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Members share recent nature sightings and report briefly on club activities at 7.30 pm. Location: O'Brien Rooms at the Pickering Recreation Complex, 1867 Valley Farm Road, Pickering.
The O"Brien Rooms are at the back of the Recreation Complex, near the skating rinks - visitors will need to drive to the back of the building via Diefenbaker Ct.
The evening ends with refreshments, an opportunity to meet with the speaker and to socialize with fellow members.

    18 May 2017 Birds of Northumberland County – Elizabeth Kellogg   

Date change: For one meeting only

 This talk introduces some of the good birding places in Northumberland County and talks about some representative species that use these habitats. The bird photographs are mostly by local photographers who have generously shared them with me for use in this presentation.

  

    1 June 2017 – Pantonal & Extremadura – Martin Galloway
    Previous meetings
    6 Apr. 2017 –  Co-flourishing With Canids – Lesley Sampson

Lesley Sampson co-founded Coyote Watch Canada in 2008.  She is a specialist in coyote behaviour and on educating people on their neighbourhood coyotes and how to get along with them.  Lesley will provide insight into coyote/human dynamics, canid family structure and how to cultivate compassionate, citizen-focused coexistence through humane policy development and community partnerships.

    2 March 2017 – 40th Anniversary Meeting - "NOTE early start at 6:30 p.m.

Tonight we are celebrating our first 40 years, in pictures and stories, of past outings and get-togethers.  A host of early members, Conservation Award winners and speakers have been invited to share in the festivities and meet old friends.  Marg and Reid Wilson have promised to send us a personal musical greeting!

A special Silent Auction will be held, featuring a gorgeous stained glass reproduction of our PN logo by former president Chip Weseloh, a beautiful large framed fine art print of wolves, a new copy of “The Private Lives of Birds”, Bridget Stutchbury’s book on her cutting-edge songbird research.

We will have wildlife painting exhibits by Barry Kent MacKay and Stuart Kenn.  Rosemary Oliver will bring one of her wonderful displays of nature fabric art.

Special refreshments will be on offer (veggies, fruit, cookies and an anniversary cake!).

If you know of anyone who is a past member but has lost touch with the group, please let them know about this memorable evening.

    2 February 2017 – The Piping Plover Reclaims Lake Ontario – Glenn Coady

In the spring of 2016, Glenn Coady discovered two Piping Plover nests at Darlington Provincial Park. These were the first breeding Piping Plovers ever for Durham Region and the first successful nests on the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario since 1934. The Great Lakes population of Piping Plover reached a critical low of just 12 pairs in the early 1980s, but since then conservation efforts have brought the number of nesting pairs back up to a post-crash high of 75 nesting pairs in 2016. Come and hear the story of one of Ontario's most endangered breeding birds and learn what you can do to help them recover.

    5 January 2017 – Restoration of Damaged Natural Habitats for Wildlife – Steve Smith

Steve is a forester and certified arborist with Urban Forest Associates Inc., a small firm in Toronto.  He has supervised hundreds of ecological restoration projects throughout Ontario over the past 34 years, working with many partner groups. Steve works with homeowners, businesses and municipalities to manage individual trees, forests and natural gardens.  Much of his work involves control of invasive plant species and restoration of urban natural areas. 

    1 December 2016 – Members Meeting

Our members will share their interests and experiences on a variety of nature subjects, from Astronomy to Zoology, with slides, photographs, artwork, stamps and needlework. And don't forget our combined Christmas Bake Sale & Silent Auction!

    3 November 2016 – The Bird That Kicked the Wasps' Nest: Red-throated Caracaras & Social Wasps – Sean McCann

Over a century has passed since Wallace, Spruce and Bates explored the Amazon, and to this day many of the region's animals remain poorly known. Over the course of five field seasons, Sean and his colleagues travelled to French Guiana to study the unusual habits of the Red-throated Caracara.

They documented for the first time the intense cooperative breeding of these birds, their high reliance on wasp larvae, as well as their spectacular predation behaviour. Sean's talk will highlight what was learned, and give us an introduction to the spectacular scenery and animal life of the Guianan rainforest.

    6 October 2016 – Colombia: The New Birding Frontier – Geoff Carpentier

Colombia, in the northwest corner of South America, includes remarkably diverse regions: Caribbean coast, Pacific coast, high mountain ranges, volcanoes, tropical rainforest, savannah and vast grasslands. It's not surprising that it has more bird species than any other country in the world. Parrots, toucans, a staggering 153 species of hummingbirds! And this birders' paradise is only now becoming widely known to eco-travellers. Geoff Carpentier, PN member and world traveller, will introduce us to this fascinating country and its exotic birds.

 

1 September 2016 – Monarch Butterfly Tagging along the Bluffs – Terry Whittam

This presentation will discuss the remarkable fall migration of monarch butterflies through Rosetta McClain Gardens. This beautiful garden park at the top of the Scarborough Bluffs attracts a surprising number of butterflies of different species besides migrating monarchs. Monarchs continue to stage a nice recovery and data collected over the past years will be shown. Photos of the monarchs and the process of tagging them will also be shown.

