Best places to bird in Ontario: Pelee Island and NCC’s natural areas

The burrowing owl is the bird that really started it all for us on Pelee Island. On a whim back in April 2008, we decided to bird on the island, and, incredibly, found a burrowing owl. (Photo by Mike Burrell)

The burrowing owl is the bird that really started it all for us on Pelee Island. On a whim back in April 2008, we decided to bird on the island, and, incredibly, found a burrowing owl. (Photo by Mike Burrell)

We had an interesting first visit to Pelee Island back in September 2001, where we “dipped” (missed) a trio of wood storks that had been on the island the entire summer, only to have had them leave the evening before we managed to make...

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Native grassland is important habitat for grassland birds

Native grassland (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Native grassland (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Saying that native grassland is important habitat for grassland birds seems quite obvious. And you might think to yourself, “Of course grassland birds like grassland habitat; it’s right in the name!” The important point to note...

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Wetland contamination and turtle health

Snapping turtle (Photo by Pascale Bider)

Snapping turtle (Photo by Pascale Bider)

Between oozing mud, mosquitoes the size of golf balls and strange-smelling water, wetlands may not seem to you or me like an appealing place to live. But for most of Ontario’s eight species of turtles, wetlands are an essential...

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Driving Miss Hazel

Hazel Bird Nature Reserve, ON (Photo by NCC)

Hazel Bird Nature Reserve, ON (Photo by NCC)

Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff like to say that science drives our conservation work. This is true, but sometimes while following the science, we stumble into something unexpected and truly amazing. Let me explain. Back about 20 years...

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April roundup: Conservation and nature stories from around the world that caught our eye this month

Golden-winged warbler (Photo by Christian Artuso)

Golden-winged warbler (Photo by Christian Artuso)

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 April 2019. Flying home on an empty...

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Something’s Fishy: Atlantic whitefish

Atlantic whitefish (Photo by Bob Semple)

Atlantic whitefish (Photo by Bob Semple)

In the cold waters of Nova Scotia’s Petite Rivière watershed swims a fish so elusive that, without action, it might never be seen again. Size and appearance This silvery-sided species, with its blueish-green back, is commonly...

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The colours of early spring

Buttercups (Photo by Brynn Bellingham/NCC staff)

Buttercups (Photo by Brynn Bellingham/NCC staff)

It finally feels like that time of year. One that we here in Canada are so familiar with: warmer days, more sunlight and melting snow. But how do we really know that spring has sprung? Rather than waiting to see a groundhog’s shadow, I like...

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A place that’s for the birds: Newfoundland and Labrador’s Codroy Valley is a haven for wildlife and a boon for bird lovers

Grand Codroy Estuary, NL at sunset (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Grand Codroy Estuary, NL at sunset (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

The saying “for the birds” is often used to state that something or somewhere has little worth or none at all. But when Claudelle Devoe says that the Grand Codroy Estuary in friendly Newfoundland and Labrador is for the birds, she...

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We can recover Canada’s wildlife: Five examples of species NCC is helping save

Small white lady's-slipper (Photo by Melissa Grantham)

Small white lady's-slipper (Photo by Melissa Grantham)

These are tough times for many wildlife species and their habitats. Over three-quarters of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems (excluding Antarctica) have been directly modified by human activities1 , and most of our shrinking global wilderness...

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Game of Toads: How nature intersects with fantasy

Eastern wolf (Photo by Manuel Henriques)

Eastern wolf (Photo by Manuel Henriques)

As Thronies everywhere prepare for the new season of Game of Thrones tonight, I can’t help but notice how nature continues to influence fiction and fantasy. While there are no magical, fossilized dragon eggs waiting to hatch in fire out in...

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