Author: jd

The birds of Stewart Island

New Zealand is home to many species of fauna and flora that exist nowhere else on earth. And I’ve become fascinated by New Zealand’s attempts to set aside areas to protect its native wildlife. Without such measures, many of these rare species would simply vanish. The main problem, and the greatest threat, are the predators — rats, stoats, possums (there are an estimated 70 million possums in New Zealand)— that were unknown to the country until introduced by Europeans. Endemic species have no defences against these newcomers and many of the populations were ravaged to the point of extinction....

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Saving Tiritiri Matangi

(I’m down on a month-long journey through New Zealand and will try to blog when I have time. Here is Post #1) Tossed by the wind Say the name out loud. Tiritiri Matangi. In Maori, it means tossed by the wind. The South Pacific cadence of the syllables produces a gentle rhythm full of warm waters and island promise. But four decades ago, Tiritiri Matangi was in trouble, or at least the natural state of it was. For 120 years, this tiny speck of an island off the coast of New Zealand had been used for farming and pasturing and its...

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The wild and rowdy world of the Northern Gannet

A Perfect Day Factory Video   After blogging last summer about my trip to the Canadian east coast, I had promised, Dear Reader, one more post from that voyage: a record of my visit to the vast Northern Gannet breeding colony off the coast of Gaspé. And I apologize profusely for my tardiness. But I have, I think, a reasonable excuse. You see, I had accumulated photographs and video footage not only from last summer but from three separate visits over the past three years to two of these fascinating colonies, where thousands of these sea birds congregate each...

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2014 in Photos

As 2014 winds down, I’ve been revisiting the photographs I’ve taken over the year, and offer here a selection of those that I’d like to share. Happy New Year!   Horse blankets   In winter, my eye is always attracted to a splash of colour and a respite, no matter how thinly woven, from the cold.  (February. Near Burritts Rapids, ON)     A drop in the bucket   First sign of spring. (March. video clip, near Moose Creek, ON)   Spring blossoms When profusion arrives, it doesn’t hold back. They don’t call it spring for nothing....

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