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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Being a Bird in North America: Q&A with Robert Alvo

Robert Alvo, author of Being a Bird in North America (Photo courtesy of Robert Alvo)

Robert Alvo, author of Being a Bird in North America (Photo courtesy of Robert Alvo)

From common loons to trumpeter swans, birds have long captivated the fascination of people of all ages. Being a land blessed with a vast and varied landscape, Canada provides habitat to nearly 700 species of birds. Whether you’ve come to...

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Beak to beak: The importance of Bird and Biodiversity Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries

Semipalmated plover, Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Semipalmated plover, Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Protecting land is critical to the survival of Canada’s natural world. With approximately 80,000 known plant and animal species, many of which are in decline, it is no wonder that the protection of wildlife habitat has never been more...

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Go wild for wildlife

Snow leopard (Photo by Eric Kilby/Wikimedia Commons)

Snow leopard (Photo by Eric Kilby/Wikimedia Commons)

March 3 is World Wildlife Day, an annual event started by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 to help raise awareness and encourage the celebration of our planet’s wildlife. In honour of this occasion, here are some ideas for...

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Parenting tricks from the wild

Baby elephants playing (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Baby elephants playing (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Parents everywhere would agree that raising children is no easy feat. New challenges come with every stage of development, from the newborn stage of learning how to eat and sleep, to the more advanced skill of communication. It wasn’t until...

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Lovebirds: The day I broke a turkey's heart

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

One of my favourite field work stories comes from my very first field season. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was doing back then. I couldn’t identify most plants, was slightly scared (ok, terrified) of dragonflies...

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My 2017 Ontario birding “Big Year”

Violet-green swallow at Thunder Bay Marina, Ontario's third ever record of this species. (Photo by Jeremy Bensette)

Violet-green swallow at Thunder Bay Marina, Ontario's third ever record of this species. (Photo by Jeremy Bensette)

Last year was a pretty “big” one for me, birding-wise! I committed to completing a "Big Year," a quest to see as many bird species as possible in one year in my beautiful home province of Ontario, and held onto that goal until dark on...

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Ten of nature's weirdest courtship rituals

Greater prairie chicken (Photo by Ron Knight/Wikimedia Commons)

Greater prairie chicken (Photo by Ron Knight/Wikimedia Commons)

Much like humans, other animals have evolved ways of wooing or courting potential mates, whether it’s singing a love song, doing a sensual dance or giving a thoughtful gift. With love in the air this Valentine’s Day, here are 10...

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Counting crows: A winter walk reveals an abundance of birds in the Fraser River Estuary

Conservation Volunteers ready for birding (Photo by Fiona Walsh)

Conservation Volunteers ready for birding (Photo by Fiona Walsh)

For more than a century, an ongoing citizen science survey has taken place during the holiday season. Known as the Christmas Bird Count, the first survey was initiated by ornithologist Frank M. Chapman on Christmas Day in 1900. One hundred and...

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What's so special about Kenauk?

Osprey nest on Lac Papineau in Kenauk, viewed by several participants in the 2016 survey (Photo by Richard Gregson)

Osprey nest on Lac Papineau in Kenauk, viewed by several participants in the 2016 survey (Photo by Richard Gregson)

Kenauk is big. Really big! In terms of surface area, it’s the largest conservation project ever undertaken by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Quebec, and certainly one of the largest in Canada. The site, located about eight...

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