Get to know some of the species at risk in the Lac Deschênes IBA with the Species Spotlight, aka “Sp-Spot”. Today meet the: Henslow’s Sparrow Scientific Name: Ammodramus henslowii SARA status: Endangered Taxonomic Group: Birds Size: length of 13 cm Henslow’s Sparrow is one of the rarest breeding birds in Canada, listed as Endangered in 1993 by the Province of Ontario, and in 2000 by the Canadian government. It is one of the small, large-headed, short-tailed sparrows in the Ammodramus genus along with Le Conte’s, Nelson’s and Grasshopper Sparrows. Henslow’s Sparrow is the rarest member of this group in Canada, limited to a few individuals any one year in Southern Ontario. Henslow’s Sparrow stays low to the ground, rarely affording a… read more →
I was saddened to hear that one of my heros, Pete Seeger, has died at 94. Humanist, environmentalist, activitist, and brilliant performer and song writer, Pete Seeger is an icon, and an important part of American history, and a shining light on the great things of America. Key moments that have shaped the USA are woven into Seeger’s personna, the labour movement, persecution during McCarthyism, the environmental movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, the restoration of the Hudson River. . . . If you’ve sang, or hummed his song “If I had a hammer” you know a bit about Pete Seeger. When I was teaching outdoor education with the Waterloo Region District School Board, I would use one of Pete’s songs occasionally… read more →
January 28, 2014 (Ottawa) – On February 4, 2014, Nature Canada will officially launch its Women for Nature initiative on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Setting aside partisan differences for one night, Senators Nancy Greene Raine and Janis G. Johnson, and Members of Parliament Stella Ambler, Linda Duncan, Joyce Murray, Kirsty Duncan and Elizabeth May will be co-hosting the launch. The Women for Nature initiative brings together the leadership, knowledge, experience and passion of amazing women from across Canada who are committed to nature conservation. “If you want to achieve great things — whether it’s helping to build our national parks system or connecting youth to nature — you have to do it with the support of friends, partnerships and networks. And that’s exactly what the… read more →
We can trace Nature Canada’s roots back to one woman—Mabel Frances Whittemore—whose enthusiasm for nature inspired her husband Reginald to establish what would become Nature Canada in 1939. Mabel Frances Whittemore was an educator and nature lover. Her main goal in life was to share her passion for nature with others. So it’s only fitting that, as we approach our 75th anniversary, we continue to honour Mabel’s legacy by creating Women for Nature, a collaborative partnership of 75 women of influence, committed to inspiring and engaging Canadians with nature. Women for Nature is a philanthropic initiative that brings motivated and influential women from across Canada together to champion the work of Nature Canada. By sharing our work and their passion for… read more →
The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a very energetic songbird that, like its cousin, can hang upside-down or sideways while feeding and moves in any direction along tree trunks, including head-first. This species can be quite aggressive toward other larger birds when nesting. Each week we introduce a new bird from the Ottawa-Gatineau area through our segment on CBC Radio’s In Town and Out. Alex MacDonald, Nature Canada’s Manager of Protected Areas, shares interesting facts about the birds that live in our communities. Be sure to tune-in to “Bird Tweet of the Week” on CBC Radio One 91.5 FM on Saturday mornings from 6am to 9am and listen to past episodes on our website This episode aired on Saturday January 25, 2014.
On January 16, 2014, the Canadian Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (CC IUCN) gathered in Ottawa at the Canadian Museum of Nature for its Annual General Meeting. The meeting was dedicated to exploring opportunities for engaging youth in nature as part of a broader initiative within the Union to embrace future generations in the implementation of the Union’s mandate. In attendance were representatives from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Parks Canada, Students on Ice, UNESCA and Nature Canada. The meeting included presentations by youth delegates like Gerrit Wesselink, a student at the University of Ottawa in Political Sciences and Public Administration and an Alumni of the Students on Ice Expedition Program. “One… read more →
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment along with the private energy company Gilead Power are having their day in Ontario Divisional Court this week to try and overturn the Ministry’s own Environmental Tribunal’s Rejection of Gilead’s nine turbine wind energy project proposed on the Ostrander Point Crown Land Block on the South Shore of Prince Edward County. The Toronto Star reported on the first day of hearings, which included a small victory for the Prince Edward County Field Naturalist, when the Ministry and Gilead were refused their request to introduce new evidence. The project was rejected in a 140 page decision in July, 2013, based primarily on its impact on an isolated population of the Endangered Blanding’s Turtle. The tribunal also… read more →
Get to know some of the species at risk in the Lac Deschênes IBA with the Species Spotlight, aka “Sp-Spot”. Today meet the: Yellow Rail Scientific Name: Coturnicops noveboracensis SARA status: Special Concern Taxonomic Group: Birds Size: length of 13-18 cm, wingspan of 28-32 cm The Yellow Rail is a small marsh bird with an elusive nature. Only slightly larger than a sparrow, they are recognized by their yellow face and chest. They are yellow and black striped above with white flashes on the upper wing. Their bill is short and yellow and they have a dark crown and dark stripe through the eye. This colouration allows them to camouflage with the habitat they live in, making them difficult to… read more →
January 22, 2014 (Ottawa) – Over the past couple of days, numerous news sources have erroneously indicated that Nature Canada will be among the list of environmental organizations filing an appeal with the Federal Court of Appeals to block the approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. For many years, Nature Canada has been a key voice for nature challenging the Northern Gateway pipeline during the Joint Review Panel hearing process in British Columbia. Thanks to our excellent legal representation from the University of Victoria Environmental Law Centre, Nature Canada was highly engaged in the Joint Review Panel hearing process, which ended late last year. As joint intervenors, we raised a host of concerns with the project including its impact on… read more →
The White-breasted Nuthatch, also known in French as Sitelle à poitrine blanche, is one of a small number of bird species in Canada that can hang upside-down or sideways while feeding and can also move down tree trunks head-first. Each week we introduce a new bird from the Ottawa-Gatineau area through our segment on CBC Radio’s In Town and Out. Alex MacDonald, Nature Canada’s Manager of Protected Areas, shares interesting facts about the birds that live in our communities. Be sure to tune-in to “Bird Tweet of the Week” on CBC Radio One 91.5 FM on Saturday mornings from 6am to 9am and listen to past episodes on our website This episode aired on Saturday January 18, 2014.