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A Canadian winter warrior

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

A few winters back, during the continued irruption of snowy owls into southern Ontario, I was lucky enough to come across a “snowy hot spot” just 25 minutes from my home in Guelph, Ontario. My husband and I have passed many Sundays...

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On the road

Riding Mountain, MB (Photo by Cathy Shaluk)

Riding Mountain, MB (Photo by Cathy Shaluk)

As with most Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) properties in Manitoba that are spread throughout the central and southern part of the province, it’s inevitable that staff spend a fair bit of time travelling between properties. The hours...

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Super cool species to know this Halloween

Vampire finch (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Vampire finch (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The leaves have changed, the air has cooled and the pumpkins have been carved. You know what that means — it’s Halloween! This spooky custom has always been my favourite. Growing up, I always took the opportunity to dress up as the...

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Reflections from 500 days of birds: A story of citizen science

Me and my birding sidekick (Photo by Jodi Elchyshyn)

Me and my birding sidekick (Photo by Jodi Elchyshyn)

Following the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020, many of us faced new challenges during these unprecedented times. As a recent graduate and working biologist, I was lucky to be able to work remotely from my apartment in...

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All about bird houses and nesting boxes

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Brent Keen)

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Brent Keen)

When I was in elementary school, one of my favourite assignments was decorating a birdhouse. As with nearly all projects made by kids (macaroni necklace, anyone?), my birdhouse was never meant to house birds. It was more of an experiment in mixing...

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Clowns of the sea: the Atlantic puffin

Atlantic puffins (Photo by Laurel Bernard/NCC staff)

Atlantic puffins (Photo by Laurel Bernard/NCC staff)

The summer of 1999 was a unique one for me. I spent three months living on a small 23-acre (9.5 hectare) island 16 kilometres away from the nearest land. Machias Seal Island in New Brunswick was home to two full-time lighthouse keepers, three...

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Unlikely animal pairings: Part two

Brown-headed cowbird (Photo by David Dodd CC BY-NC)

Brown-headed cowbird (Photo by David Dodd CC BY-NC)

This is part two of a two-part series on unlikely animal pairings. Check out part one, the hunting partnership between an American badger and a coyote, here. Another unlikely animal partnership features a bird that is known to take advantage of...

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Wild about chickens

Lacy Mae and Matilda (Photo by LM Neilson/NCC staff)

Lacy Mae and Matilda (Photo by LM Neilson/NCC staff)

Today it starts at 5:36 a.m. The rusty cackle slides in through my open window with the early morning light. I pause for a brief second to make sure I really heard the sound before opening my eyes and swinging my legs over the edge of the bed. The...

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An introduction to the science of bird migration in Canada

Palm warbler (Photo by Marshall Faintich)

Palm warbler (Photo by Marshall Faintich)

Birds move. Actually, they do better than that: most birds fly. And the distances these tiny creatures can cover is jaw-dropping. On top of that, can you imagine the views from a bird's vantage point as it flies from South America to Canada?...

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Birding by ear: What birdsongs tell us

Eastern meadowlark (Photo by Mhairi McFarlane/NCC staff)

Eastern meadowlark (Photo by Mhairi McFarlane/NCC staff)

Have you ever been out walking and heard birds singing and wondered which bird was making which sound? Or perhaps you’ve been sitting outside on a summer’s evening and heard a persistent bird calling, but you weren’t sure what...

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