How species survive winter: Hibernation

A big brown bat

A big brown bat "hanging out." Often when found outside, big brown bats sit in this position on the side of a building, tree or (ideally not) on the ground. (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC)

Previously, I discussed how small songbirds, and black-capped chickadees in particular, survive winter on the Canadian Prairies. Now I will discuss another strategy that animals use to survive the long, cold winter months: hibernation. Hibernation...

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The wonder of winter wetlands

Brighton Wetland from a nearby field in early fall. Note that the cattails in the distance are already turning brown and falling down. (Photo by NCC)

Brighton Wetland from a nearby field in early fall. Note that the cattails in the distance are already turning brown and falling down. (Photo by NCC)

Two summers ago I spent a lot of time trekking through beautiful wetlands, both while working at NCC and for leisure. I loved every moment of my time there, whether I was wading out into knee-deep water to hand pull invasive European frog-bit,...

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Stopping habitat loss is the key to saving Canada’s endangered species

Evening grosbeak (Photo by Anna Tchoulik)

Evening grosbeak (Photo by Anna Tchoulik)

Canada has been losing and saving species for a long time. Since European settlement, over 100 species have been lost here. These include plants and animals that are extinct and extirpated and species that are considered historic (no one has seen...

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Sharing a quiet forest with a Canada lynx

Canada lynx (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Canada lynx (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Sitting for hours inside a cramped, cold blind waiting for wildlife doesn't sound exciting — but it is. Being able to observe animals in their natural surroundings isn't just a thrill, it's a passion, and one that doesn't come easy and is...

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The most majestic seagull

Bald eagle (Photo by Brittany Foster)

Bald eagle (Photo by Brittany Foster)

As a child, I split my time between a forested acreage and an old farmhouse in Nova Scotia surrounded by lush fields and cow pastures. From coyotes meandering up the driveway and bats roosting in the garage, to raccoons raiding the compost and...

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Twelve spooky facts about Canadian bats

Townsend's big-eared bat (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Townsend's big-eared bat (Photo by Brock Fenton)

There are 18 known bat species in Canada. Although they are subjected to a spooky stigma around Halloween, they’re nothing to be afraid of. Here are 12 things you didn’t know about these not-so-scary mammals: 1. The snooze...

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The upside of the downside

Families riding along the Bow Valley Parkway (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Families riding along the Bow Valley Parkway (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

I have a confession: I really dislike like the word “staycation.” There’s something about this particular portmanteau that makes me shudder a wee bit every time I hear someone say it. And with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on...

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10 fascinating facts about wild turkeys

Wild turkey (Photo by D.P. Lawrence CC-BY-NC)

Wild turkey (Photo by D.P. Lawrence CC-BY-NC)

Today marks Thanksgiving in Canada. The first official, annual Canadian Thanksgiving took place on November 6, 1879. In honour of Thanksgiving, here are 10 facts to gobble up about wild turkeys, a species that has been documented on Nature...

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Lovebirds: The day I broke a turkey's heart

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

One of my favourite field work stories comes from my very first field season. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was doing back then. I couldn’t identify most plants, was slightly scared (ok, terrified) of dragonflies...

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September roundup: Conservation and nature stories that caught our eye this month

Cattle grazing (Photo by Pexels, Julie Aagaard)

Cattle grazing (Photo by Pexels, Julie Aagaard)

Every day, countless inspiring and informative stories are published about conservation successes or discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. Here are some that caught our attention in September 2020: Call out the cattle brigade The...

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