How do you solve a problem like migration?

A flock of shorebirds takes to the air at Oak/Plum Lake Important Bird Area, a migration stopover site in Manitoba. The mixed-species flock includes Wilson’s phalaropes, red-necked phalaropes, stilt sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers, dunlin, white-rumped sandpipers and semipalmated sandpipers. (Photo by Christian Artuso)

A flock of shorebirds takes to the air at Oak/Plum Lake Important Bird Area, a migration stopover site in Manitoba. The mixed-species flock includes Wilson’s phalaropes, red-necked phalaropes, stilt sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers, dunlin, white-rumped sandpipers and semipalmated sandpipers. (Photo by Christian Artuso)

I can feel the rapid thrumming of the bluebird’s heart against my palm as I carefully manoeuvre its foot into position over a tiny Ziploc bag. I pick up my nail scissors and take a deep breath to steady my hand. I will only get one chance to...

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Using migration patterns to understand bird population declines

A tree swallow sits on a barbed wire fence (Photo by Lisha Berzins)

A tree swallow sits on a barbed wire fence (Photo by Lisha Berzins)

I don’t know about you, but by this time of the year I am ready for winter to be over. I think birds feel the same way. As soon as the sun comes out of hiding and the temperature inches above freezing after a dreary Ontario winter, the...

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Don’t forget to brake for snakes

The western rattlesnake. (Photo by Stephanie Winton)

The western rattlesnake. (Photo by Stephanie Winton)

The Okanagan Valley, a hot spot for many at-risk species, is located in the south-central Southern Interior region of British Columbia. It is home to 185 wineries, many golf courses and fruit orchards, and an incredibly diverse landscape that...

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Small but mighty — Migrating green darner dragonflies

Common green darner (Photo by Nancy Norman, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Common green darner (Photo by Nancy Norman, CC BY-NC 4.0)

In February when I wrote this blog, I was thinking about my “snowbird” colleagues taking vacations to escape the cold, Canadian winter. Little did I know that right around that time, a species of dragonfly was beginning to migrate...

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Weston Family Conservation Science Fellowship Program

Sundial lupine in the oak savannah (Photo by NCC)

Sundial lupine in the oak savannah (Photo by NCC)

It’s a sunny June day with only a slight whisper of wind in the trees. I am walking slowly through an oak savannah with Angela Demarse, a master's of science candidate at the University of Guelph in Ryan Norris’s lab. We are in search...

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The birds of southwest Manitoba

In July 2019, I visited southwest Manitoba for a research scouting trip from the University of Oklahoma. (Photo by Paula Cimprich)

In July 2019, I visited southwest Manitoba for a research scouting trip from the University of Oklahoma. (Photo by Paula Cimprich)

In July 2019, I visited southwest Manitoba for a research scouting trip from the University of Oklahoma, where I am a PhD student in the biology department. I was scouting for bird species and potential study areas to help with a University of...

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Hummingbirds: The forgotten pollinator when it comes to pesticides

Female rufous hummingbird (Photo by Jennifer Kepler CC BY-NC)

Female rufous hummingbird (Photo by Jennifer Kepler CC BY-NC)

When life is leaping forth in its freshest tender green and shrubs are casting their best wine-rich blooms of colour, there comes a humming. Not just from the song of spring rising in the world, but from wing beats — 52 to 62 per...

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Monarch migration

Monarch (Photo by NCC)

Monarch (Photo by NCC)

Fall is fast approaching. As the days grow shorter and temperatures drop, it’s time for monarchs to migrate south for the winter. These iconic bright-orange butterflies will soon be replaced by pumpkins and turning leaves. Monarchs spend...

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Point counts at Wideview: 10,000 steps by 7 a.m.

Wideview, SK (Photo by NCC)

Wideview, SK (Photo by NCC)

3 a.m.: Why am I awake this early? The only other creatures awake right now are the birds. Oh, right. The birds are exactly why I’m awake this early. It’s time for point counts at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s)...

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Buzzing down the house: An update

Bumble bee (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bee (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

This is an update to a post I wrote last year. The data has now been analyzed, and the results are ready for sharing. We commonly hear that bees are in decline and that we need to save them because they are important pollinators of crops and...

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