Gail Michener with a rotund ground squirrel.

BY GAIL MICHENER

Richardson’s ground squirrels are regularly seen above ground during daylight hours for seven to eight months of the year, but rarely from late October through late February, generating the perception that they hibernate for a four-month period encompassing winter. Winter does not last that long, so what accounts for such extraordinarily long hibernation seasons?

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BY MYRNA PEARMAN

It has been my good fortune to have spent, over the past few years, some quality time in the company of each of Alberta’s three native “bunny” species. All three species — which include two hares and one rabbit — have adapted well to human habitation, taking up residence in farmyards, towns, and cities across the province.

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BY JENNIFER EARLE

Bull trout seem to be the Rodney Dangerfield of fish — they get no respect. They are the official provincial fish of Alberta, yet this distinction hasn’t served them particularly well. They are listed as Threatened under both provincial and federal legislation. So how did we get here?

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Fisher in a tree.

BY FRANCES STEWART

I was walking through an aspen forest in the UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve (BHB), 50 km east of Edmonton and south of Elk Island National Park. The first rays of sunlight were peeking through the trees and shining off the fresh snow on this crisp January morning. It was silent, still. I could see my breath shimmering in front of me like the beautiful hoar frost on the surrounding branches. A perfect morning for live-trapping fisher.

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BY MYRNA PEARMAN

It is always a treat when a winter flock of Bohemian Waxwings suddenly descends on the cotoneaster bushes in our yard. No matter the weather, their constant trilling fills the air and they devour the berries with great flourish. Although always in constant motion, they usually allow close approach – a photographer’s delight!

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