Vultures integral to the ecosystem

Many birders have stood with me at the hawk watch, staring into the sky with hopes of seeing a hawk, falcon, or eagle. While these birds make regular appearances, there is one bird that you can always depend on: turkey vultures. On a recent day, the sky was full of them — more than usual. […]

On the Wild Side: Coyotes deserve our respect

“Do you love wolves? Or maybe cherish a family pet dog? Do you think that foxes are adorable? Coyotes are also worthy of our admiration and reverence; to be cherished and adored. They are sentient and essential beings. All come from the same family Canidae, including jackals. Yes, they are all related! Coyotes are beautiful, […]

Get out of my tree, get into my nest

I’m sure I’ve written this before, but one aspect I truly love about nature is that it is always changing. Over the past few years, we’ve had robins consistently nesting on one side of the house or another. In bird houses, we’ve had sparrows, starlings, and even a pair of screech owls. This year, to […]

There’s nuttin’ cuter than a chipmunk

It finally feels official: spring has sprung. The songbirds are calling before sunrise, the hibernating animals are coming out and looking for food, the swans are honking on the water, and my favorite red-tailed hawks are screaming and soaring through the air. The rain is falling, the flowers are sprouting, and the Maple Leafs are… […]

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck?

One of the most common and important wildlife questions I’ve ever been asked: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Not too long ago I spent a day at the beach walking the boardwalk. The wind was whipping the sand across the path and the water was pounding against […]

American coots are a hoot

Here’s a short tale about a neat bird with a rather unfortunate name. I tried to figure out which coot came first: the bird or the slang for a crotchety old man. Dictionary.com tells me that the Dutch may have used the word Koet about 800 years ago when referring to the bird, and I […]

Grey Jays are a true Canadian bird

Can you believe it is December already? The past month we had both very warm and very cold weather and humans aren’t the only ones confused by it. Has anyone else noticed the flocks of geese flying south on Monday and then north on Tuesday? I think that’s the bird equivalent of trying to decide […]

What does the fox say? Look up

Fact: I love foxes. Why? I love their colour, their eyes, the way they move… and of course, that amazingly annoying song: “What does the fox say?” And how about how much fun the word fox is to say? It gives us terms like foxy, outfoxed, sly as a fox, and the foxtrot. So, yes, […]