The Swishwash Island bioblitz

L-R: Shannon, Robin and Dave (Photo courtesy of BCIT students)

L-R: Shannon, Robin and Dave (Photo courtesy of BCIT students)

We are three students in our final year of the fish, wildlife and recreation program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. We were excited to choose Swishwash Island for our final research project because it gave us the opportunity to...

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It's complicated, honey

Sweat bee on Flax (Photo by Marika Olynyk/NCC staff)

Sweat bee on Flax (Photo by Marika Olynyk/NCC staff)

Spring draws nigh: the season of the birds and the bees. Birdsong is a welcome gift, but where would we be without bees? Their obsessive quest for pollen and nectar keeps much of Alberta’s native flora alive. There would be fewer willows,...

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What the meadowlark sang to my grandmother

Western meadowlark (Photo by Allison Haskell)

Western meadowlark (Photo by Allison Haskell)

I am not a professional biologist or a fanatical birder like many of my colleagues. I feel like I am surrounded — I mean, it’s Saskatchewan, so it’s tough to feel surrounded by much of anyone or anything — by highly trained...

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April roundup: Conservation and nature stories that caught our eye this month

Loggerhead sea turtle (Photo by Brian Gratwicke)

Loggerhead sea turtle (Photo by Brian Gratwicke)

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 2018: Domo arigatoad, Mr....

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Naturalists notice nature – even in winter

There may be a lot more happening than meets the eye in the dead of winter (Photo by Dispatches from the Field)

There may be a lot more happening than meets the eye in the dead of winter (Photo by Dispatches from the Field)

For some, it is easy during cold, snowy days (when it’s supposed to be spring!) to curl up with a cozy blanket, a good book, and a hot cup of tea. But where does the wildlife go at this time of year? Sure, some animals migrate to where it is...

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Home tweet home: Making a bird feeder

Eastern bluebird, ON (Photo by Cameron Curran)

Eastern bluebird, ON (Photo by Cameron Curran)

One of my favourite memories of my mother is of her sitting on the back porch of our new home, looking out into the backyard. With a cup of tea in hand, the sun lightly dancing on her face, she excitedly whispered to me, “Look! Do you see...

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Tracking animals by what they leave behind

Fresh coyote scat chock full of deer hair (Photo by Mark Stabb/NCC staff)

Fresh coyote scat chock full of deer hair (Photo by Mark Stabb/NCC staff)

Wildlife tracking is one of the many fun nature activities you can take part in. One of my favourite pastimes is pointing out something to a friend or family member that they may have never noticed before, especially something left behind by...

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So many species, so many ways to study them

Spotted salamander (Photo by Rosemary Mosco)

Spotted salamander (Photo by Rosemary Mosco)

I have the best job in the world. I encourage people to get excited about nature. I’m a science communicator — someone who bridges the gap between scientists, the media and the public, helping us understand each other better. One way...

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Manitoba's mystery stonefly

An example of a classic spring. Tufa spring, Fort Ellice, MB (Photo by NCC)

An example of a classic spring. Tufa spring, Fort Ellice, MB (Photo by NCC)

Everyone enjoys a good mystery, even entomologists. During my early years of teaching a course in aquatic entomology at the University of Manitoba, the name Capnia manitoba kept appearing in the list of stoneflies in the province. It was a...

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Cruising for birds

Our 14-deck mammoth cruise ship ― Costa Pacifica (Photo by Rob Alvo)

Our 14-deck mammoth cruise ship ― Costa Pacifica (Photo by Rob Alvo)

If you want to see many species of birds, you will undoubtedly be faced with a choice: visit only one or two sites to maximize the chances of seeing what is present, or visiting many sites to maximize the number of species that don’t require...

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