The gyrfalcon is a bird of prey, the largest of the falcon species. The abbreviation gyr is used, it breeds on Arctic coasts and tundra, the islands of northern North America and Asia. It is a resident there but some gyrfalcons disperse more after the breeding season, or in winter. Individual vagrancy can take birds for long distances, its plumage varies with birds being coloured from all-white to dark brown. These colour variations are called morphs. Like other falcons, it shows sexual dimorphism, with the female much larger than the male. For centuries, the gyrfalcon has been valued as a hunting bird. Typical prey includes the waterfowl, which it may take in flight; the gyrfalcon was formally described by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae under its current binomial name Falco rusticolus. The genus name is the Late Latin term for a falcon, from falx, falcis, a sickle, referencing the claws of the bird; the species name is from the Latin rusticolus, a countryside-dweller, from rus, ruris, "country" and colere, "to dwell".
The bird's common name comes from French gerfaucon. The first part of the word may come from Old High German gîr for "vulture", referring to its size compared to other falcons; the male gyrfalcon is called a gyrkin in falconry. The gyrfalcon is a large falcon, being about the same size as the largest buteos but are heavier. Males are 48 to 61 cm long, weigh 805 to 1,350 g, with average weights reported as 1,130 or 1,170 g and have a wingspan from 110 to 130 cm. Females are bulkier and larger, at 51 to 65 cm long, 124 to 160 cm wingspan, of 1,180 to 2,100 g weight, with average weights of 1,585 or 1,752 g. An outsized female from eastern Siberia was found to have scaled 2,600 g. Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 34.5 to 41 cm, the tail is 19.5 to 29 cm, the culmen is 2 to 2.8 cm and the tarsus is 4.9 to 7.5 cm. The gyrfalcon is larger, broader-winged and longer-tailed than the peregrine falcon, which it is known to hunt, it differs from the buzzard in general structure. The gyrfalcon is a polymorphic species, so its plumage varies greatly.
The archetypal morphs are called "white", "silver", "brown", "black", though they can be coloured on a spectrum from all-white to dark. The brown form of the gyrfalcon is distinguished from the peregrine by the cream streaking on the nape and crown and by the absence of a well-defined malar stripe and cap; the black morph has a black-spotted underside, rather than finely barred as in the peregrine. White form gyrfalcons are the only predominantly white falcons. Silver gyrfalcons resemble a light grey lanner falcon of larger size; the species shows no sex-based colour differences. The black color seems to be sex-linked and to occur in females. A color variety that arose in captive breeding is "black chick"; the gyrfalcon is a member of the hierofalcon complex. In this group, ample evidence indicates hybridisation and incomplete lineage sorting, which confounds analyses of DNA sequence data to a massive extent; the radiation of the entire living diversity of hierofalcons took place around the Eemian Stage at the start of the Late Pleistocene.
It represents lineages that adapted to local conditions. Gyrfalcons hybridize not infrequently with sakers in the Altai Mountains, this gene flow seems to be the origin of the Altai falcon; some correlation exists between colour morph. Greenland gyrfalcons are lightest, with white plumage flecked with grey on the back and wings being most common. Other subpopulations have varying amounts of the darker morphs: the Icelandic birds tend towards pale, whereas the Eurasian populations are darker and incorporate no white birds. Natural separation into regional subspecies is prevented by gyrfalcons' habit of flying long distances whilst exchanging alleles between subpopulations. For instance, a mating of a pair of captive gyrfalcons is documented to have produced a clutch of four young: one white, one silver, one brown, one black. Molecular work suggests plumage color is associated with the melanocortin 1 receptor gene, where a nonsynonymous point substitution was associated with the white/melanic polymorphism.
In general, geographic variation follows Bergmann's rule for size and the demands of crypsis for plumage coloration. Several subspecies have been named according to perceived differences between populations but none of these are consistent and thus no living subspecies are accepted; the Icelandic population described as F. r. islandus is the most distinct. The predominantly white Arctic forms are parapatric and seamlessly grade into the subarctic populations; the Iceland types are presumed to have less gene flow with their neighbors.
