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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This St. Patrick's Day, defy convention and celebrate snakes

Queen snake (Photo by Joe Crowley)

Queen snake (Photo by Joe Crowley)

For many of us, Saint Patrick is known as the protector of the rolling hills of Ireland. Every year, people around the world join in celebrating his legendary story. The green beer, shamrocks and other verdant regalia synonymous with St....

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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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Interns and olives

Autumn olive (Photo by James H. Miller)

Autumn olive (Photo by James H. Miller)

When I started my Canadian Conservation Corps internship (a three-part program funded in part by the Canadian Service Corps, a youth-focused nature and conservation experience) with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as a conservation...

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This Groundhog Day, it's all relatives

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Tomorrow marks Groundhog Day, a North American tradition dating back to 1888. The groundhog, also called the woodchuck, is the largest member of the squirrel family and one of four marmot species that live in Canada. Rather than just focusing on...

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Calling in the corps — the Canadian Conservation Corps

CCC participants cutting invasive phragmites stems (Photo by NCC)

CCC participants cutting invasive phragmites stems (Photo by NCC)

They say that many hands make light work. Well, I don’t know if the hard-working young people who hauled brush, cut phragmites stems or collected buckets of acorns would tell you that the work was “light” but I can certainly say...

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The big picture

A fallen tree can be home to mushrooms (Photo by NCC)

A fallen tree can be home to mushrooms (Photo by NCC)

I have learned so much more about natural ecosystems during my recent participation in the Canadian Conservation Corps (CCC) program. Natural ecosystems are created by an intricate relationship between the land, the plants, the animals and all the...

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What does a conservation biologist do in the “other season?”

Is this what you think of when you hear conservation biology? ( Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Is this what you think of when you hear conservation biology? ( Photo by Mike Dembeck)

There is a seasonal nuance to being a conservation biologist. If you look at my job description optimistically, my job involves afternoons looking for spring ephemeral flowers, summers canoeing on lakes and early autumn mornings catching the last...

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Internships to remember

Picture of me as an intern in Alberta, rolling barbed wire at a Conservation Volunteers event (Photo by NCC)

Picture of me as an intern in Alberta, rolling barbed wire at a Conservation Volunteers event (Photo by NCC)

I’ve always had a passion for nature. It was this passion that ultimately led me to pursue a degree in environmental studies, which I recently obtained from Wilfrid Laurier University. During my studies, it wasn’t always clear to me...

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Thank you, Ontario volunteers

Plugs for the Prairies CV event at Hazel Bird Nature Reserve, 2019 (Photo by Chelsea Marcantonio)

Plugs for the Prairies CV event at Hazel Bird Nature Reserve, 2019 (Photo by Chelsea Marcantonio)

Volunteers are an integral part of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) work. Whether it be in the field or in the office, our volunteers are always eager to lend a helping hand. Although the pandemic has temporarily put the...

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