How species survive winter: Hibernation

A big brown bat

Previously, I discussed how small songbirds, and black-capped chickadees in particular, survive winter on the Canadian prairies. Now I will discuss another strategy that animals use to survive the long, cold winter months: hibernation. Hibernation...

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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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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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Poweshiek winter wonderland

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by Jaimee Dupont)

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by Jaimee Dupont)

Forget about crocuses and birds — the first sure sign of spring on the prairies is when the insects start to fly around. Have you ever wondered what happens to the insects in the winter? A few, like the monarch, fly south with the birds, but...

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A soft spot for the infamous predator: Wolves

Gray wolf (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

The timber wolf, also known as the gray wolf, is common in northwestern Ontario, where I have worked and lived for nearly 40 years. Common, but not always safe. I have a soft spot for predators such as wolves. In part because they are beautiful...

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The elusive wolverine: Beyond the X-Men character

The elusive wolverine. This individual was caught on camera making off from the bait station with a large piece of beaver carcass. (Photo by InnoTech Alberta and Alberta Environment & Parks)

When you think of a wolverine, do you think of an elusive, almost mythical creature with superpowers, or do you think of the comic book character? Most people have heard of X-Men, either through the movies or the comic book series, but few people...

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Keeping my distance from a gentle giant

Moose on Mount Hereford, Quebec (Photo by MRC de Coaticook)

Moose on Mount Hereford, Quebec (Photo by MRC de Coaticook)

I have had a great respect for moose ever since a misadventure at Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, more than 20 years ago. While hiking along the popular Skyline Trail, my boyfriend and I came across several moose grazing on low...

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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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Can you hear me now? Using remote technology to record birds and other wildlife

Black bear captured by camera trap (Photo by NCC)

In various Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) properties across Alberta, the secret lives of wildlife are being discovered using camera traps, sound recording units and other technology. Scientists are generating new and valuable data on wildlife...

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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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