A thicket is a dense stand of trees or tall shrubs dominated by only one or a few species, to the exclusion of all others. They may be formed by species that shed large numbers of viable seeds that are able to germinate in the shelter of the maternal plants. In some conditions the formation or spread of thickets may be assisted by human disturbance of an area. Where a thicket is formed of briar, a common name for any of a number of unrelated thorny plants, it may be called a briar patch. Plants termed briar include species in the genera Rosa and Smilax. Patent thicket
In Canada, the First Nations are the predominant indigenous peoples in Canada south of the Arctic Circle. Those in the Arctic area are distinct and known as Inuit; the Métis, another distinct ethnicity, developed after European contact and relations between First Nations people and Europeans. There are 634 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. Under the Employment Equity Act, First Nations are a "designated group", along with women, visible minorities, people with physical or mental disabilities. First Nations are not defined as a visible minority under the Act or by the criteria of Statistics Canada. North American indigenous; some of their oral traditions describe historical events, such as the Cascadia earthquake of 1700 and the 18th-century Tseax Cone eruption. Written records began with the arrival of European explorers and colonists during the Age of Discovery, beginning in the late 15th century.
European accounts by trappers, traders and missionaries give important evidence of early contact culture. In addition and anthropological research, as well as linguistics, have helped scholars piece together an understanding of ancient cultures and historic peoples. Although not without conflict, Euro-Canadians' early interactions with First Nations, Métis, Inuit populations were less combative compared to the violent battles between colonists and native peoples in the United States. Collectively, First Nations, Métis peoples constitute Indigenous peoples in Canada, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, or first peoples. First Nation as a term became used beginning in 1980s to replace the term Indian band in referring to groups of Indians with common government and language; the term had come into common usage in the 1970s to avoid using the word Indian, which some Canadians considered offensive. No legal definition of the term exists; some indigenous peoples in Canada have adopted the term First Nation to replace the word band in the formal name of their community.
A band is a "body of Indians for whose use and benefit in common lands... have been set apart... moneys are held... or declared... to be a band for the purposes of" the Indian Act by the Canadian Crown. The term Indian is a misnomer given to indigenous peoples of North America by European explorers who erroneously thought they had landed on the Indian subcontinent; the use of the term Native Americans, which the US government and others have adopted, is not common in Canada. It refers more to the Indigenous peoples residing within the boundaries of the United States; the parallel term Native Canadian is not used, but Native and autochtone are. Under the Royal Proclamation of 1763 known as the "Indian Magna Carta," the Crown referred to indigenous peoples in British territory as tribes or nations; the term First Nations is capitalized. Bands and nations may have different meanings. Within Canada, First Nations has come into general use for indigenous peoples other than Inuit and Métis. Individuals using the term outside Canada include U.
S. tribes within the Pacific Northwest, as well as supporters of the Cascadian independence movement. The singular used on culturally politicized reserves, is the term First Nations person. A more recent trend is for members of various nations to refer to themselves by their tribal or national identity only, e.g. "I'm Haida". For pre-history, see: Paleo-Indians and Archaic periods First Nations by linguistic-cultural area: List of First Nations peoplesFirst Nations peoples had settled and established trade routes across what is now Canada by 1,000 BC to 500 BC. Communities developed, each with its own culture and character. In the northwest were the Athapaskan-speaking peoples, Slavey, Tłı̨chǫ, Tutchone-speaking peoples, Tlingit. Along the Pacific coast were the Haida, Kwakiutl, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nisga'a and Gitxsan. In the plains were the Blackfoot, Kainai and Northern Peigan. In the northern woodlands were the Chipewyan. Around the Great Lakes were the Anishinaabe, Algonquin and Wyandot. Along the Atlantic coast were the Beothuk, Innu and Micmac.
