In the Wild

Wild an­i­mals are an in­te­gral part of city life, for bet­ter or worse. Take a look at a few of Canada's ur­ban an­i­mals and how they af­fect their city homes

Canadian Wildlife - - DISPATCHES -

VAN­COU­VER GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea hero­dias)

This el­e­gant bird is the largest and most wide­spread heron species in Canada. An adult bird stands about one me­tre high. It can be found in ma­rine re­gions from the Mar­itimes to the West Coast, but is most vividly iden­ti­fied with Van­cou­ver, where it can of­ten be seen stalk­ing the ur­ban wa­ters of False Creek.

ED­MON­TON BLACK-BILLED MAG­PIE (Pica hud­so­nia)

The only species of mag­pie found in Canada, these black-and-white birds have an eye for shiny things, both prover­bially and in re­al­ity. Mag­pies are known as ur­ban pests: their nests, large masses of mud and sticks, can be spot­ted in city trees in their range, which stretches across the Prairies and into north­ern Canada.

WIN­NIPEG RICHARD­SON’S GROUND SQUIR­REL (Urocitel­lus richard­sonii)

These short-tailed ro­dents, found across the Prairies, have earned a bad name by bur­row­ing un­der homes and in parks in Win­nipeg. They live in fam­ily burrows and are known for their loud calls of alarm when star­tled.

HAL­I­FAX HAR­BOUR SEALS (Phoca vi­t­ulina)

Hal­i­fax’s har­bour seals are a lo­cal land­mark. They can be spot­ted in the Hal­i­fax Har­bour basin, loung­ing on rocks, swim­ming and at times even ven­tur­ing onto the city docks. Both male and fe­male har­bour seals can live for more than 20 years.

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