Birds Make Us Happy

 Birds Make Us Happy… by Nina Munteanuphoto by Nina Munteanu When I go out on my daily walk in the nearby meadow, woodland and marsh, I find myself listening to the birds. Their songs and calls weave a symphonic tapestry that stitches me into the very fabric of the place. Through them I find my way “home.” The iconic trill of the red-winged blackbird in the wetland calls me back to my masters studies at university…

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The World’s Most Successful Bird

 Female House SparrowPhoto by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0 Mostly we pay no attention to House Sparrows. Why should we? They’re all over the place, common as dirt; songbirds with not much of a song (just “cheep-cheep-cheep”); rather dull colours, not like cardinals or blue jays.In truth, although the females are rather nondescript “LBBs” (little brown birds), from close up the males are quite striking.Male House SparrowPhoto: Simon Shapiro  Looks aside, they’re pretty interesting birds.…

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Beaver Buddies

These fuzzy vegan chonkers are full of personality and vital to the ongoing health and diversity of forests and waterways. Their forestry and dam building efforts filter water, create wetlands, and make room for the next-in-line trees and bushes. All of that encourages more types of animals to come.Though the beaver in this picture was so chill that it popped up to check out my kayak, most of the time the only notice of a…

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I have a new book!

By Claire EamerI HAVE A NEW BOOK COMING OUT JUNE 1!!! (Oops. Did I shout? Sorry. It’s just that the birth of a new book is really quite exciting.) Actually, let me tell you a bit about the book – and then I’ll move on to the “exciting.” It’s called Extremely Gross Animals: Stinky, Slimy and Strange Animal Adaptations, published by my good friends at Kids Can Press. And it’s disgusting, in the best of…

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Blanding’s Turtle

 by Jan Thornhill[Editor's note: our Jan Thornhill knows turtles. Several times, she has written for Sci/Why blog about turtles. You can read her short articles at this link. Today's short note is based on her recent Facebook post.]I helped the first Blanding's Turtle of the spring cross our road today! Like snapping turtles, Blanding's turtles are slow to sexually mature at about 14-25 years of age. But they can reproduce until they are at least 75…

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Biomimicry

Most of us know what a mime is -- that's a person who mimics a movement so it looks like they are climbing a rope or walking against a strong wind. Some people can mimic the voice of a famous person. But mimicry goes beyond trying to look like or sound like something else. Here's an introduction to Biomimicry, written for Sci/Why by Kim Woolcock and Megan Clendenan. Biomimicry is a relatively new field of…

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Water, the Magic Act of the Universe

Water, the Magic Act of the Universeby Nina Munteanu Water is H2O, hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing that makes it water and nobody knows what it is.—D.H. LawrenceI’m a limnologist. Like other water scientists, I study the properties of water; how it behaves in a watershed. I help manage water in our environment; its flow, distribution, storage and quality. I look at how water changes the landscape, carving…

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Science Every Day by Raymond Nakamura

 by Raymond NakamuraI am a lapsed scientist. I have not been part of an official system for cranking out new scientific knowledge. But I still like to think about science-y things when I can.A little while ago, I was watching The Sisters Brothers movie a little while ago (not for children) and wondered about various details in the story, which might have a real life answer, such as the tooth powder, or might be made…

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A Good Look At Perseverance

 There's a lot of action happening around Mars right now.  In February 2021, three new space probes arrived at Mars. The first was Hope Probe, sent by United Arab Emirates, which will orbit Mars and study the planet's atmosphere for an entire Martian year (that's 867 days for scientists back on Earth!) The UAE space agency has an interactive website at this link which updates Hope Probe in real time. The second probe to arrive…

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