The Blackfoot Confederacies reside in the Great Plains of Montana and Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The name "Blackfoot" came from the colour of the peoples' leather footwear, known as moccasins, they had painted the bottoms of their moccasins black. One account claimed that the Blackfoot Confederacies walked through the ashes of prairie fires, which in turn coloured the bottoms of their moccasins black, they had migrated onto the Great Plains from the Plateau area. The Blackfoot may have lived in their homeland since the end of the Pleistocene 11,000 years ago.. For thousands of years, they managed the prairie to support bison herds and cultivated berries and edible roots, they allowed only legitimate traders into their territory, making treaties only when the bison herds were exterminated in the 1870s. The Squamish history is a series of past events, both passed on through oral tradition and recent history, of the Squamish indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
Prior to colonization, they recorded their history through oral tradition as a way to transmit stories and knowledge across generations. This was common among all the peoples; the writing system esta
The Chilcotin Plateau is part of the Fraser Plateau, a major subdivision of the Interior Plateau of British Columbia. The Chilcotin Plateau is physically near-identical with the region of the same name, i.e. "the Chilcotin", which lies between the Fraser River and the southern Coast Mountains and is defined by the basin of the Chilcotin River and so includes montane areas beyond the plateau. East of the Chilcotin Plateau, across the Fraser River, is the Cariboo Plateau, while to the north beyond the West Road River is the Nechako Plateau. West and south of the Chilcotin Plateau are various subdivisions of the Coast Mountains, including the Chilcotin Ranges which lie along the plateau's southwest. Included within the definition of the Chilcotin Plateau are the Rainbow Range, near Bella Coola and the volcanic Ilgachuz Range and Itcha Range both of which are major shield volcanoes; the Camelsfoot Range, north of Lillooet, is included in the Chilcotin Plateau by some systems of classification. The plateau is nearly drained by the Chilcotin River and its tributaries, the largest of which are the Chilanko and Chilko Rivers.
Draining the plateau on its eastern edge is Churn Creek, which forms the east flank of the Camelsfoot Range and enters the Fraser directly. On the west side of the plateau, the basins of the Dean and Atnarko Rivers penetrate the massifs of the Coast Mountains and have their beginnings, or the early part of their courses, on the Chilcotin Plateau; the Chilcotin Plateau consists of basaltic lava of the Chilcotin Group, a group of related volcanic rocks, nearly parallel with the Fraser Plateau. It extends along the adjacent Garibaldi Volcanic Belt in the Coast Mountains. Volcanism of the Chilcotin Plateau is considered to be a result of extension of the crust behind the coastal Cascadia subduction zone. Tsilhqot'in Nation British Columbia Highway 20 Cascadia Subduction Zone Nechako Plateau Fraser River Chilcotin River Chilanko River Taseko River
Pseudoroegneria spicata is a species of grass known by the common name bluebunch wheatgrass. This native western North American perennial bunchgrass is known by the scientific synonyms Elymus spicatus and Agropyron spicatum; the grass can be found in the United States and Mexico from Alaska and Yukon south as far as Sonora and Nuevo León. Bluebunch wheatgrass can be distinguished from other bunchgrasses by the awns on its seedheads which stand out at an angle nearly 90 degrees from the stem, it is bluish. The roots of the grass have a waxy layer. In areas with more moisture the grass may produce rhizomes; the relationship between the traits and climates of P. spicata is consistent with those of other grass species that have a summer growing season. Populations of P. spicata from warm, arid environments are smaller with earlier phenology, narrower leaves, have greater leaf pubescence. This is in contrast to P. spicata plants from wetter and higher nutrient environments, which tend to be bigger and have larger leaves.
The stems and leaf sheaths of P. spicata dominate photosynthetic carbon uptake during the late spring and summer seasons. Additionally, bluebunch wheatgrass shows a greater investment of biomass and nutrients in the stems and sheaths, causing an increase in photosynthetic capacity per unit surface area. Pseudoregneria spicata has extensive drought resistant root systems that can compete with and suppress the spread of exotic weeds, its roots are known to have significant responses when they come into contact with the roots of other plants. When plants of the same species that were grown in different sites were planted in pots together, the resulting biomass was 30% more than in pots with plants from the same population or site. Furthermore, the elongation of the roots decreased after contact with roots from another plant from the same population, this was compared to after contact with roots from a plant of a different population; such behavior suggests that the roots of bluebunch wheatgrass are capable of detection and avoidance mechanisms when exposed to intraspecific plants from the same population.
