Lovebirds: The day I broke a turkey's heart

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)

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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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)

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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Heard it from a Scout: Five outdoor winter adventures

Skiing is one of Canada's favourite winter sports. (Photo by Emma Savić Kallesøe)

The temperature has dropped and frost is nipping at everyone’s nose — but don’t let the chilly weather scare you from adventurous opportunities outdoors. Pictures of your outdoor discoveries are fun to share with your friends,...

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Style meets sustainability: Circular fashion comes to Vancouver

To Kaya, sustainability means doing the absolute best she can in every aspect of the business. (Photo by Kaya Dorey)

What does sustainable even mean? The word “sustainability” is overused and misused over and over again. It also has a tendency to turn people off in a conversation because as soon as you say it, their guard goes up and they stop...

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Heard it from a Scout: Lessons learned while tree planting in Fort McMurray

St. Albert and Fort McMurray Scouts planting a symbolic tree (Photo by Shayne Kawalilak)

In early 2017, my mom presented an idea to our St. Albert, Alberta, Scout troop — an idea that I didn’t realize would result in our small group doing something really big. My mom is a leader with Scouts Canada and she planted a seed...

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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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How a hidden forest valley is a big opportunity for conservation

Photo assignment for NCC is a journey into a pristine habitat that will make a difference in southwestern Ontario. (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Towering hemlocks reaching for the sky. A deep and rugged valley covered with ferns. A coldwater stream flowing over and under moss-covered fallen pine trunks. Just the thought of these scenes makes my mind wander yet again to northern...

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Identifying bats by their distinctive voices

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Having studied bats for more than a decade, I have been fortunate to be able talk to students in their classrooms while doing bat presentations, or to landowners while I trapped bats on their properties. Everyone has a bat story. Everyone loves...

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Christmas trees make a great cup of tea

White spruce with cones (Photo by Manitoba Museum)

Every day, the Google search engine is inundated with searches for the next superfood, health trend or nutritional qualities of certain foods. Sadly, very few people know that you can make a beverage high in vitamin C from...Christmas...

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