This St. Patrick's Day, defy convention and celebrate snakes

Queen snake (Photo by Joe Crowley)

Queen snake (Photo by Joe Crowley)

For many of us, Saint Patrick is known as the protector of the rolling hills of Ireland. Every year, people around the world join in celebrating his legendary story. The green beer, shamrocks and other verdant regalia common synonymous with St....

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Beak to beak: The importance of Bird and Biodiversity Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries

Semipalmated plover, Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Semipalmated plover, Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Protecting land is critical to the survival of Canada’s natural world. With approximately 80,000 known plant and animal species, many of which are in decline, it is no wonder that the protection of wildlife habitat has never been more...

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Buzzing down the house: Determining the habitat for declining bumble bees

Bumble bee foraging on red clover (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bees are important pollinators of crop plants and wild plants. Unfortunately, bumble bee species are declining globally. These declines are likely due to several factors, including climate change, a pathogen spread from imported bees,...

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NCC's Pelee Island fox squad on a mission to clean up Ontario's deep south

Gray fox pup (Photo by Ken Canning)

Making homes for Ontario’s rare and elusive gray fox takes a lot of work. In the fall of 2017, the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Pelee Island fox squad travelled to the island in the province’s deep south to do...

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Lovebirds: The day I broke a turkey's heart

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

One of my favourite field work stories comes from my very first field season. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was doing back then. I couldn’t identify most plants, was slightly scared (ok, terrified) of dragonflies...

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My 2017 Ontario birding “Big Year”

Violet-green swallow at Thunder Bay Marina, Ontario's third ever record of this species. (Photo by Jeremy Bensette)

Last year was a pretty “big” one for me, birding-wise! I committed to completing a "Big Year," a quest to see as many bird species as possible in one year in my beautiful home province of Ontario, and held onto that goal until dark on...

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Your winter getaway is a lot closer than you may think

Ancient cottonwoods (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Who says you can only enjoy nature when the snow has melted? There’s nothing like breathing in the crisp, fresh air on a winter nature hike as you take in the sights and sounds of wildlife around you while braving the cold. I love hearing...

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This Groundhog Day, it's all relatives

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Tomorrow marks Groundhog Day, a North American tradition dating back to 1888. The groundhog, also called the woodchuck, is the largest member of the squirrel family and one of four marmot species that live in Canada. Rather than just focusing on...

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Emerald in the rough

Hine's emerald dragonfly at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Chris Evans)

Hine's emerald dragonfly at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Chris Evans)

Deep in the heart of the Minesing Wetlands, southern Ontario’s third-largest wetland system, lives a mysterious creature. It is thought to inhabit only 50 distinct locations in the entire world, most of which are concentrated around the...

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How a hidden forest valley is a big opportunity for conservation

Photo assignment for NCC is a journey into a pristine habitat that will make a difference in southwestern Ontario. (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Towering hemlocks reaching for the sky. A deep and rugged valley covered with ferns. A coldwater stream flowing over and under moss-covered fallen pine trunks. Just the thought of these scenes makes my mind wander yet again to northern...

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