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
Two young northern harrier chicks in Conklin, Alberta. Northern harrier hawks build their nests on the ground in prairies, fields, and bogs. Lionel Leston found this nest while hiking through a watery fen.
As spring approaches, trail cams sometimes turn into kiss cams
Photo from Kluane trail cams courtesy of Darcy Doran-Myers
A big part of fieldwork in the prairies is making sure you have good relations with those who occupy the land. These curious cows eye researcher Anjolene Hunt suspiciously as she approaches to monitor a Ferruginous hawk nest.
A group of Poplar admiral butterflies glean some extra nutrients from some dried up scat
-photo by Lionel Leston
The forest returns! Blanket of flowers two years after a forest fire
-Photo by Michelle Knaggs