Lessons in winter wildlife photography

Male cardinal (Photo by Lorne)

Male cardinal (Photo by Lorne)

Distant memories of my first film camera come to mind when I think about photography. Its silver colour and round dials looked impressive, everything was manual, all decisions were mine and feedback was non-existent, until the film was processed....

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Birding for beginners

Child with binoculars (Public Domain)

Child with binoculars (Public Domain)

I wouldn’t consider myself a birder, but I am one of the many people who has been more tuned into the nature around me since the pandemic started. Working from home and sticking to walks around my neighbourhood has made me more aware of my...

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The Great Backyard Bird Count: Counting birds for community science

Dressed for birding in the polar vortex (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Dressed for birding in the polar vortex (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a global community science project that aims to gather a snapshot of bird populations and distributions in mid-February, before their annual spring migrations begin. The GBBC runs for four days each year,...

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Bluebirds of frustration and happiness

A male western bluebird perches on a fence in southern British Columbia. Note the coloured leg bands, which allow observers to identify the bird. (Photo by Catherine Dale)

A male western bluebird perches on a fence in southern British Columbia. Note the coloured leg bands, which allow observers to identify the bird. (Photo by Catherine Dale)

I have a complicated relationship with western bluebirds. I know that sounds strange, because who doesn’t like bluebirds? Their vivid plumage and soft calls are acclaimed as harbingers of spring and symbols of happiness. As Henry David...

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Heard it from a Scout: Leaving only footprints in nature

View from the top of Eagle Bluffs, BC. (Photo by Emilie Diver)

View from the top of Eagle Bluffs, BC. (Photo by Emilie Diver)

The view was incredible and the challenge of the hike up to the Eagle Bluffs in North Vancouver made it even more worthwhile. Ruby, my yellow lab, was happily sitting and begging for food from me and my Scout troop. Her behaviour was in stark...

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Beginner's guide to winter tree identification

White ash bud and twig (Photo by Quinten Wiergersma, CC BY 4.0)

White ash bud and twig (Photo by Quinten Wiergersma, CC BY 4.0)

Many trees are easier to identify without their leaves. When you’re out for a winter hike, it may seem that there aren’t many clues to identifying the trees around you. Because trees are sporting bare branches, you might think they...

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Love is in the air, and in the waters too

Mating arctic grayling (Photo by Charles Summers Jr.)

Mating arctic grayling (Photo by Charles Summers Jr.)

Did you know the amorous aura of Canada’s most romantic cities can be detected in nearby bodies of water? From coast to coast, and the rivers and lakes in between, there is no shortage of passion…among fishes. Coastal...

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Let's talk about bulls this Lunar New Year

Muskox (Photo by camerondeckert, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Muskox (Photo by camerondeckert, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Lunar New Year is celebrated every year and is marked by an animal zodiac on a repeating 12-year cycle. This year marks the year of the ox. According to Chinese mythology, the ox was the second animal to cross the finish line in a great race held...

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Bird diversity is linked to human happiness

Cardinal on the fence (Photo by Nathan Anderson from Unsplash)

Cardinal on the fence (Photo by Nathan Anderson from Unsplash)

How to protect avian biodiversity and our well-being Are the early morning songs of black-capped chickadees a welcome sound? Does watching a flurry of happy finches and jays feasting on berries bring you joy? If you answered yes, then it may...

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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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