Feeling happy about conservation

Kristyn Ferguson, spring monitoring, ON (Photo by NCC)

The toque did not stay on long during our third monitoring visit! (Photo by NCC)

I was 21 years old, and I was going to save the world, starting with one particular forest.In 2004, during my third year of an undergrad degree at the University of Guelph, I took a course called "Problem-solving in Environmental Biology." My six...

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How the Great White North can change the world: Canada's role in global biodiversity conservation

Powder Islands, Lake Superior, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)

Powder Islands, Lake Superior, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)

I still remember a time when thinking about conservation made me feel disappointed in Canada. During my undergraduate years at the University of Waterloo in the early 1990s, I learned about the pioneering work of Norman Myers and read subsequent...

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I did not fall into a burning ring of fire

A black line is established before prescribed burn begins. (Photo by NCC)

I was several hours into my first major, fully equipped prescribed fire when I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. I was tired, it was getting dark and, to be honest, I wasn’t really sure where I was; but the real reason I was trying not...

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Something's Fishy: Redheads unite

Copper redhorse (Illustration by Jan Sovak, 1989)

Growing up, I hated my hair colour. I was teased relentlessly, often wishing I was more like my light-haired classmates and the kids lucky enough to be born brunettes. My mother would tell me how fortunate I was to be different, but as a kid the...

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Internal parasites and the conservation of birds

Mosquito (Photo from The Weather Network)

Most people, especially Canadians, know how annoying being swarmed by mosquitoes in the early summer can be. There is nothing quite like braving clouds of host-seeking insects while exploring our beautiful forests. However, while most of us can...

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Tracking wood thrush through Ontario forests

Adult wood thrush at her nest (Photo by Sue Hayes)

Each year, the wood thrush travels thousands of kilometres from its over-wintering habitat in the tropical regions of Central America to its breeding habitat in forests throughout southern Ontario. This medium-sized songbird, like many other...

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Heard it from a Scout: Leaving only footprints in nature

View from the top of Eagle Bluffs, BC. (Photo by Emilie Diver)

The view was incredible and the challenge of the hike up to the Eagle Bluffs in North Vancouver made it even more worthwhile. Ruby, my yellow lab, was happily sitting and begging for food from me and my Scout troop. Her behaviour was in stark...

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Understanding the buzz of bees

Honey bee (Photo from Bees Matter)

For residents of northern Alberta, the coming of spring is never a guarantee of the mild weather it suggests; but this year we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the seasonal warmth. The bees here have also appreciated the early thaw, with many...

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A prothonotary warbler partnership takes flight

Prothonotary warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Prothonotary warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Deep in the swamp forest of Backus Woods in Ontario on a hot summer’s day, it’s easy to feel as though one has been transported to somewhere in the Mississippi basin. The thick canopy of mature Carolinian trees provides shade to...

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The prolific nature of the hummingbird

An Anna's hummingbird on one of her nests. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

I had no idea how many nests a hummingbird could build in a year. In fact, I hardly thought about hummingbirds at all until Sweetiebird entered our lives. Sweetiebird revealed herself to us by fluttering out of the pear tree in our backyard every...

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