The wonderful world of sparrows

House sparrow (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

When asked to picture a sparrow, I think a lot of us, especially city dwellers, think of the common house sparrow. Though ubiquitous across southern Canada, this little sparrow is not actually native to North America. This introduced species hails...

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Five reasons to go green this St. Patrick's Day

Upland forest in Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by NCC)

Upland forest in Happy Valley Forest, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

More common than a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirt on St. Patrick’s Day, the colour green is all around us. Whether it’s the leaves in the trees, on your plate or the scarf of someone sitting across from you on public...

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A species' international highway

White-tailed deer (Photo by Lorne)

White-tailed deer (Photo by Lorne)

Humans aren’t the only creatures on Earth that need to get around. Animals in the wild have to travel as well, some to migrate, some to hunt and others to find mates. And that explains the importance of the Frontenac Arch, a...

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The forgotten habitat

The living room before the minimalism challenge. (Photo by NCC Staff)

Staff at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) are incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to diverse habitats across Canada. From land to air to water, inhabited by the tiniest insects to the largest mammals, there aren’t many habitats we...

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My winter hike at Big Valley

Looking out over Big Valley, SK. (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has a knack for giving their properties memorable names. On a (relatively) mild February day, I set out to get acquainted with Big Valley, north of Regina, at the southwestern edge of Last Mountain Lake in...

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Conservation, the cowboy way

Waldron shareholders at the King Ranch (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Waldron shareholders at the King Ranch (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

I was raised within a ranching family. I grew up in southern Alberta, fixing fences in the summer heat and feeding livestock in the winter. I’ve been riding horses since I was three years old, was a member of my local 4-H club and I read the...

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Cracker Jack and caribou: Are we failing Canada’s species at risk?

Black-footed ferret (Photo by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mountain Prairie)

I lost my Cracker Jack wildlife cards sometime in the 1980s, but the images printed on the cards are still vivid in my mind. The small cards came wrapped in clear plastic and featured a holographic image of a wildlife species in danger. I can...

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Biting down on the eastern subterranean termite

Petri dish trials to examine behaviour patterns in eastern subterranean termite populations. (Photo by Vicki Simkovic)

Watching a termite farm through a glass aquarium is fascinating, as you peer into the life of a mysterious species whose activities are normally hidden from view. Workers can be seen excavating tunnels, using their jaws to move soil grain by...

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Open your ears to conservation

Listening to bird songs, Warbler Alley, Brooms Brook, Codroy Valley, Newfoundland and Labrador (Photo by NCC)

Listening to bird songs, Warbler Alley, Brooms Brook, Codroy Valley, Newfoundland and Labrador (Photo by NCC)

There are many ways to be green. Whether you do so by recycling, minimizing your carbon footprint or cleaning up and restoring land, every day we can all discover more ways to help combat climate change. One way Canadians can do their part is...

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Something's Fishy: An impending invader

Northern snakehead (Photo by National Aquarium, Washington, DC)

I have an inherent fear of the dark. I’m not ashamed to admit that, without the company of my snoring pug, Molly, taking up half of my bed, I need to sleep with the light on. It’s not so much the darkness that scares me; it’s the...

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