Learn About Birds with Dr. Karen Wiebe


Join Dr. Karen Wiebe from the Biology Department to learn about the USask bird, egg and nest collections, her research on flickers and snowy owls, and why birds are unique. The videos can be watched seperately or as a series, and we've added some hands-on activities and extra resources for you to explore too. 

Dr. Karen Wiebe


Karen studies the behaviour, reproduction and ecology of birds. Much of her work focuses on factors that determine the reproductive success of individuals such as predation risk, food supply, and habitat/nest site selection. She is especially interested in incubation and hatching patterns, and sex roles during reproduction. Her main focus is a long-term study of northern flickers but she has recently initiated a project on parental care using bluebirds and tree swallows as models. Click here for more on Karen's research.

Learn about birds with Karen

The unique bird collection in the Biology Department and how we take care of it.

How do birds design and build their nests? How do they chose where to build them?

The Biology Department egg collection and the many colours, speckles, and different sizes of eggs.

Why do birds have different kinds of wings? Plus learn about fancy colours and plumage.

How do birds care for their children? And why do birds migrate (or not)?

Karen's favourite bird: the flicker! Learn about her research and why these birds are special.

Karen's other favourite bird: the snowy owl. Did you know they migrate *to* Saskatchewan in the winter?

Karen on what not to do when you see a bear, why she became a scientist, and what is the next big question.

Activities and resources

Make paper airplanes that mimic the way different birds fly.

Go on a walk, gather materials, and build a nest. It's harder than it looks!

Can you match these birds to their songs or calls? And you can explore Meewasin and listen for them too! (Answers)

Learn how to make origami birds with these easy to follow instructions.

How do birds get so colourful? There are two different mechanisms: pigmentation and light refraction.

Explore the various ways that eggs get coloured and speckled.

Interested in local birding and bird photography? Join the Sask Birders Facebook group!

Bird Beats: Music producer So Wylie remixes bird calls.