Keep calm and count on: Big Valley MAPS station

American restart adult (ASY) male (Photo by NCC)

American restart adult (ASY) male (Photo by NCC)

After many years working in the field of ecology and conservation, it can become easy to take for granted the unique and spectacular things you get to do and the beautiful landscapes you get to see on a regular basis. Being aware of this, I always...

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Talking data: How community science informs conservation

Volunteer capturing data with a smartphone at a NCC BioBlitz event (Photo by Brent Calver)

Volunteer capturing data with a smartphone at a NCC BioBlitz event (Photo by Brent Calver)

What comes to mind when you hear the word data? For many, data conjures ideas of numbers and computers, with scientists performing complex statistical analyses. While that generalization is reasonably accurate, it is important to understand that...

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Threats to birds, and how you can help birds in your own backyard

Prothonotary warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Prothonotary warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

In spring, we welcome the return of migratory birds to Canada to breed. A few billion birds from over 400 species breed in Canada each year. Before we know it, young birds will be leaving their nests, awkwardly learning to navigate the world...

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Dangers of artificial light at night to birds

The view of downtown Toronto approaching nighttime (Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels)

The view of downtown Toronto approaching nighttime (Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels)

Since the discovery of fire, humankind has tried to push back the darkness of night, extending the total usable hours in a day. Light has been a beacon, warning ships of treacherous coastlines and guiding them to safe harbours. Symbolizing life...

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Big, bold and boreal: Once complete, this will be Canada’s largest private conservation project

Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by NCC)

Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by NCC)

Spring is unfurling across the country, and those who know me know I love my birds. Birdwatching is great in any season, but I start to get a specific set of goosebumps when I hear the first sounds of migratory birds returning from the south in...

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The dos and don’ts of birdwatching

Northern cardinal (Photo by NCC)

Northern cardinal (Photo by NCC)

The creation of my high school’s birdwatching club sparked a passion in me that has lasted years following graduation. The excitement of seeing a new species for the first time was contagious and something I continue to seek, to this day. I...

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Pics, or it didn't happen

A snow covered forest (Photo by Paula Noel/NCC staff)

A snow covered forest (Photo by Paula Noel/NCC staff)

The day after our first real snowstorm of the winter, I headed out to enjoy the woods near my home. At a brisk -10 C, it was the perfect temperature for hiking with the right gear on, but not an ideal temperature for my cell phone; I...

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5 bird species that stay for winter in Canada

Brown creeper (Photo by Mark Dennis, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Brown creeper (Photo by Mark Dennis, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Some bird species migrate south for winter, and some are year-round residents in Canada. Others migrate to southern Canada from northern forests or the Arctic and hang around until spring. Birdwatching is one of the easiest ways to enjoy nature,...

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Yay! The ducks are back!

Mallards — male on the left, female on the right. (Photo by Pia Vahabi/NCC staff)

Mallards — male on the left, female on the right. (Photo by Pia Vahabi/NCC staff)

Here in Toronto, winter and waterfowl don’t necessarily sound like two things that should go together. But the truth is, while some birds (and people) escape Ontario’s cold winter to warmer climes, others migrate from the Arctic to...

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Winter is for the birds

Prothonotary warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Prothonotary warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

When the temperature drops and fall colours give way to bare trees and snowy scenes, we tend to huddle up for the winter. Much like the natural world, we might prefer to take off to somewhere warm or hunker down indoors, to conserve our energy and...

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