By William Halliday, Journal Manager of CFN

Have you read the latest issue of The Canadian Field-Naturalist (CFN) yet? CFN is a peer-reviewed scientific journal, which is run by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club (OFNC). CFN publishes articles and notes on all aspects of natural history in Canada, including articles documenting new species to Canada, novel behaviours of animals, and studies of the relationships between living organisms and the environment. CFN (including its predecessors) has been published continuously since 1880, providing a long record of natural history observations in Canada.

So why should you read CFN? If you’re a member of the OFNC, then part of your membership fees go towards supporting this excellent journal, and you can read all articles online for free (email to get access). But that isn’t the only reason you should read it! You can learn more about the natural world around you, and perhaps learn about species that you don’t know much about. CFN has something for every naturalist.

This issue includes a wide variety of articles and notes, including range extensions of bryophytes, novel behaviours in snakes and owls, diets of turtles and wolves, fungi on mice, and so much more! This issue also has special items in the News and Comments section, including a list of Great Canadian Field-Naturalists in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, and the first ever James Fletcher Award for the best paper in Volume 130 of CFN. Finally, don’t forget to check out the Book Reviews for information about some of the newest books on natural history.

Below are descriptions for all articles and notes in the latest issue of CFN. Simply click on the author names to view the full article on the CFN website. Remember that you need to log on to the CFN website to view these articles. For help with this, email me (

1) Yves Turcotte and colleagues. An article on shorebird abundance in the St. Lawrence River Estuary. This article documents patterns in abundance of Semi-palmated Sandpipers, Black-bellied-Plovers, and other shorebirds during autumn migration in 2011 and 2012.

2) Rob Found and colleagues. The diet of Gray Wolves in northern Ontario during the calving season for Woodland Caribou and Moose. According to scat analysis, Wolves ate mostly Moose (82.7%), followed by American Beaver (10.9%), Woodland Caribou (3.1%), and Snowshoe Hare (1.5%).

3) Thomas Jung and Nicholas Carter. Long-distance dispersal by Bison in the Yukon, where Bison dispersed up to 250 km after being released.

4) Jesse Alston and colleagues. Observations of a novel parental behaviours of Northern Spotted Owls. These owls defended their fledgling from an American Black Bear!

5) Francisco Retamal Diaz and Gabriel Blouin-Demers. A study monitoring snakes in fields and forests around Gatineau Park. Both Common Gartersnakes and Red-bellied Snakes were far more abundant in field than in forest, likely due to a better thermal environment for them in fields.

6) David LeGros. A novel defensive behaviour of a Dekay’s Brownsnake in Rondeau Provincial Park. This small snake flattened it’s body, coiled it’s neck, and started advancing while swaying side-to-side. This behaviour has never been reported for this small snake species.

7) Karen Vanderwolf and colleagues. Psychrotolerant (i.e. cold-tolerant) microfungi on Deer Mice that were living in a bat hibernaculum. Deer mice had a much lower diversity of fungi than did other animals from the same cave, possibly because of their grooming habits.

8) Richard Caners. A moss new to Canada found in southeastern Manitoba, Fabronia ciliaris. This is also the northern most record of this species in North America.

9) Thomas Gable and colleagues. An observation of Gray Wolves killing a River Otter in northern Minnesota at Voyageurs National Park, one of only a few of such observations.

10) Buse and colleagues. Adult snapping turtles eating embryos from the nests of Pumpkinseed. This study used underwater video technology to make their observation, and this video is available on YouTube.

11) Barbé and colleagues. Range extensions for 35 bryophyte species in western Québec in Black Spruce-Feather Moss forests.

12) Harwood and colleagues. Observations of beachcast Bowhead Whales from 1987 to 2016 in the western Canadian Arctic. They present a variety of observations about these whales, including age, length, and scavenging activity.