Meet Kikki, a gyrfalcon biologists found injured in a field near Beaumont on April 1, 2016.
One year after she was found, Kikki was released back to the wild thanks to the work of Steve Schwartze, who worked with the falcon to get it to peak physical fitness before releasing it in March 2017.
“To hunt successfully, a bird of prey needs to be firing on all 12 cylinders,” Provincial Wildlife Status Biologist Gordon Court says. “And this is why when injured falcons are helped by wildlife rescue organizations, there can be a lot of work to be done before they can be released back into the wild.”
Swooping, spiraling, diving and whirling. Seeing the graceful movement of a hawk on the hunt, you can start to understand why they are compared to Olympic athletes and why there is still an immense interest in falconry.
“Falconry is recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage Activity. It’s been practiced for 4,000 years. And while it’s not widely celebrated here in Alberta, there is a global tradition of hunting with birds of prey,” Provincial Wildlife Status Biologist Gordon Court says. “While some people in Alberta would like to own a falcon, it’s strictly regulated and you must hunt with them. It takes a lot of work to look after one of these birds – that’s probably why there are fewer than 40 people in Alberta who are licensed to do so.”
Whenever we find ourselves stuck in traffic, crawling through a restaurant drive-thru, or waiting for passengers, our vehicles’ engines idle and spew harmful pollutants into the atmosphere – pollutants that eventually make their way into our air, water and soil.
We generally don’t give idling much thought, but its cost to the environment, our communities, our health and our pocketbooks cannot be understated.
The new Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail is a triumph of thoughtful planning.
The six-meter wide trail winds its way through 300 acres of near-pristine old-growth forest just north of Pigeon Lake. The scenic 2.3 kilometre trail meanders through various ecosystems. Continue reading
Prospector’s Point is a great lookout at Imrie Park
Many Albertans may be surprised to learn that Imrie Park is, technically speaking, not a provincial park.
Located a half-hour drive northwest of Edmonton, it’s a beautiful natural area with camping opportunities, a picnic area, groomed trails and places to observe wildlife. Most people visiting Imrie Park will not notice that it’s different than other provincial parks.
So, if Imrie Park looks like a provincial park, operates like a provincial park, and is even called a park, why isn’t it one? Continue reading
Canada Day long weekend means three days of fun, frivolity and celebration.
Thousands of Albertans will head outdoors this weekend to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Enforcement officers will be out there too: RCMP, fish and wildlife, conservation officers, park rangers and environmental protection officers.
Respecting the environment is an Albertan thing to do. It’s something the vast majority of Albertans take seriously while enjoying our public lands. But there are still serious abuses, and the Alberta Government is stepping up enforcement to protect our beautiful wild spaces. Continue reading
We all have to move to get to work and wherever we recreate. Why not move in ways that improve health, promote safety, save money and maintain air quality?
Starting June 7, Albertans are encouraged to move with the air in mind once a day for 30 days. It could be as simple as walking to the library and borrowing a book on air or reducing idling time by parking and going inside instead of using a drive-thru. When these daily activities become habits and lots of people do them, everyone benefits. You can move on your own or with your family, coworkers, friends or teammates on your way to work, play, home or on a road trip.
Move yourself using human-powered transportation.
Move smart using fuel efficient practices when driving.
Check back daily or follow us on Twitter. We will be adding challenges each day for the next 30 days!
July 6 – Challenge #30
Mend your fuelish ways!
Keep your speed as steady as possible and avoid unnecessary fuel consumption and safety risks.
For the past 45 years, Canadians have marked the week of June 5 as Environment Week and taken the opportunity to talk about being green – but why do we do it?
Our environment isn’t just the air we breathe and the water we drink, it’s the plankton that provide oxygen, it’s the bats that reduce pest species, and it’s the worms that make the soil more fertile. It’s a complex web of relationships between all the life with which we share the planet Continue reading
If you’re looking for an amazing camping experience this summer, visit Alberta’s newest provincial park, Castle Provincial Park!
There are four excellent, but basic campgrounds are available at Beaver Mines Lake, Castle Bridge, Castle Falls and Lynx Creek. These have fire pits, vault toilets, garbage services and well graveled roads and camping pads. Recent investments this spring have improved pad size and most are rather spacious with privacy between sites. These are first-come, first-served sites. You fill out a permit and pay when you arrive.
Castle Provincial Park is also an ideal destination for campers looking for a more rugged experience, and if this is the direction you decide to go, there are a few things you need to know!
The trees are turning green, the sun is shining and wildlife is migrating back to Alberta. The May long weekend is when many Albertans get out and enjoy the outdoors for the first time of the summer season. Here are a few friendly tips and reminders to help you make the most of this long weekend!