Staying alive through the winter

Winter is on its way to BC – the Lower Mainland is not usually very cold, but the rest of BC can be ver-r-r-y cold indeed. So how do living things keep on living through the cold? We humans have lots of ways to keep warm during winter – warm homes, warm clothes, warm food: our neighbours in nature are often not so lucky and have found different ways to survive. Birds Many birds migrate – they just wing off south to warmer climates until winter up here is over, then they come back to lay eggs and raise their young. Other birds like chickadees, jays and nuthat...

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Grab your binoculars and come birding!

The Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids) is a fun, family-friendly - and free - bird watching event that builds bird identification skills and contributes to important citizen science for bird conservation.

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Douglas-fir and the mice

Going for a walk in the forest becomes so much more interesting when you have a sense of which plants and wildlife live in the area. One of the trees all kids in BC should know about is the Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Identifying trees can be daunting as you first start out but let us share an easy way to identify the Douglas-fir based on its cones - and it comes with a story that any child will be sure to retell to their friends and family. A Pacific Northwest indigenous legend tells that there was once a great fire in the forest. All the animals began to ...

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How to build an owl nest

Owls are fun to watch and many species need our help. One of the best ways we can help owls is by creating habitat for them. Below you'll find instructions for how you and your family can build an owl nest for larger owl species such as great horned owls. Construct a cone from a 1 m square piece of chicken wire. Start by cutting from one corner to the centre and then overlap the two cut edges until the cone is approximately 0.5 m deep. Hold the cone together, using pliers to bend the cut ends of chicken wire around the overlying wire. Line the cone with a 1 m ...

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Turning the tide for bugs and birds

A brand new study from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute indicates that there's a direct link between a rapid decline in insect-eating garden birds and increased use of non-native plants in landscaping. Insectivorous birds - such as warblers, bluebirds and woodpeckers -  are highly dependent on the availability of high-protein, high-calorie grub such as beetles, caterpillars and spiders to feed their young during the breeding season. When the availability of this type of food isn't available, adults birds are less successful in breeding and the population ...

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Forests and the “mushroom underground”

Fall is the best time of year to see many different types of mushrooms and the forest is the best place to find them. One of the fascinating things about mushrooms is the way they seem to pop up from nowhere. This is just an illusion (like a magic trick). Really, the parent fungus has been producing very tiny and invisible threads that gather nutrients just like the roots of plants do. When the fungus has found enough food to produce a mushroom it does, and that is what we finally see. The truth is that most of the fungus is still invisible under the ground. Plants ...

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Why Kids Need to Spend Time Exploring the Natural World

Between the demands of work, errands, fitness, and family, modern life can be a juggling act. We try our best to fit everything in—scheduling workout classes, date nights with our partners, and our children’s increasingly packed schedules.

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Calling all NatureKids Superstars!

Are you one of our many incredible NatureKids Explorers? Would you like to tell the world about the difference being part of NatureKids BC has made for you? Has your view of nature and the outdoors changed since joining NatureKids BC? Do you care about our planet and want to do more to protect it while having fun? Would you like to help us reach out to people and groups who can make donations so we can offer more awesome, exciting adventures to you and your NatureKids BC friends? Are you comfortable in front of the camera for photos and video and have a ...

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How to talk about climate change (without scaring the kids)

Here is our list of top tips to help start the conversation about the changing climate with your children in a way that creates a hopeful and balanced perspective.

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‘Snot’ eaters! Who knew?

At low tide each March and April huge flocks of Western Sandpipers swoop down to feed on the 6,000 hectares of brownish-grey gooey mud south of Roberts Bank.

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