Common Loons are large diving birds with long bodies (66-91 cm long, 2.2-7.6 kg, wingspan 104-131 cm) that sit low in the water. They have red eyes and straight, thick, “daggerlike” bills. Did you know that you may not recognize the common Loon in winter compared to summer? Whereas the underparts are always white, the plumage and bill are different colours depending on the breeding season. In summer, i.e. breeding season, the Loon has a glossy black head with a black bill, thick black neck with white-striped collar, and the back plumage is black and white in a checkerboard pattern. However in the winter, i.e. the non-breeding season, the head and bill are grey, the neck is white, and the… read more →
It started on one of many portages around a rapid with a waterfall at the end. The granites from the shield rippled like bulging muscles, through which the river cut its route, sliding and tumbling over the shield rocks towards the sea. Fractures in the pink, grey and whitish rock were filled with other colours of rock, some jet black, some shining with quartz crystals, some showing oxidation. Bernie noticed it first; a small drill hole, about three centimeters wide and several deep. Someone had been here, and removed a core of rock with a powerful drill. As it turned out, this was not the only evidence of mineral sampling that we found. Several more core sample holes were discovered… read more →
Nashville Warblers live in Southern Canada and Northern United States. Believe it or not, these warblers don’t breed in Nashville whatsoever… So why is it named after Nashville? Listen to this week’s Tweet of the Week to find out! Each week we introduce a new bird from the Ottawa-Gatineau area through our segment on CBC Radio’s In Town and Out. Nicolas Conroy, Nature Canada’s Conservation Intern, 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 August 15st, 2015.
Nature Canada held A Swift Evening Out at the Dominican University College on August 12th 2015. A Swift Evening Out is an outdoor event featuring presentations, activities, and easy bird watching to raise public awareness of the Chimney Swift, a provincially and nationally threatened bird found in Ottawa. For more information, visit our previous blog to read about Chimney Swifts and our Swift Evening Out events. With a group of approx 30 people, Alex MacDonald, Nature Canada’s Manager of Protected Areas, led visitors to the lot in the Dominican University College. There, Nicolas Conroy, Nature Canada’s Conservation Intern, and Alex, gave a brief overview of the life cycle of Chimney Swift. This species only has one nesting pair per chimney,… read more →
Did you know that some birds like to help each other? The Cliff Swallow is an example of this; during hard times, birds will tell each other where food is, allowing the colony to thrive. The Cliff Swallow’s population has decreased over the last 40 years at a rate of 3.3% annually. Find out how you can help save this species by signing our petition here. Each week we introduce a new bird from the Ottawa-Gatineau area through our segment on CBC Radio’s In Town and Out. Nicolas Conroy, Nature Canada’s Conservation Intern, 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… read more →
The beginning of Moth Week began the 3rd weekend of July, the same day as Day 1 of our 2015 Summer NatureBlitz. National Moth week is used to celebrate the wonders of moths, all over the world. This way, we can identify areas with great moth diversity, and find species that may be uncommon or rare! Our expert for the night was Diane Lepage. An excellent moth expert indeed, she was able to identify many of the species that ended up making an appearance. The event began at 9:30 pm, with a great show of fireflies leading up to the event. Fireflies have an amazing chemical reaction in their abdomen that causes illumination. Scientists are studying fireflies very closely, as… read more →
Have you ever walked through the forest, and heard what seems to be a bird call through a spiraling metal pipe, and wondered what in the world makes that call? In this Tweet of the Week, you’ll find out just who that culprit is! Each week we introduce a new bird from the Ottawa-Gatineau area through our segment on CBC Radio’s In Town and Out. Nicolas Conroy, Nature Canada’s Conservation Intern, 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 August 1st, 2015.
The transfer of over 200 square kilometres of important short-grass prairie at Govenlock in southwestern Saskatchewan to Environment Canada in August 2015 is an important step towards protecting Canada’s grasslands and threatened grassland wildlife. The transfer of these lands from Agriculture Canada will allow consultations to begin on establishing a National Wildlife Area to protect the Govenlock grasslands and the numerous species at risk that live there, while at the same time providing for continuing livestock production and respecting local community interests. This decision needs to be part of a much bigger plan to conserve native grasslands—the most imperilled ecosystem in Canada. There are tremendous opportunities to conserve native grasslands and grassland wildlife species at many of the other 182… read more →
Nature Canada and BC Nature are standing up for nature in the National Energy Board (NEB) hearings on the TransMountain pipeline and tanker project that are slated to run from this autumn. The 1,180 TransMountain project would increase capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day, and result in oil tankers moving almost daily through the Salish Sea past critical Important Bird Areas such as Boundary Bay. Why participate in the hearings at all when it seems highly likely that the NEB will recommend approval of TransMountain to the federal government (albeit with conditions)? Here are three reasons: First, Nature Canada takes the view that the facts detailing the importance of the birds, animals and ecosystems of the Salish Sea… read more →
Wildlife in Canada can’t speak for themselves, but we can! And the voices of our 55,000 members and supporters speaking up together is a powerful thing. We’ve seen that power recently. For example, in March I wrote about some of the work we’ve been doing as your Voice for Nature to increase protection of the Monarch butterfly throughout its range. Then hundreds of you signed a petition to the Minister of Environment demanding action. In July I was pleased to attend a meeting of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation where it was announced that Monarch Butterfly conservation will be a key priority for environmental cooperation between Canada, the US and Mexico. Together we raised our voices and made… read more →