Bird homes: Location is everything

Juvenile American robin (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

On May 17, Conservation Volunteers helped install 14 nest boxes on the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Edenwold property in Saskatchewan. These nest boxes were designed with certain species in mind ― tree swallows and mountain bluebirds....

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Canada's splendid sparrow crew

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Sparrows often don’t get enough credit. Many don’t have flashy plumage like jays, orioles or cardinals, or melodic songs like thrushes or meadowlarks; however, sparrow species are often fairly distinct (once you get to know them) and...

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How species survive the winter: Skin breathing and antifreeze

Northern leopard frog (Photo by NCC)

Previous blog posts have discussed how small songbirds and big brown bats survive the winter. Those blogs briefly covered some strategies used by birds and mammals. But what about amphibians? How do frogs survive the many months of sub-zero...

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How species survive winter: Hibernation

A big brown bat

Previously, I discussed how small songbirds, and black-capped chickadees in particular, survive winter on the Canadian prairies. Now I will discuss another strategy that animals use to survive the long, cold winter months: hibernation. Hibernation...

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How birds survive the winter

Black-capped chickadee in winter (Photo by NCC)

Winter on the prairies is long and cold, often lasting from November until March, and with temperatures falling to -20 °C or -30 °C, it’s a wonder that anything can survive here at all. However, a walk around any residential...

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Banding together to protect birds

Warbling vireo that was just banded. Also shown are the banding pliers used to apply the band, data sheet, wing chord ruler and digital scale. (Photo by NCC)

In a previous blog post, I discussed how scientists determine long-term trends in bird populations through annual monitoring. Those estimates provide valuable information about a species, but are limited in their capacity to explain the underlying...

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Building homes for bats in the prairies

Conservation Volunteers from across Saskatchewan joined together to build bat boxes. (Photo by NCC)

Every year, the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) Saskatchewan Region holds a Conservation Volunteers event at its Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (OMB). This year, one of the activities involved building bat boxes...

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Bear versus caterpillar: A day in the field

Elizabeth Hubbard (Photo by Branimir Gjetvaj, http://branimirphoto.ca/)

Elizabeth Hubbard (Photo by Branimir Gjetvaj, http://branimirphoto.ca/)

In early summer, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)'s Saskatchewan Region moved offices. As the move didn’t require all staff to help and also limited the in-office work able to be done, this presented a perfect opportunity to have a day...

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Sky-high conservation: Why monitoring birds is important

Osprey soars around its nest (Photo by Lorne)

Osprey soars around its nest (Photo by Lorne)

You may have heard about the dramatic population declines that certain groups of birds — such as grassland songbirds and aerial insectivores —are experiencing. While much attention gets paid to the factors causing these declines and...

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How we can save our songbirds

Cerulean warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Cerulean warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

By now, I'm hoping that many of you have heard about declining songbird populations and the numerous threats that these birds face, which are, typically, physical threats to their survival. However, I’d like to discuss a different type of...

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