During the breeding season, male songbirds often have brightly coloured and contrasting feather patterns to attract females. These patterns often become more pronounced and defined in older adult males. One of the distinguishing features of the Canada Warbler is the adult male’s dark necklaced feather pattern, which gets darker and more distinct after their second year. Not only did our banded male from 2015 return to the same breeding location, but he came back in 2016 sporting a beautifully developed necklace, and was accompanied by a nesting female! Looks like a year abroad did wonders for this warbler’s appeal. Post and photos by Anjolene Hunt.
These carnivorous pitcher plants were found in a fen near Conklin, AB while deploying automated recording units to listen for wetland birds and amphibians. These plants grow primarily in nutrient-poor habitats and supplement their diet with insects that they trap and digest. Post and photo by Cameron Nordell.
It’s always fun to change things up and work with a new species or in a new habitat. Songbird researcher Anjolene Hunt was happy to help Jesse Watson, Frank Pouw, and Walter the owl carry out Broad-winged hawk capture and transmitter attachment as part of the Migratory Connectivity Project, a collaborative effort between the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the University of Alberta. Photos and post by Anjolene Hunt.
A wild strawberry plant sends out runners after a forest fire. Photo taken last summer in the Richardson burn north of Ft. McMurray, Alberta, by Elly Knight.
Black-backed woodpeckers make for noisy, but very photogenic, neighbours. Photo by Anjolene Hunt
A sharp-tailed grouse shows off her namesake feathers in a clearcut in northern Alberta. Photo by Elly Knight.
Brown-headed cowbirds are brood parasites, animals that use other organisms to raise their young. Parents will lay their eggs in a different species nest, and the unsuspecting host will incubate the eggs, and feed the giant chicks, often at the expense of their own offpring. Here, a tiny black-and-white warbler feeds its unintentional adoptee. Post and photos by Anjolene Hunt.
Dragonfly nymph exoskeletons left behind when the adults emerged. Thousands of exoskeletons covered the shores of McClelland Lake north of Ft. McMurray, AB. Photo by Elly Knight.
Bearberry (Uva ursi) takes on a rainbow of colours after forest fire. This photo was taken at the southern extent of the Richardson burn north of Ft. McMurray, which is the 2nd largest fire in Alberta’s recorded history. Photo by Elly Knight.