The wonderful world of sparrows

House sparrow (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

House sparrow (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

When asked to picture a sparrow, I think a lot of us, especially city dwellers, think of the common house sparrow. Though ubiquitous across southern Canada, this little sparrow is not actually native to North America. This introduced species hails...

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A species' international highway

White-tailed deer (Photo by Lorne)

White-tailed deer (Photo by Lorne)

Humans aren’t the only creatures on Earth that need to get around. Animals in the wild have to travel as well, some to migrate, some to hunt and others to find mates. And that explains the importance of the Frontenac Arch, a...

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Adventures restoring Lake Erie Farms

Norfolk, ON (Photo by NCC)

Norfolk, ON (Photo by NCC)

Not everything goes according to plan. It was June 2009, the third growing season at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Lake Erie Farms ecological restoration property in Norfolk County, Ontario. I was the ecological...

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Cracker Jack and caribou: Are we failing Canada’s species at risk?

Black-footed ferret (Photo by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mountain Prairie)

Black-footed ferret (Photo by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mountain Prairie)

I lost my Cracker Jack wildlife cards sometime in the 1980s, but the images printed on the cards are still vivid in my mind. The small cards came wrapped in clear plastic and featured a holographic image of a wildlife species in danger. I can...

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Something's Fishy: An impending invader

Northern snakehead (Photo by National Aquarium, Washington, DC)

Northern snakehead (Photo by National Aquarium, Washington, DC)

I have an inherent fear of the dark. I’m not ashamed to admit that, without the company of my snoring pug, Molly, taking up half of my bed, I need to sleep with the light on. It’s not so much the darkness that scares me; it’s the...

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Ten of nature's strangest mating strategies

Angler fish (Photo by David Shale)

Angler fish (Photo by David Shale)

During my final year of university, I took a course called Evolution and Reproduction, which explored various animal mating strategies. It was one of my most fascinating classes; the material was mind blowing, the professor was a hoot and the...

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Uncovering the magic of winter wildlife

Meeting Lake 03, SK (Photo by NCC)

Meeting Lake 03, SK (Photo by NCC)

While attending college in Winnipeg, my classmate and I used to walk north from the campus at the corner of Shaftesbury and Grant streets to explore the different sections of Assiniboine Park. As the school year was between September and April,...

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Natural Continuities: Connecting to nature through photography

Looking out over a pond at the MacMillan Nature Preserve. (Photo by Sara Schiavello)

Looking out over a pond at the MacMillan Nature Preserve. (Photo by Sara Schiavello)

This month, our class from Mr. Senisi’s Grade 12 photography class at St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic High School in Woodbridge, Ontario, hosted a photography exhibit called Natural Continuities: A Photography Exhibit in Honour of Lyn...

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From woodsman to grandsons to Canadians

Alan Bonnyman and his two sons (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Alan Bonnyman and his two sons (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Whether they live in big cities or small villages, Canadians often see their identity as defined by nature: by our dramatic seasons, by the sheer size of our country and by living near oceans, rivers, lakes, mountains, prairies and forests. This...

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The silence of the hillsides

Fort Ellice, Riding Mountain (Photo by NCC)

Fort Ellice, Riding Mountain (Photo by NCC)

For the past six months, I’ve worked as an assistant conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Riding Mountain Natural Area in western Manitoba. I found that a summer in the area challenged me to reconsider how I...

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