Nothing is quite so symbolic of summertime in the Canadian wild as the calls of the Common Loon. They make four basic types of vocalizations: the wail, tremolo, yodel, and hoot. In winter, along coastal waters they adopt a quiet time. The wail is perhaps the call most frequently heard. A loon will make this haunting call when it becomes separated from the chick or if its mate fails to return. It indicates a willingness to interact. The tremolo is an aggressive response given when disturbed by a boater or predator. The tremolo signals distress and may urge loons to move to safety. This wavering call also announces its presence at a lake. The yodel is also an… read more →
The Douglas H. Pimlott Award is Nature Canada’s highest honour, awarded to an individual whose outstanding contributions to Canadian conservation serve as an example to us all. Nature Canada is proud to announce that Anne Murray is the 2015 Douglas H. Pimlott Award Winner. Anne’s dedication to nature conservation is truly inspiring. Anne volunteers with a number of nature organizations, including Nature Canada, Bird Studies Canada, B.C. Nature, Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust, Delta Naturalists’ Society, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, UK. Anne was active for many years with the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee in highlighting the importance of the Fraser River delta and its migratory birds, and in successful and unsuccessful campaigns to protect habitat… read more →
In an unprecedented partnership, Nature Canada has been joined by Ontario Nature, the Kingston Field Naturalists and the American Bird Conservancy in opposition to a recently approved industrial wind energy project that threatens birds and other wildlife on Amherst Island. “Ontario’s decision to approve Windlectric’s 26-turbine project on Amherst Island—one of the province’s crown jewels of nature—is another in a string of ‘tough on nature’ decisions to build wind energy projects in Important Bird Areas in the region” said Stephen Hazell, Nature Canada’s Director of Conservation. “Given Ontario’s failure to consider the cumulative effects of these projects on nature, the Environmental Review Tribunal should overturn the approval of the Amherst Island Project as well as that of White Pines. And… read more →
This is a guest blog by one of our founding members of Women for Nature, Tami Grantham who works for the Canadian Wildlife Service and also teaches outdoor education classes. I am honoured to have been chosen to be as a member of Women for Nature and believe passionately that women hold a powerful role in the conservation of wild spaces and places so I was delighted when asked to share my passion! I grew up on the shores of Kluane Lake, my backyard, Kluane National Park and my youth spent immersed in the natural world. As I reflect on those times I am grateful, grateful for the values that grew with me, grateful for the connection to the natural world my… read more →
This is a guest blog by Dr. TA Loeffler who is one of our newest Women for Nature. She is an experienced educator, explorer, nature advocate, and author. TA research focuses on the value of being out in nature over the life span. She has received much international and national recognition for her innovative teaching and community engagement. Throughout her incredible journeys and outdoor adventures, TA has aimed to be a “public dreamer” to inspire and motivate others to have big dreams and big goals. Sometimes the work of finding the words to describe a wilderness expedition is as arduous as the portages. I’ve just returned home from a two week expedition “on the Labrador” with five friends and I’m… read more →
The flamboyantly coloured Magnolia Warbler originally had a much more literal, much less botanical name. Find out what it was in this week’s Tweet of the Week! Each week we introduce a new bird from the Ottawa-Gatineau area through our segment on CBC Radio’s In Town and Out. This August, Nicolas Conroy, Nature Canada’s Conservation Intern, shares interesting facts about birds that live in our communities. Be sure to tune-in to the “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, September 5th, 2015.
Despite its size and secretive ways, the Marsh Wren is no bird to mess with! Competition for food and territory leads this tiny songbird to plunder and remove the nests of other wetland birds twice its size. 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 Senior Conservation Manager, shares interesting facts about birds that live in our communities. Be sure to tune-in to the “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 29th, 2015.
The colourful Wood Duck gets its name in part because it nests in tree cavities – up to 20 metres high – in wooded areas near water. At as young as 1-day-old the nestlings jump from the nest to join their mother in heading to water. But that doesn’t make them ‘quacks’ – this duck actually whistles! Each week we introduce a new bird from the Ottawa-Gatineau area through our segment on CBC Radio’s In Town and Out. This August, Nicolas Conroy, Nature Canada’s Conservation Intern, shares interesting facts about birds that live in our communities. Be sure to tune-in to the “Bird Tweet of the Week” on CBC Radio One 91.5 FM on Saturday mornings from 6am to 9am and listen to… read more →
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 →