My colleague Lori received an excited phone call from her husband Peter on Friday, saying that there was a Snowy Owl in a tree outside the suburban business park building where he works. The Snowy Owl was being pestered by many crows but it was resolutely standing its ground in a pine tree in the parking lot. We excitedly asked Peter to get some photos and send them to us. One of Peter’s colleagues dashed out and snapped these great photos. So, what’s this owl doing in a parking lot in Ottawa? Snowy Owls breed on the northern tundra, and in some years many of them remain on their breeding grounds year round, hunting diurnally for rodents. Each winter, some… read more →
We have a winner! We received many creative, wonderful videos showcasing your favourite places in nature, for Nature Canada’s Favourite Places Video Contest. Now, for your viewing pleasure, I’d like to present Laura Parsley’s video, “Mapleton Park.” (Laura is now the owner of an Apple iPod touch.) We also have an honorable mention who came very close to being selected as the favourite among the gang here at Nature Canada. From Joan Ouellette, Conversation with a Wolf: Congratulations Laura, and thank you to everyone who shared their favourite place in nature with us! Visit our contest web site to view all nature videos submitted to us. Enjoy!
Check out this cute and funny video with a serious message… The video is part of the BBC’s ‘Breathing Places’ project, which includes a practical and easy-to-navigate website designed to help people help some of the UK’s most beautiful environments and their inhabitants.
In a sad sign of society’s continuing estrangement from nature, the Oxford Junior Dictionary is banishing more than 90 nature words from its newest edition. (see full list of removed words) Children will no longer see the following words in their dictionary: Beaver, boar, cheetah, colt, cygnet, doe, drake, ferret, heron, herring, kingfisher, lark, leopard, lobster, magpie, minnow, mussel, newt, otter, ox, oyster, panther, pelican, piglet, plaice, porcupine, porpoise, raven, starling, stoat, stork, terrapin, thrush, weasel, wren. Acorn, almond, apricot, ash, beech, beetroot, blackberry, bluebell, bramble, brook, buttercup, carnation, catkin, cauliflower, chestnut, clover, conker, cowslip, crocus, dandelion, fern, fungus, gooseberry, hazel, hazelnut, heather, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, leek, melon, mint, mistletoe, nectar, nectarine, oats, pansy, parsnip, poppy, primrose, prune,… read more →
Last week, the Boreal Songbird Initiative, Pembina Institute and the Natural Resources Defence Council released a report describing the predicted impact of the tar sands on bird populations. The report, Danger in the Nursery, used modelling based on best current knowledge of bird populations in northeastern Alberta, combined with documented and estimated impacts of different elements of tar sands development and expansion on bird populations. The picture is grim for many reasons. Impacts include: direct lost of habitat to strip mining settling ponds threat to migrants fragmentation and destruction of habitat from deep drilling installations with their road and pipeline networks air pollution from the operations and the production and refining processes water withdrawal, diversions and contamination How do the… read more →
I wanted to share with you all a set of nature photos that a member of our online community sent in — partly because they have what I think is a surreal, dreamy feel to them, and partly because they depict nature scenes from London, Ontario, where I grew up and went to school. Here they are, with photographer Sean Pape’s commentary: Sean: The picture with the orange sky was taken in the evening after a storm; sunset looks the best with all the moisture and turbulence still in the clouds. Picture was taken in a field off a country road in north London. Sean: this was taken in the late afternoon at a pond next to the Jack Chambers… read more →
My little office at Nature Canada is known as “the cold one.” Sweaters and tea are essential items for me and my office mate, Sarah, as winter sets in. But this month’s nature photo brings thoughts of warmer times and sunnier climes, almost enough for me to throw off the extra layers (almost). Photographer Allegra Connor had this to say about her nature photo of a daylily: I took this photo at the Rosetta McClain Gardens, two blocks east of Kingston Road and Birchmount Road in Toronto, in the summer of 2008. It had just rained, but was sunny at the time of the photo, so this created the perfect environment for taking the photo with dew drops on the… read more →
The holidays are fast approaching and if you’re looking for a gift for the nature lover in your life (or maybe for yourself!) may I humbly suggest you buy from one of these small businesses? Not only do they offer some cool merchandise but portions of their proceeds go to Nature Canada’s conservation work. Click on either of the links below each image, check out the products and poke around on their web sites to learn their stories (note that only proceeds from the sale of items pictured below — the bird t-shirt and the nature bags — support our conservation efforts.) Eco-Gear (t-shirt): http://www.eco-gear.ca/cgi-bin/apluspro/scripts/affiliate.cgi?af=8882031&pg=eco-gear-shop/EcoWear-NatureCanada-GT05.html Avani Creations (nature bags): http://www.avanicreations.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=7_25
Our friends at the Boreal Songbird Initiative pointed us to this good news piece — unlikely as it sounds, politicians are actually listening to scientists for a change: Politicians persuaded to save Canada boreal forest By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment CorrespondentWASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Politicians actually listened when experts told them to protect Canada’s boreal forest, a potent weapon against global warming, and the plan for this vast green area could work on some of the world’s other vital places, scientists told Reuters. Bigger than the Amazon and better than almost anywhere else on the planet at keeping climate-warming carbon out of the atmosphere, the boreal forest stretches across 1.4 billion acres (566.6 million hectares) from Newfoundland to Alaska. More… read more →
More than 71 million Americans — that’s one in 3 people over the age of 16 — participated in wildlife watching in 2006. That’s more than four times the total attendance of all National Football League games that year. I found this, and many other interesting stats, in a recent US Fish and Wildlife Service report that describes the importance of wildlife watching to the US economy. Here are some more: Expenditures for wildlife watching are equivalent to the revenues generated from all spectator sports, amusement parks and arcades, non-hotel casinos, bowling centers and skiing facilities combined. In 2006, the direct expenditures of wildlife watchers generated $122.6 billion in total industrial output. Wildlife watchers spent their bucks on items… read more →