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Archives for 2013

Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association Symposium

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Join us for Symposium 2013 at the Churchbridge Town Hall from 11:00am - 7:00pm on April 13, 2013. Speakers this year include Lorne Scott, Alan Smith, Merle Massie and Anna Leighton! There will also be a silent auction and ticket raffle. Registration is $45 for members and $55 for non-members, this includes lunch and dinner. Register today! Click here for full details.

Please Join us for the 2013 Baillie Birdathon!

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Nature Saskatchewan’s Last Mountain Bird Observatory (LMBO) is hosting a Baillie Birdathon event in the Last Mountain Regional Park which is just west of Govan (please call the NS office if you need directions). Plan to get together with our Birdathon leader Gabriel Foley, on May 18th, to enjoy a morning of birding around Last Mountain Bird Observatory. It will be fun, challenging, and a great learning experience Come on your own, or bring your friends and family - everyone is welcome!   If you have binoculars, then don’t forget to bring them along too. Please meet at 8 am at the LMBO banding station, and then everyone can walk around the park as a group, and have lunch together at the park concession. Last year, leader Bruce Kellett had a total species count of 88 birds at the LMBO and area. Another Baillie Birdathoner at LMBO in 2012 was 12 year old Theodore Kolkman.

More than 7,000 people from across Canada (and from several countries around the world) participate in and/or sponsor Birdathons in May of every year. During a 24-hour period, “birdathoners” attempt to find as many bird species as they can, sponsored at a flat rate, or on a per-species basis.

Help fundraise for the Last Mountain Bird Observatory and become a part of the 2013 Baillie Birdathon by registering & finding sponsors. You can sponsor yourself, a participant, or our Birdathon leader. A tax receipt is issued for all sponsorships of $10 or more. Please make cheques payable to "Bird Studies Canada".

To register for the Baillie Birdathon contact Nature Saskatchewan (1-800-667-4668 or 306-780-9273), call Bird Studies Canada (1-888-448-2473 ext.210), or visit BSC at to download your Birdathon Participant kit – be sure to nameNature Saskatchewan as your sponsoring club on the registration form so that funds will go to LMBO (about 60-90%). The remainder supports bird conservation in Canada.

Can’t make it to LMBO?  You can do your own Birdathon: sign up, find sponsors and get out in May to see as many species as possible in one day at a location of your choice!  Go alone or with a friend. Check with your local nature club – a bird enthusiast may be leading a local Birdathon that you can join (consider sponsoring the leader if you are not planning to sign up for the Baillie Birdathon yourself). Thanks and Happy birding!

Nature's Invitation

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Brandy Y Productions Inc. presents "Nature's Invitation". It is a documentary about Canada’s quest to get new immigrants in touch with nature. It is produced, directed, and written by Brandy Yanchyk. The screening is part of the Yorkton Film Fesitval and it will take place at the Gallagher Centre Room 2 - Ravine Room on May 24th at 11:00.

Nature Saskatchewan and the Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association are sponsoring the screening. A panel discussion will follow.

Nature's Invitation

Prairie Passages Dinner: An Evening with Margaret Atwood and Graem Gibson

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Join two of Canada’s most celebrated authors, conservationists, and prominent members of BirdLife International as they reflect on their passion for birds, wildlife, grasslands, and their recent travels in Saskatchewan. This is an educational event. The dinner is the highlight of the Prairie Passages tour with Atwood, Gibson, and other international guests from the conservation community. The purpose is draw attention to the global significance of conservation programming and bird habitat at risk on federal PFRA community pastures now being transferred to Saskatchewan.

Your MC will be Candace Savage, one of Saskatchewan's most respected writers. Her most recent book, A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape, won the $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction and the 2013 Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award.

This event is hosted by Public Pastures-Public Interest and Nature Canada. Visit the dinner webpage:

Tickets: $100, available at the Globe Theatre Box Office:

Phone: 306.525.6400/Out of town: 1.866.954.5623
Fax: 306.352.4194. Email:

For more information about Tickets and Tables you can also contact Jane Anweiler in Regina at the email address above or call her in Regina at 306-522-8692.

I happen to be a writer, but as a cultural practioner like you, I understand that our identity as a people, our heritage, and our future is inextricably connected to this prairie landscape we live in. Please join us in this once in a lifetime event.

Thank you.

Bruce Rice

Nature Saskatchewan welcomes Jordan Ignatiuk!

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Nature Saskatchewan is very pleased to announce the appointment of Jordan Ignatiuk as its new Executive Director. Mr. Ignatiuk brings extensive conservation and management experience in the not-for-profit sector to Nature Saskatchewan. Over the past 25 years his career has evolved from wildlife and habitat research to habitat conservation and education. Mr. Ignatiuk is looking forward to working with the dedicated members and volunteers of Nature Saskatchewan across the province who commit their time and energies to preserve the natural environment and promote its enjoyment and existence for future generations.

For more information:

Nature Saskatchewan
1860 Lorne St.
Regina, Sask. S4P 2L7

Phone: 306-780-9263

Youngsters Are On The Move!

