An Easier Way To Learn The Language Of Birds

Posted January 7, 2019 I wouldn't stop talking about one of my favourite apps, so the editor of The Osprey asked me to write about it. I use it myself, but also bring it to Nature NL events and other workshops so that other people can play too. This isn't sponsored or encouraged by the company or anything like that, I just really enjoy it (arguably, it's marginally more useful than all the time I spend scrolling through bird pictures on Instagram) - and thought other naturalists might too - Laura King, Nature NL VP Larkwire is just an app. But like any good app, it has the potential to make life better - in this case, for the bird nerds. You might be familiar with the repetitive “chicka-dee-dee-dee” of the forest - that's the Black-capped Chickadee. But what about the hundreds of other bird species you might hear and…

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Outport Chronicles: A Weekend in Grates Cove, NL

Photos by Sara Jenkins & John Jamieson This chilly winter weather has us thinking back on some of the fun we had before the snows hit.  This October, as a thank-you to our valued members who make all of our programming and educational activities possible, we organized a members-only weekend retreat to Grates Cove, NL.  We chose Grates Cove because its remoteness, rugged beauty, and the ingenuity of this community’s adaptation to both the natural landscape and changing lifeways of Newfoundland and Labrador inspire us to get out and celebrate both our province’s natural heritage and our role within it. Grates Cove is the northernmost community on the Avalon Peninsula, located at the tip of the Bay de Verde Peninsula and situated in the eastern hyper-oceanic barrens ecoregion.  This ecoregion is restricted to several isolate localities in Newfoundland and is characterized by extensive carpets of heath with diverse lichen, moss,…

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Nature field guides for Newfoundland

Looking to brush up on your naturalist skills, learn more about the wildlife around us, or just identify that weird looking bug you found in your backyard? Apps can be great too of course, but sometimes flipping through a book that you know is specific to your location is the best. Here's a handy list of some field guides that are great for the Island of Newfoundland (and some cover Labrador or all of Atlantic Canada also). These field guides aren't endorsed by Nature NL and we don't receive any compensation; we just have been asked what we recommend and wanted to share. We know that as a beginning naturalist it can be hard to figure out what to buy and where sometimes. Enjoy! General nature guide McCloskey & Kennedy - Nature Guide to Atlantic Canada A great guide for beginners (and even better, they can be found at many…

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Birds of a Feather: Interview with Artist Brandy Barry

By Justin So Posted April 26, 2018 I was admiring the bird photographs on the Newfoundland Birdwatching Group on Facebook when I stumbled upon Brandy Barry’s redpoll painting that uniquely used a feather as a canvas. The painting was absolutely lovely and clearly showed her enthusiasm for song birds. Brandy shared the redpoll painting on the birdwatching group as she knew the members enjoyed birds as much as she did. She received great response for her work and has since gone on to paint many other beautiful species of birds. In this interview, Brandy shares her inspiration from nature, her admiration of birds, and the importance of art in her life. To see more of Brandy’s work, visit her Facebook Page: Brandy Barry Art. Redpoll in Cherry blossoms. Q: Tell me about your art. A: My art work is mostly realism art, I also like Surrealism art, but I have been…

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Research Spotlight Series: Colonial Seabird Monitoring in Atlantic Canada

By: Sabina Wilhelm, Canadian Wildlife Service Posted April 17, 2018 Editor’s Note: In our Research Spotlight Series we shine a light on exciting research in our province. In this post we showcase the Canadian Wildlife Service. Puffin research on Gull Island (Photo by Pierre Ryan). The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) Colonial Seabird Monitoring Program focuses on assessing the population size and trends of 20 species of seabirds across the four Canadian Atlantic provinces, namely Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.  Over the past year, focus has been on continuing to update the status of major Leach’s Storm-Petrel colonies in the region in light of recent surveys having revealed that several of Newfoundland’s significant colonies, including Baccalieu Island, the world’s largest, have experienced declines of 40-50% over the past 20-30 years. In response to these declines, Bird Life International assessed this species as globally threatened and listed…

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A Birdfeeder Model

As with most good deeds, feeding birds in the winter is done primarily for the benefit of the feeder, not the eater. We place feeders near our window, to enjoy the comings and goings of various small birds all day long. But the standard feeder has some problems. Houses are surrounded by cleared areas, where a concentration of small birds attracts the attention of hawks, who are faster and manoeuver better than small birds away from protective shelter. Thus, to satisfy our desire to observe them, we expose them to additional risk, and some are sacrificed for our pleasure. You may argue that hawks are also birds, and surely also deserve to be fed at bird feeders. Indeed. Certainly, nobody can deny the thrill of watching them swoop, rush, twist and turn. But just like the small birds, once they learn of a constant food source, they return with regularity.…

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