World Boreal Forests – Largest Biome Taiga

World Boreal Forests

In the uppermost Northern Hemisphere, North America, Europe, and Asia have significant expanses of land. The boreal forests ring the regions immediately south of the Arctic Circle in a vast expanse that easily rivals the rainforest regions of the world. The northern boreal ecoregion accounts for about one-third of this planet’s total forest area. This … Read more

Capreolus Capreolus – Western Roe Deer

Western Roe Deer

Description Distinguishing Features – Small deer; height: average at shoulder 60 – 70cm. Males larger than females; weight: adults 18 – 29kg. Overall coloration, reddish brown in summer, grey in winter. Distinctive black mustache stripe, white chin. Appears tail-less with white/cream rump patch which is especially conspicuous when its hairs are puffed out when the … Read more

Finland – Forests and Forestry

Finland - Forests and Forestry

Forest resources Finland is Europe’s most heavily-forested country. Forests as defined by the FAO cover 23 million hectares or 74.2% of the land area. In Europe, Finland is a “forest giant”, there being over sixteen times more forest per capita than in European countries on average. Finland’s forests have been intensively harvested over the last … Read more

Lycopodium Obscurum – Ground Pine – Lycopodiaceae (Clubmoss Family)

Ground Pine

Description General – Perennial from extensively rooting, deep creeping rhizomes; stems erect, 7 – 30 cm tall, unbranched towards the base, densely branched above, bushy, tree-like. Leaves – Many, dense, in 6 (sometimes to 8) vertical rows, sharp-pointed, linear-lance-shaped. Spore Clusters – in axils of greenish to yellowish brown, pointed, broadly egg-shaped bracts densely clustered … Read more

Thuja Occidentalis – Eastern White Cedar Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)

Thuja occidentalis

The eastern white cedar is also called northern white cedar, arborvitae and swamp-cedar. The name arborvitae or “tree of life” dates from the 16th century when the French explorer Jacques Cartier learned from the Indians how to use the tree’s foliage to treat scurvy. Description General – small-sized, averaging 12 m (40 ft) high, evergreen. … Read more

Northwestern Ontario Forest – Virtual Zoo: Common Bird Species

Common Bird Species

Click on thumbnailed images for a larger picture and descriptions. Blue Jay Gray Jay “Whiskey Jack” American Robin European Starling Red-winged Blackbird Common Grackle Ovenbird Cedar Waxwing Pine Grosbeak Black-capped Chickadee Song Sparrow Tree Swallow Pilated Woodpecker Red-headed Woodpecker Northern Flicker Ruby-throated Hummingbird” Belted Kingfisher Ruffed Grouse “Partridge” Canada Goose Mallard Wood Duck Loon Herring … Read more

Cathartes Aura – Turkey Vulture

Cathartes Aura - Turkey Vulture

Distinguishing Features – Sexes similar. Large, broad-winged. Long and rounded tail. Plumage, dark brown except for paler flight feathers. Head, red, small, unfeathered. Longish, hooked yellow bill. Rather short, thick reddish legs. Holds wings in a dihedral angle while soaring and gliding. Size – average: 63.5 – 81 cm (25 – 32 in) Habitat The … Read more

Corvus Corax – Common Raven

Corvus Corax - Common Raven

Distinguishing Features – Completely black with purplish or violet reflections, most pronounced on back wings and tail. Male and female indistinguishable but female is slightly smaller. Size – 56 – 67 cm (22.5 – 26.75 in) Habitat Widespread; prefers wide open spaces for foraging and woodlots for nesting; anywhere with an easily accessed supply of … Read more

Corvus Brachyrhynchos – American Crow

Corvus Brachyrhynchos - American Crow

Distinguishing Features – Completely black with greenish or violet reflections, most pronounced on back wings and tail. Male and female indistinguishable but female is slightly smaller. Size – 43 – 53 cm (17.25 – 21.25 in) Habitat Widespread; prefers open spaces for foraging and woodlots for nesting; anywhere with an easily accessed supply of food. … Read more

Nyctea Scandiaca – Snowy Owl

Nyctea Scandiaca - Snowy Owl

Distinguishing Features – As large as the Great Horned Owl but lacks ear tufts. Overall colouration white, barred and spotted with brownish accents. Face, completely white; eyes, large, yellow; legs and toes, heavily feathered. Male is usually white or only lightly marked. Female (pictured below) is somewhat larger and more heavily marked than the male. … Read more