What's flapping around in two Christmas Bird Count circles? (Part Two)

Bob and Mike checking out a flock of sparrows and finches (Photo by Kristyn Ferguson)

Bob and Mike checking out a flock of sparrows and finches (Photo by Kristyn Ferguson)

A ways up Highway 400 and across the top of Lake Simcoe from the Richmond Hill count circle (read about it in Part One), the Carden Alvar Christmas Bird Count took place on Saturday, January 2. It was a cold and dark morning when I left my house...

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What’s flapping around in two Christmas Bird Count circles? (Part One)

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

This is Part One of a two-part series on Christmas Bird Counts that took place this winter. The Christmas Bird Count is North America’s longest running citizen science project since 1900. Counts are carried out within a 24-kilometre...

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Lichen: 10 reasons to make it your new favourite hobby for 2016

Troy McMullin, lichenologist from the University of Guelph, takes a lichen sample from a rock. (Photo by NCC)

Troy McMullin, lichenologist from the University of Guelph, takes a lichen sample from a rock. (Photo by NCC)

As we enter into the crisp, blank canvas of a new year, many of us have laid out plans and promises to become fitter, smarter, nicer, happier, richer versions of ourselves. Some plans for self-improvement may include trying a new activity like...

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My 2015 nature year in review

Ralph River (Photo by Alistair Taylor)

Ralph River (Photo by Alistair Taylor)

When you’re on Facebook and other social media you start following a plethora of organizations and groups that interest you. Before long they start to accumulate and your timeline is full of stuff to read, interact with and comment on. At...

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Winter isn’t just for the birds

Snow bunting (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, John Haslam)

Snow bunting (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, John Haslam)

While many bird watchers and nature enthusiasts in Canada might look forward to the spring – a time when millions of migratory birds return to fill Canada's forests and grasslands with a chorus of songs each summer – I experience a...

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An osprey family affair

Osprey soars around its nest (Photo by Lorne)

Osprey soars around its nest (Photo by Lorne)

This journey of an osprey family, between early May 2015 and mid-August of the same year, is almost as much my journey as theirs. It begins as a young boy some six decades ago, when my maternal grandfather would pick me up to spend some quality...

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Memorable 2015 fieldwork moments

Tall grass prairie in NCC's Interlake Natural Area. (Photo by Cary Hamel/NCC)

Tall grass prairie in NCC's Interlake Natural Area. (Photo by Cary Hamel/NCC)

I asked the Manitoba Region’s talented group of field biologists, “What was your most inspiring or challenging fieldwork moment of this past summer?” Here are some of the highlights of last year's field season in...

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Close encounters with a pileated woodpecker

Pileated woodpecker female foraging on a dead stand. (Photo by Claire Elliott)

Pileated woodpecker female foraging on a dead stand. (Photo by Claire Elliott)

When I’m feeling unmotivated to go for a hike, I usually try to suppress those feelings and go anyway. I never regret the time I spend outdoors, and again that was the case this past weekend. I was sitting restlessly at my desk, which was...

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Calling doctor centipede

House centipede (Photo from Wiki Commons)

House centipede (Photo from Wiki Commons)

Before starting in communications I had a successful career as a bug doctor. I had a nice little set-up on the playground of my elementary school where I would take bugs cut up by classmates and nurse them back to health. I wasn’t top in my...

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Searching for skipperlings

Poweshiek skipperling in Petri dish. (Photo by Monica Reed)

Poweshiek skipperling in Petri dish. (Photo by Monica Reed)

It started with a lesson on the swoop and the drop net – methods that I would soon use while searching for the elusive Poweshiek skipperling butterfly. If captured, a careful transfer from net to a Petri dish allows for the butterfly to be...

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