An emblem worthy of a mother’s love

Pink lady's-slipper, ON (Photo by NCC)

Every Mother’s Day, I buy my mom her favourite chocolates and a bouquet of fresh flowers. This may seem like an easy-out gift for this day, but I’ve yet to come across a mother who doesn’t love flowers. Mine loves yellow...

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What the meadowlark sang to my grandmother

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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Look for these first signs of spring across Canada

Red-winged blackbird (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Red-winged blackbird (Photo by Bill Hubick)

With the springing forward of our clocks and increased daylight, many Canadians are getting antsy for the arrival of spring, perhaps especially for our friends in the Atlantic provinces (darn you, Nor’easter!). What can be more delightful...

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Canada's splendid sparrow crew

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Sparrows often don’t get enough credit. Many don’t have flashy plumage like jays, orioles or cardinals, or melodic songs like thrushes or meadowlarks; however, sparrow species are often fairly distinct (once you get to know them) and...

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A significant investment in conservation

Abram Village, Prince Edward Island (Photo by NCC)

Abrams Village, Prince Edward Island (Photo by NCC)

Canada is a land teeming with biodiversity, from coast to coast to coast. With 10 per cent of the world’s forests, 20 per cent of its fresh water and 24 per cent of its wetlands, Canadians have countless reasons to celebrate the land we call...

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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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Lights, camera, nature: An ode to Canadian landscapes in film

Nodwell, AB (Photo by R. Berdan)

One of my favourite things about living in Canada is getting to experience different seasons. However, my personal favourite season may not be on everyone else's list…Oscars season! As an avid film junkie, one of the most exciting times of...

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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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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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