Myrna Pearman

Unique family of grebes heartlessly shot

The wetland bisected by Range Road 281, just west of the city, is very productive. In recognition of the many sora rails that call this area home, Red Deer’s most enthusiastic birdwatcher, Judy Boyd, has dubbed the area “Sora Central.”

Sandhill crane encounter

I had the good fortune last month to witness one of the most magical and dramatic wildlife spectacles on the North American continent — the spring migration of sandhill cranes through the Platte River in Nebraska.

Arctic flyers, redpolls consider our region as a winter break

Redpolls are one of the most interesting and entertaining of our backyard neighbours. Considered to be the hardiest birds on the planet, these feisty little circumpolar finches breed in the Arctic and spend their winters in balmy Alberta!

In praise of chickadees: those cheerful bundles of fluff

I love chickadees. Who doesn’t? How drab our winters would be without these little cherubs of the snow!

Irresistible force

I remember the first time when, several decades ago, I was able to steal up on a pileated woodpecker. The bird, a female, was hammering so furiously and intently at the base of a dead spruce tree that I was able to creep up to within range of the flying chips.

Nature’s airborne cleanup crew

Turkey vultures may be one of North America’s most under-appreciated bird, given their appearance and eating habits. But looks and diet can be deceiving.

Gardeners and hares can co-exist

When a Snowshoe Hare turned up at Ellis Bird Farm last fall, we wondered what might happen to the trees and shrubs over the winter. But little damage was done, so our very patient and animal-loving gardener, Cynthia Pohl, decided this spring that the hare and its new mate could stay.

A dam good time (photo gallery)

We all know that beaver activity can cause property damage from flooding. Beavers can also create chaos in a poplar forest, leave behind hazardous stumps and be annoyingly persistent.

Gorgeous gluttons: Waxwings live large, in groups and with gusto

Each spring, I enjoy watching Cedar Waxwings descend on our apple tree to gobble the delicate blossoms.

First steps

Alberta has six species of cavity-nesting ducks. Two species (Common Goldeneye and Bufflehead) are quite common while the others (Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Barrow’s Goldeneye and Wood Duck) are less common and/or have more limited distribution in the province.

Owls ready for their closeup

Thanks to the wonders of webcam technology, people from around the world are watching the owl nest at Ellis Bird Farm.

Stands of aspen are genetic clones that may perhaps be centuries old

For the past few years, I’ve had a bit of a photographic obsession with aspen poplar (Populous tremuloides) trees.

An eye for owls

Owls have long held a special place in the hearts and minds of their human observers.

Meet Charlie

One night last May, an RCMP officer accidently drove over a female porcupine on a road near Rimbey. Upon inspecting the mother’s splayed corpse, the officer noticed the squiggling movements of a baby.

Moose in winter

Over the past few years, we have seen an increasing number of moose near our home, which is located on a wooded stretch of Honeymoon Bay, Sylvan Lake.

Annual run of sockeye salmon a journey toward death, and new life

I made a pilgrimage in mid-October to witness one of the most amazing natural history events on the planet: the return of sockeye salmon to the Adams River in B.C.