Why did the bird hit my window?

This American robin was an unfortunate victim of a window strike (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

This American robin was an unfortunate victim of a window strike (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Last spring, when songbirds were migrating back to southern Canada from their wintering sites, I witnessed the victim of my first bird window strike — a juvenile American robin. My husband heard a “bonk” sound against the house....

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Hooray for hummingbirds

An Anna's hummingbird on one of her nests. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

An Anna's hummingbird on one of her nests. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

You hear a buzz and see a streak of green, red or purple, and then you realize that a hummingbird just flew by! Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures that have captured our attention for as long as humans have co-existed with them. They are...

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Find the Birds – How a mobile game can aid conservation

Vermillion flycatchers in the game (Graphic courtesy of Adam Dhalla)

Vermillion flycatchers in the game (Graphic courtesy of Adam Dhalla)

It is not a stretch to say that our planet is in dire need of more conservationists, and environmentally minded people in general. Birds and birdwatching are gateways to introducing conservation and science to a new generation. Growing up in...

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Gardening with native plants this spring

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

I love to garden. I excitedly begin planning for the next year as soon as the autumn chill settles over the Prairies. I’m always impatient for spring to arrive, and it doesn't help when the seed catalogues start arriving in November. I find...

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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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Things that go bump in the field

American woodcock (Photo by Lavandar Fields/Wikimedia Commons)

American woodcock (Photo by Lavandar Fields/Wikimedia Commons)

I have spent a lot of time at a lot of different field sites over the years. I have spent days in the blistering sun, days in the frigid cold and days in the pouring rain, but until last spring, I had never spent any time in the field after...

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Birding for beginners

Child with binoculars (Public Domain)

Child with binoculars (Public Domain)

I wouldn’t consider myself a birder, but I am one of the many people who has been more tuned into the nature around me since the pandemic started. Working from home and sticking to walks around my neighbourhood has made me more aware of my...

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The Great Backyard Bird Count: Counting birds for community science

Dressed for birding in the polar vortex (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Dressed for birding in the polar vortex (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a global community science project that aims to gather a snapshot of bird populations and distributions in mid-February, before their annual spring migrations begin. The GBBC runs for four days each year,...

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Bluebirds of frustration and happiness

A male western bluebird perches on a fence in southern British Columbia. Note the coloured leg bands, which allow observers to identify the bird. (Photo by Catherine Dale)

A male western bluebird perches on a fence in southern British Columbia. Note the coloured leg bands, which allow observers to identify the bird. (Photo by Catherine Dale)

I have a complicated relationship with western bluebirds. I know that sounds strange, because who doesn’t like bluebirds? Their vivid plumage and soft calls are acclaimed as harbingers of spring and symbols of happiness. As Henry David...

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Bird diversity is linked to human happiness

Cardinal on the fence (Photo by Nathan Anderson from Unsplash)

Cardinal on the fence (Photo by Nathan Anderson from Unsplash)

How to protect avian biodiversity and our well-being Are the early morning songs of black-capped chickadees a welcome sound? Does watching a flurry of happy finches and jays feasting on berries bring you joy? If you answered yes, then it may...

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