The roots of this grass are known to have notable physiological responses to enriched soil patches that are treated with varying solutions of nutrients, most notably nitrogen and phosphorus. This exploitation of nutrient-rich soil can affect the nutrient status of the overall plant. In phosphorus enriched environments, the mean root uptake of phosphorus was 5 - 26% higher compared to roots from control soil patches. Results regarding the nutrient uptake capacities of P. spicata potassium enriched environments indicate no apparent difference between enriched and controlled soil. This is in contrast to the nitrogen enrichment experiment, where mean rates of ammonium uptake increased between 22 - 88% and mean rates of potassium root uptake were 17 - 71% higher in soil enriched with 50 μm of nitrogen, the lowest concentration tested in a particular study. Pseudoroegneria spicata is the dominant species of grass among the mountainous regions of the western United States, occurring at elevations that range from 150 - 3,000 m and where precipitation is 250 – 500 mm.
It occurs in many types of habitat, including sagebrush, forests and grasslands. This grass thrives in sandy and clay rich soils, but is capable of growing on thin, rocky soils, it does not tolerate soils with salt, or excessive moisture. Two subspecies of bluebunch wheatgrass are recognized: P. spicata ssp. spicata and P. spicata ssp. inerme known as beardless bluebunch wheatgrass. The determining characteristic between the two is the presence of divergent awns, or hair-like projections that extend off a larger structure, such as the lemma or floret; these two subspecies have been known to hybridize. Pseudoroegneria spicata is most found as a diploid, although autotetraploid forms have been found in eastern Washington and northern Idaho, it is an important forage grass for both native wildlife in western North America. It is used for revegetation of degraded habitat in the region, cultivars have been developed, it is the state grass of Montana and Washington. The grass is outcompeted by noxious weeds such as diffuse knapweed and medusahead.
United States Department of Agriculture Plants Profile University of Washington, Washington Burke Museum
Brewer's sparrow is a small, slim species of American sparrow in the family Passerellidae. This bird was named after the ornithologist Thomas Mayo Brewer. Adults have grey-brown backs and speckled brown crowns, both with dark streaks, a pale eye-ring, their wings are brown with light wing bars and the underparts are pale grey. Their bill is pale with a dark tip and they have a long notched tail, they are similar in appearance to the clay-colored sparrow but do not have a pale stripe on the crown or grey neck patch. The male sings to defend a nesting territory; the song is a long varied mix of trills. Males have two distinct types of songs -- classified as long songs. There are two distinct subspecies: Brewer's sparrow proper, Spizella breweri breweriFound in brushy areas with sagebrush, in southern parts of western Canada and in the western United States. Timberline sparrow, Spizella breweri taverneriFound in thicketed areas around the tree line in the Rockies of British Columbia and northern Montana, the southern Yukon, southeastern Alaska.
These birds are somewhat larger than the southern subspecies. These birds migrate to the southwestern United States south to central Mexico; these birds forage in shrubs or in low vegetation, but on the ground. They eat insects in summer with seeds becoming a more important part of the diet at other times of the year, they forage in flocks outside of the breeding season, sometimes with other sparrows. The female lays three to four eggs in a cup nest in low shrubs; the Brewer's sparrow has decreased in some parts of its range. Causes are not well understood, but it is suspected that the decline is due at least in part to destruction of sagebrush habitat. Additional information on resource use and limitation during the wintering season is needed; when the timberline sparrow was still considered a good species, Brewer's sparrow was classified as near threatened by the IUCN. However, as only entire species are evaluated for the IUCN Red List, following the merger the entire population of S. breweri is classified as species of least concern.
