Browse "Nature & Geography"

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Birch

Birch (Betula), genus of trees and shrubs of birch family (Betulaceae). About 50 species are found in Arctic and northern temperate regions worldwide

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Bird

 A Bird is a member of a unique group of vertebrates, Class Aves. The fossil record, comparative anatomy and embryology indicate that Birds have a common ancestry with Reptiles and Dinosaurs.

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Bird Distribution and Habitat

Animals' lives are circumscribed by 2 imperatives: finding food for survival, growth and reproduction and avoiding becoming prey before reproducing. For an animal to occupy a habitat, it must be able to survive and reproduce within it. Birds have evolved many ways of meeting these challenges.

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Bird Feathers

Feathers are only found on birds. They probably evolved as a temperature-control device from scales, much like those of modern reptiles.

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Bird Flight

Wing evolution has been affected by the habitats to which birds have adapted (e.g. the open ocean, cliff tops or the closed environment of forests) and by the need to reduce drag, or air resistance.

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Bird Sanctuaries and Reserves

Protection may be achieved by various means, including land-use zoning, long-term agreements with landowners and outright acquisition of land by wildlife agencies. Protected land areas may be designated as national wildlife areas, conservation areas, game reserves, etc.

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Bird Watching

Bird watching is the field observation of birds. The popularity of bird watching has burgeoned, especially since WWII, assisted by increased leisure time, a rich literature of books and periodicals, more organizations and better educational, communication and travel facilities.

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Birds of Prey

Birds of prey could be defined as birds that prey on other living animals; however, the term is usually reserved for species with hooked bills and large, strong, sharp talons.

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Bison

Bison are large, even-toed hoofed mammals of the family Bovidae. Two subspecies of bison exist in North America: the plains bison (Bison bison bison) and the wood bison (Bison bison athabascae). Historically, the plains bison lived primarily in the Great Plains of central North America, while the wood bison lived further north, from Alaska into the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and in the northern portions of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, it’s estimated that plains bison numbered 30 million and wood bison 170,000. Various aspects of European colonization led to the rapid depopulation of North America’s bison. By the late 1800s, plains bison no longer existed in Canada, and wood bison numbered about 200. Conservation efforts in both Canada and the United States mean that today, North America’s plains bison population fluctuates between 350,000 and 400,000, and wood bison between 5,000 and 7,000.

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Bison Farming

In the early 1800s it is reported that over 50 million bison roamed the plains of North America. In the late 1800s, as a consequence of hunting for meat, hides and trophies, and conversion of natural grass to farmland, there were fewer than 1000 plains bison remaining.

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Bitumen

One of the easiest ways to understand bitumen is to compare it to its cousin, conventional crude oil. Whereas conventional crude oil flows freely, bitumen does not. At room temperature it looks like cold molasses, and must be either heated or diluted before it flows.

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Black Bear

The most common and widespread bear in Canada, the black bear (Ursus americanus) is found predominantly in forests of every province and territory, with the exception of Prince Edward Island.

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Black Fly

Black flies are insects found throughout Canada, particularly in northern wooded regions.

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Blackbird

Blackbird is a common name for several species of birds of the New World family Icteridae (which also includes meadowlarks, orioles, cowbirds and grackles).

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Blizzard

In Canada the official national meteorological service definition of a blizzard is a period of 6 or more hours with winds above 40 km/h, with visibility reduced to below 1 km by blowing or drifting snow, and with windchills over 1600 W/ m2 (watts per square metre).

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Bloodvein River

Named, perhaps, for the red granite stripes running through the bedrock near its source, the Bloodvein River begins in the vast wilderness of the Canadian Shield, 600 km northwest of Thunder Bay, Ont, and 500 km northeast of Winnipeg.