The buzz about bumble bees

Western bumble bee (Photo by sydcannings, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Western bumble bee (Photo by sydcannings, CC BY-NC 4.0)

The western bumble bee is a medium-sized (measuring one to two centimetres in length) bumble bee, with a band of yellow hair across its thorax (the area between its head and abdomen), in line with the base of its wings. It also most often has a...

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My native species bring all the pollinators to the yard

Northern crescent butterfly on swamp milkweed flowers (Photo by Jaimee Morozoff/NCC staff)

Northern crescent butterfly on swamp milkweed flowers (Photo by Jaimee Morozoff/NCC staff)

Now that spring has finally made its way across Canada (in some places it was slower in arriving than others), gardening season is in full swing! With all of the choices present at our local nurseries and big box stores, it is easy to get carried...

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What happens to invasive species in the winter?

Second-year garlic mustard plant (Photo courtesy Invasive Species Centre)

Second-year garlic mustard plant (Photo courtesy Invasive Species Centre)

With the change in seasons, invasive species may become out of sight and out of mind. But they always seem to come back every year. So where do they go in winter? Researchers are working to answer this question by investigating how invasive...

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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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The ants that herd aphids

Oleander aphids (Photo by cory_silas_sheffield, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Oleander aphids (Photo by cory_silas_sheffield, CC BY-NC 4.0)

On July 21, 2021, I was carrying out annual conservation monitoring at the Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (OMB), when I came across an unusual sight: much of the silver sagebrush that covers the property was covered...

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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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Paw in claw: Friendships in the wild

A sea anemone hitching a ride on a hermit crab. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

A sea anemone hitching a ride on a hermit crab. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Friendships are one of the most organic things that can happen between humans. An often magical thing, these bonds are strong and can last a lifetime. While these human connections are no doubt valuable, for animals, “friendships,”...

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My fuzzy muse

Virgin tiger moth (Photo by Nolie Schneider – CC 4.0 via iNaturalist)

Virgin tiger moth (Photo by Nolie Schneider – CC 4.0 via iNaturalist)

I used to think moths were ugly. Compared to their colourful, beloved cousins — butterflies — moths are hardly ever prized to win the blue ribbon at the beauty pageant. Often monotone, muted and furry — the latter of which makes...

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Keep your coffee mug covered: How spongy moths put a lid on my camping trip

A caterpillar crawling on my pants (Photo by Jensen Edwards/NCC staff)

A caterpillar crawling on my pants (Photo by Jensen Edwards/NCC staff)

As a west-coaster, I’ve come to relish the soothing splats of raindrops on my tent — so long as, of course, I am dry and warm inside. That sound, that damp smell that steams up from rainforest ferns, they awaken in me memories of...

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What's up with the very hungry caterpillars?

Each spongy moth caterpillar can eat one square metre of leaves in one season (Photo by Paul Prior, CC BY 4.0)

Each spongy moth caterpillar can eat one square metre of leaves in one season (Photo by Paul Prior, CC BY 4.0)

If you have young children in your life, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by the late and celebrated children’s author Eric Carle, is probably a familiar read and has been a fan favourite since 1969. This spring and summer though, there is...

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