. End of April , May 24 weekend and on June 12. if my memory serves me right. April was cool, 12 Deg C, about 10PM and +/- 150-200 lights in about 1 hour. May was warm, 18 Deg C, about 10PM and +/- 1000 lights in about 1- 2 hours June was warm, 22 Deg C, about 1130 PM and +/- 500 Lights in ˝ Hour The ones in May were considerably brighter then the other times. It was amazing. I have been out there a couple of weekends since June, and didn’t see them. It was just 1 block from the lake. Wooded with poplar and spruce and in each case humidity was a bit high. They were from about 6 feet off the ground to as high as 60 feet. I am looking for more info on these fireflies; that’s what I was looking for when I found this site. Cheers.
July 4, 2005: A reader notes: We regularly see fireflies in our area, 45 km. east of Edmonton, Alberta. The terrain is wooded with some water near by. We generaly see them from June to September.

Embro, Ontario:

June 28, 2002: A reader notes: My 6 year old cousin and I caught 2 fireflies in Embro, Ontario, Canada, at 10:30 pm. When we were having a campfire!

Fort McMurray, Alberta:

June 3, 2005: Christine Sadzak notes: The last 2 nights (June 1 and 2) I have witnessed fireflies in the wooded rural area that I live in. I live in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, which is in northern Alberta, and have never seen any up here before. There were enough fireflies to light up parts of the bush behind my house. It hasn't been raining at all but it has been about 25-30 deg C for about the past week.

Halifax, Nova Scotia:

July 2, 2011: A reader notes: Hello. If you are still logging sightings, we saw about 20 fireflies tonight in our wooded yard at 10:00 pm. Dusk. We went outside to see if we could catch the Canada Day fireworks from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and witnessed a better lightshow! They were all white/pale green.

Kingston:

July 2, 2000: A reader relates: I saw my first fire fly on July 1st in Kingston , Ontario. They were beautiful.We were visiting my cousin who lives on White Fish Lake on the redeu canal. It was just after sun set and there were 4 or 5 of them. I was so excited because I am from British Columbia and had never seen them before. My 3 year old son and I watched them in amazement for hours.

Milton:

June 8, 2011: A reader notes: Milton, Ontario. James snow between Louis St Laurent and Derry Road. My cousin and I were walking about 9:30 pm, on a very hot humid night. We saw hundred and hundreds of fireflies. It was almost like fairy dust over the tall grasses. They seemed to hover just around the top. Some brave ones were higher and were very acrobatic. It was a magical sight. We've never ever seen such a sight. Stunning, to say the least.

Ontario:

June 24, 2005: Lynda McLeod notes: We live in Ajax, Ontario, near Carruthers Creek about one mile north of Lake Ontario. Every year we see the fireflies June 12-13, and this year no exception. The area near the creek bed has several old trees lining the banks, and then opens up to a natural grass area. We see them floating over the tall grasses and as high up as 10 feet after 9:30 at night. Often the males carry on for hours, because I have spotted them glowing as late at midnight. Unfortunately the windy weather and damp weather does seem to affect the numbers, as we don't have as many as we used to have.
June 13, 2005: A reader writes: We have fireflies around our house located in the country, just outside Barrie, Ontario, 1.5 hours north of Toronto Ontario Canada.
July 19, 2002: Annemarie reports: Hi there, I live in Ontario, Canada, where we do have fireflies. I just wanted you to know that while I was visiting some friends just outside of Herkimer, New York, I saw an over abundance of fireflies. It was beautiful! I thought we had lots in Ontario, but they have so may more. It was like a light show. I just thought you may like to hear that. Good luck in getting them back.

Queensville:


June 26, 2000: Jean Martin reports: I go out every night during firefly season, which starts around June 20 and ends around July 3. We live in a rural, Queensville, area about 55 miles north of Toronto. There are many thousands of them along a road- Holborn- among the tress at the side of a field. Along Doane Road there are also many thousands. I have watched them for the last 15 years, over which period their numbers have declined considerably. Sadly, There is a plan to bring 30 000 people into the area, under the Queensville Plan. I hold out little hope for the fireflies when this development occurs. I spoke about the potential loss of these priceless little beauties at a hearing about the plan. The developers neither know nor care. Nor does the Ontario Municipal Board. Shame on them! These insects hold a very special magic.

Saskachewan:

July 19, 2002: John & Joyce Zslnka write: We have fireflys here in Saskatchewan, Canada. The weather has to be humid-either just before the rain or after. Mind you, we do not use sprays of any kind. Everything is grown organically. They certainly are a gift from the Supreme. Thank you for your site. It's GREAT.

Sherwood Park, Alberta, Ontario:

June 3, 2011: A reader notes: Firefly sighting last night. A nice calm evening and they were everywhere in the forest surrounding my home on an acreage 5 minutes from Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. I believe that this is earlier than last years sightings and seems to coincide with millions of smaller sized blue dragonflies. We have a ‘lake’ close by as well.
July 9, 2000: A reader writes: We saw about a dozen fireflies in a field, 10 minutes Southeast of Regina, Saskatchewan. Didn't know fireflies even existed in our province 'till now! Whatta sight!
July 4, 2000: A reader notes: I saw an entire field of approximately fifty fireflies all flashing last summer (1999) in early-mid June near a small creek at about 2 am in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada. Our climate during this time of the summer is fairly arid since its the prairies, although we'd had a bit of rain. My question was regarding when it would be best to sight these bugs? Since my sighting I have tried to return and see them again but, have only seen a couple on every occasion I have tried. Frustrating, hey?

Smith, Alberta:

June 29, 2000: A reader notes: Hello, on two separate mid-late June evenings my beautiful wife, brother and myself have witnessed a number of fireflies (we presume) around our acreage. We live along the confluence of two rivers in the boreal forest of Northern Alberta, near the town of Smith, approximately 2.5 hours north of Edmonton. Sightings occur during warm, humid evenings within a couple hours after sunset. We are quite excited by this discovery, as the species list continues to grow, and also because we have never witnessed them anywhere before.

Stettler, Alberta:

July 2, 1999: A reader notes: My wife and I live on an acreage on the edge of Stettler, Alberta. We are close enough to the fair grounds that we would be able to see the fireworks display that was going to be set off to end our local Dominion or Canada Day celebrations. As we stood outside our home at 11:30 pm on July 1, 1999, waiting for the fireworks to begin my wife noticed a flash of light in the grass. After bringing the flash to my attention I watched also and observed many flashes from about 50 fireflies. Some would blink about four times and others would be steady. Most of the flashes were quite brilliant and the flashes where florescent white in color. This went on for about 30 minutes. At that time a very nice fireworks display was visible from the fairgrounds. After that was over we watched the fireflies for a little while longer. My wife and I enjoyed the firefly display even more than the fireworks.

Sstruther's Lake, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan:
May 28, 2003: A reader writes: We live at Struther's Lake (30 miles southeast of Prince Albert , Saskatchewan , Canada). Tonight at our house there were around 200 fireflys or more , this is not uncommon . Just about every night we get a light show unless it is windy . They will be around here till late fall . We like them.

Toronto:

June 8, 1999: A reader reports: I read with interest your notes on fireflies.I live on a ravine in Toronto, Canada, and each year ( this is my second year now) I have these magical little insects flitting in my backyard. I love them and wanted to know how to continue to attract and maintain them in the garden. Your information was insightful.Happy firefly watching.
June 28, 1997: A reader reports sighting some fireflies north of Toronto while on a camping trip.

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