With the spring breeding season right around the corner, here is a photo of three Ferruginous Hawk chicks during a routine nest check last summer. Nick Parayko is studying these amazing raptors, in southern Alberta, for his Master’s project under Dr. Erin Bayne. Looks like fun!
Photo by: Nick Parayko
Boutin lab members, Sean Konkolics and Mike Peers, lead Edmonton families for a wildlife snow-tracking workshop hosted by Nature Alberta’s: Nature Kids program. The group spent a few hours in Strathcona Science Park looking at different wildlife tracks including coyote, fox, red squirrel, and snowshoe hare. Even though it was a chilly -16C, this was a great opportunity for kids from the city to learn about animal tracks, while getting outside in the winter!
Mike shows the families a spot where a coyote killed a snowshoe hare.The City of Edmonton in the distance.
Special thanks to Nature Kids coordinators Alyssa Bohart and Emily Dong.
Photo credit: Alyssa Bohart
Every fall the Beaver Hill Bird Observatory in Alberta catches and bands owls. Here a graduate student has an intimate moment with a Saw Whet Owl as it is released from the station. Banding birds helps biologists track their movements and estimate population numbers.
Photo Credit: Sean Konkolics
Winter will hit soon in the north. Young lynx like this one have to grow up quickly during the summer and fall so they can help hunt for snowshoe hares and other small prey in the winter.
Camera trap photo by Darcy Doran-Myers.
There are perks to summer fieldwork! This technician gets to see some great views while getting her technology fix as she enters important vegetation and berry data on an Ipad in northern BC.
Photo by: Clayton Lamb
Gabe Schepens, field assisting for a camera trapping project in Kluane, knows how to have a great attitude even when he sinks knee deep in mud. Sometimes what looks like solid ground in Kluane is not very solid.
Post and photo by Darcy Doran-Myers.
Working in central Alberta, east of Calgary, in May 2017. It is tough to spot a Boreal Chorus Frog, despite how easy it is to hear them, because they are small and tend to hide when potential predators are near. This brave little frog made eye contact with Cam Nordell a few feet away and continued to sing.
Photo by Cam Nordell.
Two Canada lynx kittens from a family of five captured on a remote camera in Kluane, Yukon Territory last summer. When food is abundant, lynx have big families, like this one. When food is not abundant, females have fewer kittens or may forego having kittens altogether. Kittens stay in their mother’s den for several weeks after birth in May. In the peak of the summer, they begin to explore the world outside their den. This camera captured images of the family on one of its first trips out of the den.
Females will soon be establishing new dens and having new litters of kittens in Kluane. Food is abundant for lynx in the study area, and researchers expect big families again this year.
Photo and post by Darcy Doran-Myers.
What do -38°C, a spacesuit and a wooden post have to do with songbird research?
I could only hold the camera for a couple seconds before my fingers froze. My field partner, Logan, and I had just snowmobiled a half an hour from our truck parked on an ice road ~80 km south of the Nunavut border, in the tundra of the NWT. We were not actually wearing spacesuits, but our big onesies, snowmobile helmets and steel-toed winter boots made it look like we were. Our task was to collect acoustic recording units (ARUs) deployed by Environment & Climate Change Canada (ECCC). The ARUs were deployed last year when the ice road was open, but started recording in the spring, after birds had arrived. Winter is the only time this northern boreal/tundra transition area is accessible. 100 ARUs, mounted on trees and wooden posts (when there are no trees), span a 400 km south-north transect along the ice road. After retrieval, recordings will be analyzed to identify bird species. This marks the start of a long-term monitoring project to identify and track the northern limits of songbird ranges, a topic of great importance in the face of a changing climate. Students from Dr. Erin Bayne’s lab collaborate with ECCC on songbird research using ARUs.
Collaborators: Samuel Haché (Environment and Climate Change Canada)
Location: Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road, Northwest Territories
-Post and Photo by Emily Upham-Mills