The Connected Naturalist: Birbs, spiders on drugs, and other nature memes

by Jason Ramsay-Brown In December, reporter Asher Elbein dragged some innocuous and irreverent seeming tidbits of Internet culture in to the venerable pages of Audubon Magazine when he posed the question “When Is a Bird a ‘Birb’?” While millions of naturalists pursue their passions on the Internet each and every day, it’s probably a safe Read More

Global Bird Collision Mapper

The Connected Naturalist: Global Bird Collision Mapper

by Jason Ramsay-Brown TFN recently joined FLAP Canada and conservation groups from around the world in the Global Bird Rescue (GBR), September 30 to October 6. Bird-building collisions are the third leading human-related cause of bird death in North America, following predation by feral cats (#1) and free-roaming domestic cats (#2). According to FLAP, collisions Read More

The Connected Naturalist: Bumble Bee Watch

by Jason Ramsay-Brown Honestly, I hadn’t really given much thought to our native bumble bees until one day in 2016 when I was treated to a walk through Cottonwood Flats, led by Sheila R. Colla, Assistant Professor at York, former Liber Ero Fellow, and co-author of The Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide Read More

Dog-strangling vine flowering

The Connected Naturalist: EDDMapS Ontario

by Jason Ramsay-Brown For many of us, our first journeys into Toronto’s urban wilds are a testament to the bliss that ignorance brings. Our vision is filled by the green and verdant, an undulating tapestry of nameless trees, shrubs, and wildflowers so evocative of an ancient and pristine wilderness lost to us over the centuries. Read More

Big Trees of Toronto Map

The Connected Naturalist: Toronto Tree Maps

by Jason Ramsay-Brown Know where to find a Kentucky-coffee tree in the Junction? How about an eastern hemlock in Taylor Creek Park? A cherry tree in Kensington Market? A bitternut hickory in Passmore Forest? Identifying the trees we trip across is one thing but knowing where to find a specific tree we’re looking for is Read More

Butterfly Milkweed in flower

The Connected Naturalist: NatureWatch

by Jason Ramsay-Brown NatureWatch was an early entry into what is now a full-blown trend in digital citizen science initiatives: sites & apps used to help researchers assess impacts on biodiversity, most particularly those provoked by climate change. By registering with the NatureWatch website users can file reports to various discrete programs: FrogWatch, PlantWatch, IceWatch, Read More

Geocache in the Don Valley

The Connected Naturalist: Geocaching

by Jason Ramsay-Brown As the frigid air of winter blows across the city the inspiration to venture out in to nature is diminished for many of us. Naked trees, hibernating creatures, frozen water – there’s a stillness out there, beautiful in its own right, but which softens the siren call of our ravines, valleys, parks, Read More

Downtown from Chester Hill

The Connected Naturalist – past issues

The December issue marks the last time The Connected Naturalist column will appear in our newsletter. The launch of our redesigned website offers us new opportunities for creating online content and, as The Connected Naturalist deals with naturalists’ use of digital technology, it seemed more at home here than in the newsletter. For those looking Read More

The Toronto Field Naturalists wish to acknowledge this land through which we walk. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississauga of the Credit River. Today it is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to be on this land.