"Effects of Management Practices on Brewer's Sparrow" – NPWRC Brewer's sparrow – Spizella breweri – USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter Brewer's sparrow photo gallery VIREO
Populus is a genus of 25–35 species of deciduous flowering plants in the family Salicaceae, native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. English names variously applied to different species include poplar and cottonwood. In the September 2006 issue of Science Magazine, the Joint Genome Institute announced that the western balsam poplar was the first tree whose full DNA code had been determined by DNA sequencing; the genus has a large genetic diversity, can grow from 15–50 m tall, with trunks up to 2.5 m in diameter. The bark on young trees is smooth, white to greenish or dark grey, has conspicuous lenticels; the shoots are stout, with the terminal bud present. The leaves are spirally arranged, vary in shape from triangular to circular or lobed, with a long petiole. Leaf size is variable on a single tree with small leaves on side shoots, large leaves on strong-growing lead shoots; the leaves turn bright gold to yellow before they fall during autumn. The flowers are dioecious and appear in early spring before the leaves.
They are borne in long, sessile or pedunculate catkins produced from buds formed in the axils of the leaves of the previous year. The flowers are each seated in a cup-shaped disk, borne on the base of a scale, itself attached to the rachis of the catkin; the scales are obovate and fringed, hairy or smooth, caducous. The male flowers are without calyx or corolla, comprise a group of four to 60 stamens inserted on a disk; the female flower has no calyx or corolla, comprises a single-celled ovary seated in a cup-shaped disk. The style is short, with two to four stigmata, variously lobed, numerous ovules. Pollination is by wind, with the female catkins lengthening between pollination and maturity; the fruit is a two- to four-valved dehiscent capsule, green to reddish-brown, mature in midsummer, containing numerous minute light brown seeds surrounded by tufts of long, white hairs which aid wind dispersal. Poplars of the cottonwood section are wetlands or riparian trees; the aspens are among the most important boreal broadleaf trees.
Poplars and aspens are important food plants for the larvae of a large number of Lepidoptera species. Pleurotus populinus, the aspen oyster mushroom, is found on dead wood of Populus trees in North America. Several species of Populus in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe have experienced heavy dieback; the genus Populus has traditionally been divided into six sections on the basis of leaf and flower characters. Recent genetic studies have supported this, confirming some suspected reticulate evolution due to past hybridisation and introgression events between the groups; some species had differing relationships indicated by their nuclear DNA and chloroplast DNA sequences, a clear indication of hybrid origin. Hybridisation continues to be common in the genus, with several hybrids between species in different sections known. Populus section Populus – aspens and white poplar Populus adenopoda – Chinese aspen Populus alba – white poplar Populus × canescens – grey poplar Populus spp. X – Pacific albus Populus davidiana – Korean aspen Populus grandidentata – bigtooth aspen Populus sieboldii – Japanese aspen Populus tremula – aspen, common aspen, Eurasian aspen, European aspen, quaking aspen Populus tremuloides – quaking aspen or trembling aspen Populus section Aigeiros – black poplars, some of the cottonwoods Populus deltoides – eastern cottonwood Populus fremontii – Fremont cottonwood Populus nigra – black poplar, placed here by nuclear DNA.
Populus Populus × canadensis – hybrid black poplar Populus × inopina – hybrid black poplar Populus section Tacamahaca – balsam poplars Populus angustifolia – willow-leaved poplar or narrowleaf cottonwood Populus balsamifera – Balsam poplar Populus cathayana – Populus koreana J. Rehnder – Korean poplar Populus laurifolia – laurel-leaf poplar Populus maximowiczii A. Henry – Maximowicz' poplar, Japanese poplar Populus simonii – Simon's poplar Populus suaveolens Fischer – Mongolian poplar Populus szechuanica – Sichuan poplar, placed here by nuclear DNA. Aigeiros Populus trichocarpa – western balsam poplar or black cottonwood Populus tristis, placed here by nuclear DNA.