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For more information on helping Burrowing Owl, Piping Plover, and Loggerhead Shrike young stay safe, check out our August 6, 2013 News Release.

What's Up With Whooping Cranes? Symposium CANCELLED

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“The symposium, “What’s Up with the Whooping Cranes?” scheduled for October 5 in Saskatoon has been CANCELLED. Meetings that would have brought world experts on this species to Saskatoon have been POSTPONED and as a result we cannot offer the public symposium planned for that date. Our apologies to all who had been planning to attend. It is possible that the symposium may be rescheduled to a future date.”


Nature Saskatchewan Sponsors Burrowing Owl Presentation to Local Societies

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Dr. Geoff Holroyd (retired from Environment Canada) will present a summary of over 20 years of Burrowing Owl research in Canada at the following locations:


Monday November 4, 2013, 7:30 PM

Royal Saskatchewan Museum

Fort Qu'Appelle

Tuesday November 5, 2013, 7:00 PM

Train Station on Highway 10

Indian Head

Wednesday November 6, 2013, 7:30 PM

St. Joseph Catholic Church basement

Swift Current

Thursday November 7, 2013, 7:00PM

Swift Current Museum, 44 Robert Street

Moose Jaw

Friday November 8, 2013, 7:00 PM

Timothy Eaton Garden, Main Street

PlantWatch Fall 2013 Update

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Fall Update 2013

Another year of PlantWatching has passed, and to date 16 PlantWatchers have submitted over 200 bloom records from the spring and summer of 2013!  It was a very late cool spring and a warm summer throughout most of Saskatchewan, but many PlantWatchers still were able to record the blooming dates of many species. This information will aid in climate change research and phenology studies (study of the seasonal timing of lifecycle events, such as the first bloom).

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their report stating it is extremely likely that humans are the dominate factor in global warming. The report states that the atmosphere and oceans have warmed, the amount of ice and snow has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen, and the concentration of greenhouse gases have increased. It’s more important than ever to collect climate change data through blooming dates.

Thank-you to everyone who submitted PlantWatch observations this year!  Congratulations to Eileen Herman of Qu’Appelle, the prize winner who was randomly selected from all who sent in data for the 2013 season. 

If you were able to collect bloom data, but have not sent it in, it is never too late!  You can mail your completed data sheet to the Nature Saskatchewan Office at 206 - 1860 Lorne St., Regina, SK, S4P 2L7, e-mail your data to, or fax it to 306-780-9263. If you entered your own data on the PlantWatch website, which now requires an e-mail address rather than a phone number to register, please let me know what e-mail address you used, so I can keep my records updated.

Be sure to check out the PlantWatch webpage on the updated Nature Saskatchewan website at  including the brochure, newsletters and data sheets, posters, and the PlantWatch Teacher’s Guide, which is also available on the website

If you know of an individual, school, youth, community or nature group that would be interested in any of the PlantWatch or NatureWatch materials , please e-mail , or call 306-780-9481 in Regina or toll-free at 1-800-667-4668.

Thanks again for your interest and participation in PlantWatch Saskatchewan!  

All the best, and I hope you have a great winter season!

Lacey Weekes

PlantWatch Saskatchewan Coordinator - Nature Saskatchewan

U of A Birds and Windows Project

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The University of Alberta has developed the Birds and Windows Project to study bird window collisions at your home. We encourage you to take a look at our website and participate in the study. 

What is the issue?
It has been estimated up to 1 billion birds are killed in North America each year as a result of bird window collisions! This is one of the largest threats facing urban bird populations. Residential homes are estimated to represent 90% of building-related mortality, directly related to their large number compared to other building classes. However, more work is needed; only four studies in the past have focused on bird window collision mortality at houses.

Get involved!
To better understand what can be done to reduce bird window collisions, the University of Alberta has developed this project to actively involve YOU in data collection. We are asking you to think about bird window collisions you have observed in the past and would like you to regularly search around your residence for evidence of bird window collisions in the future. By collecting this data we hope to identify the factors that make some windows more risky for birds than others.

As a citizen scientist you can help! 

Visit the website for more information:

Thank you for helping us make our homes a healthy habitat for us and all our neighbours! 

Emergency Order Released for Sage Grouse Protection

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We are glad to see that an EO has finally been released, but we are concerned that it is does not provide sufficient protection for the species. We hope to be able to provide a more detailed analysis of the EO soon, however, based on our initial review, the EO appears to be a good first step but more needs to be done if the species – which only has 5 years left according to the government of Canada – is going to survive and recover. Read the whole document here: Emergency Order for Sage Grouse Protection

Christmas Bird Count time is HERE!

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It's that time of year again for the annual Christmas Bird Counts. It is conducted in over 2000 localities across Canada, the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. These bird observations have been amassed into a huge database that reflects the distribution and numbers of winter birds over time.

Christmas Bird Counts are conducted on any one day between December 14 and January 5 inclusive. They are carried out within a 24-km diameter circle that stays the same from year to year. Christmas counts are generally group efforts, though single-observer counts can and do happen. They are organized at the local level, usually by a birding club or naturalists organization. If you are interested in participating this year please go to this link and find a count near you!