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Notes from the Wild

Trees can host multiple burls and still lead long, robust lives. Photo by Don Scallen.

Burls and Trees on Stilts

Dec 5, 2019 | Don Scallen

The reasons burls grow on trees are still not fully understood, but infection by viruses, fungus and bacteria are likely causes.

I’d love science to explore the possibility that two of our local tree species, beech and hemlock, might also be co-operating through fungal networks.

Tree Co-operation

Nov 12, 2019 | Don Scallen

The research into the co-operative nature of trees is in its infancy.

Caligraphic beetle

Night Creatures

Oct 8, 2019 | Don Scallen

Most of the nocturnal critters my friends and I find are insects, but spiders, millipedes and amphibians also appear in our flashlight beams.

The Flight of the Mayflies

Sep 14, 2019 | Don Scallen

The annual emergence of mayflies, wherever it occurs, brings predictable responses.

Amazing Beavers

Aug 6, 2019 | Don Scallen

This serendipitous meeting with a near-sighted beaver was my favorite type of wildlife encounter!

Freeliving caddisfly larva from the Credit River in Alton. Photo by Don Scallen.

Benthic Invertebrates

Jul 3, 2019 | Don Scallen

The abundance of these aquatic larvae in our streams and rivers is a good thing.

Male and female rose-breasted grosbeak. Photo by Fiona Reid.

Spring Songbirds

Jun 14, 2019 | Don Scallen

May and June herald the arrival of a trio of supremely beautiful tropical migrants: indigo buntings, Baltimore orioles and rose-breasted grosbeaks.

Piebald spotted salamander 2010. Photo by Charlotte Cox.

The Return of the Salamanders

May 9, 2019 | Don Scallen

This year I managed to take video of the underwater breeding of spotted salamanders.

Peregrine falcon from Brampton balcony. Photo by Peter and Rose Bailey.

Urban Animals

Apr 5, 2019 | Don Scallen

Raccoons, squirrels and robins adapted to urban life long ago.

racoon in tree cavities

Tree Cavities

Mar 8, 2019 | Don Scallen

Squirrels, racoons, owls, chickadees, and many other creatures find safety and shelter within trees.

Barred owl streamside in a hemlock. Photo by Don Scallen.

Barred Owls

Feb 5, 2019 | Don Scallen

Barred owls, like all owls, exercise a mysterious hold on our psyches. Birders and non-birders alike are drawn to their expressive faces and large liquid eyes.

Evening grosbeaks feeding on sunflower seeds northeast of Shelburne

Boreal Birds

Jan 4, 2019 | Don Scallen

Over 300 species, totalling billions of birds rely on Canada’s boreal forest as breeding grounds, some boreal birds are migrating through Headwaters during the winter months.

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