The birds and the beans

October 1 marks International Coffee Day (Photo from Creative Commons)

October 1 marks International Coffee Day (Photo from Creative Commons)

October 1 marks International Coffee Day, a day that celebrates and recognizes the millions of people across the globe who work hard to create and serve the warm, blissful beverage that we all know and love — especially in the morning. From...

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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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Making friends with the solitary bees

Blue orchard bee (Photo by Robert Engelhardt)

Blue orchard bee (Photo by Robert Engelhardt)

When you think of bees, your mind probably goes to honey, hives and stingers. But what if I told you that there was a species of bee, native to the Saskatchewan prairies, that didn’t make honey, live in a hive or (usually) sting? Mason bees...

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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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Bring on the alternative lawns!

A cottontail among a red clover and black medic clover patch (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

A cottontail among a red clover and black medic clover patch (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Weeds: What are they? Unwanted, non-traditional turf? But what if there was something more to all those pesky patches of plants? For some, there’s nothing more satisfying than a healthy lawn full of lush, green grass. For others, like...

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Meadows for Monarchs

Meadows for Monarchs event participants (Photo by NCC)

Meadows for Monarchs event participants (Photo by NCC)

If you thought you saw more monarchs flitting about last summer and fall, you were right. Monarch Watch reported that 2018 was a good year for the iconic orange and black butterfly, thanks to a combination of aggressive conservation efforts in...

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10 ways to enjoy the great outdoors this summer

Nodwell, AB (Photo by R. Berdan)

Nodwell, AB (Photo by R. Berdan)

Summer is the perfect time to get out and explore all that nature has to offer. Whether it's a hike on a sunny day or curling up with a book or documentary about nature when the rain rolls in, immerse yourself in nature no matter the weather or...

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Saving the bees: Plants to help our buzzing buddies

American bumble bee (Photo by K.S. Gardener/iNaturalist)

American bumble bee (Photo by K.S. Gardener/iNaturalist)

Humans have a very delicate relationship with bees. Despite their importance, many of us fail to understand just how much bees impact our daily lives — and how much we’re putting them at risk. Canada has over 850 native bee species,...

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Support local biodiversity by avoiding invasive plants in your garden

Winged euonymus (Photo by John Ruter/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org)

Winged euonymus (Photo by John Ruter/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org)

With gardening season upon us, the warm weather brings hope that your favourite plot of soil will be better than it was last year. At the Invasive Species Centre, we have one request as you mull over your garden plans for 2019: please avoid the...

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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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