A mega-rare mistle thrush visited my mountain ash

Mistle thrush (Photo by Peter Gadd)

On Christmas Day 2017.... It is here! It is here in the mountain ash tree at the crack of dawn. It is a brief appearance, as it turns out, but one long enough to perhaps sense it is sending a Christmas greeting. A bird, once known as the ...

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In search of my totem

Great blue heron spreading its wings (Photo by Lorne)

I frequently awaken with pre-set routines and their parameters dancing in my head — actions and reactions caused by billions of neurons sending and receiving electrochemical signals to and from my brain. Whether stretching and slowly...

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The 12 birds of Christmas

Mourning dove (Photo by Ken Schneider)

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…fun bird facts! To celebrate the holidays this year, here are some interesting tidbits about 12 different birds found in Canada, some of which are featured in the 12 Days of Christmas...

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Birdwatching apps play a role in conservation

Downy woodpecker (Photo by Lorne)

Downy woodpecker (Photo by Lorne)

Wondering what that bird is? Several apps make it easy to answer this question. By entering some data, uploading a photo of the bird or matching its birdsong you can confidently identify birds. Three particular apps — eBird, Merlin and...

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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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November roundup: Conservation and nature stories that caught our eye this month

Javan gibbons (Photo by Jefri Tarigan)

Every day, countless inspiring and informative stories are published about conservation successes or discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. Here are some that caught our attention in November 2017: The crawling dead DNA evidence...

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A Canadian winter warrior

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

A few years ago, I became absolutely obsessed with finding a snowy owl. I would spend long car rides travelling to visit relatives, with my nose literally pressed against the glass (with my husband driving, I promise!), scanning every fence post...

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Keep them in your heart: Monitoring Bicknell's thrush

Bicknell's thrush (Photo by Serge Beaudet)

Bicknell's thrush (Photo by Serge Beaudet)

John Burroughs, an American naturalist, once said, “You must have the bird in your heart before you can find it in the bush.” While that might be true, unless you’re planning a trip to the Greater Antilles, you won’t have...

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Winter strategies for at-risk birds

Bobolink (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Bobolink (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Now that I’m hunkered down for the cold winter season, I often find myself reminiscing about summer days and the colourful feathered friends that have long departed for warmer climates. Yearning for a trip somewhere warm, I wonder, what...

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Tracking eastern loggerhead shrikes

Eastern loggerhead shrike (Photo by Dave Menke, courtesy of USFWS)

Eastern loggerhead shrike (Photo by Dave Menke, courtesy of USFWS)

Driving past the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) Napanee Plain Alvar Nature Reserve, north of Napanee, Ontario, you might not notice anything overly special about the site. In fact, if you didn’t stop to have a closer look, you might not...

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