 

   2 June 2016 – The Road to Recovery: Turtle Conservation in Action – JB Jaboor

JB will give us an overview of Ontario's turtle species, their life history and the threats they face. He will highlight the work that the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) undertakes to conserve the species including medical rehabilitation in the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre (KTTC), education programs, and field monitoring projects. .

    5 May 2016 - Arizona Adventures by Christopher Siou

Award-winning nature and landscape photographer Christopher Siou will take us on a virtual tour of the most spectacular scenery in the American Southwest – Monument Valley, South Coyote Butte, Lower Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell and beyond.  See this wonderful country through the camera of an artist.  You will want to pack your bags and go!

   7 April 2016 – Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat – Toby Thorne

An introduction to the mysterious night time world of bats. Toby has been studying bats since the age of eleven and recently completed a master's degree at the University of Western Ontario. He will talk about the biology of bats in general and about the species present in southern Ontario, and maybe dispel a few myths along the way.

    3 March 2016 – Extreme Bees in Extreme Environments – Laurence Packer 

The Atacama Desert is the driest in the world, yet it also has some of the most interesting bees on the planet. 
Laurence will describe the various habitats in the Atacama,  discuss why its bees are so interesting and tie in the evolution of the bees to palaeoenvironmental and geological understanding of the region of the past. 
Laurence Packer is a biology professor of at York University whose main academic passion is the study of wild bees.

   4 February  2016 – A Tale of Two Nests: Owls in the Manitoba Interlake – Skip Shand 

Skip Shand is a retired Glendon College professor of English and Drama Studies, with a lifelong interest in birds and a summer cottage in the bird-rich Manitoba Interlake. This short photo essay records his lucky encounters with daily-life at a pair of nests: a Northern Hawk-Owl nest on a square he monitored for the forthcoming Manitoba Atlas of Breeding Birds, and a Long-Eared Owl nest on the Interlake farm of one of Canada's foremost Owl biologists. 

    4 February 2016 – The Rouge Wetland – Colin Angus

Colin Angus is an accomplished photographer who has focused much of his art on the natural world.  For many years, the wetland on Beare Road just east of the Zoo has been one of his favourite places to explore.  Colin will show us the beautiful and sometimes surprising plants, animals, birds and insects he has found there over the seasons. 

    7 January 2016 – Biological Control of Invasive Species – Sandy Smith


Despite their natural resilience, forest ecosystems in North America have become increasingly vulnerable to invasion through natural and manmade processes. Homogenization and successive waves of invading species are now commonplace in the settled landscapes of Ontario, primed to spread beyond into Canada's intact forests. Conservation strategies that emulate nature, such as rewilding and biological control using native diversity and natural enemies, will impede invasion and provide the best long-term prescription for forest health.

    3 December 2015 – Members' Meeting

Our members will share their interests and experiences on a variety of nature subjects, from Astronomy to Zoology, with slides, photographs, artwork, stamps and needlework. And don't forget our combined Christmas Bake Sale & Silent Auction!

    5 November 2015 – Lessons from Loons – Doug Tozer

The Common Loon is a popular symbol of the state of the environment, and the choice turns out to be an extremely good one. Over the years loon research led by an army of naturalists has revealed numerous natural history and environmental secrets. Doug Tozer, Ontario Program Scientist with Bird Studies Canada, will overview revolutionary discoveries of how loons survive and reproduce, and whether human activities are negatively influencing the loon's unique way of life and the lakes they depend on, now and in the future.  

    1 October 2015 – Monitoring Ontario's Breeding Birds – Mark Peck

If you want to get more involved in protecting our birds today then "Citizen Science" programs are the way to go. And, the best program of all...Project NestWatch! It's fun, it's challenging and it provides a wealth of valuable information for our birds. Mark Peck, ornithology specialist at the Royal Ontario Museum, will tell us about Project NestWatch, the Ontario Nest Records Scheme and how you can help with wild bird conservation.

   3 September 2015 – DifferingViews on the Rouge National Urban Park –Jim Robb, Larry Noonan & Alan Wells

Jim Robb of the Friends of the Rouge Watershed will outline serious flaws in the federal Rouge National Urban Park Act and the management plan for the new Rouge NU Park and the improvements necessary to “meet or exceed”existing science-based standards for the protection and restoration of ecological integrity and water quality within the Park and watershed.  This view is supported by a number of environmental groups.

Rouge NU Park supporters and PN members Alan Wells and Larry Noonan will give a different view.  They feel that the Act (and associated legislation and management plan) is providing the best possible protection for plants, the animals and the ecology of the Park.  Alan Wells is past president of North Durham Nature.  Larry Noonan is the Chair of Altona Forest Stewardship Committee and has also worked in the Rouge for many years.

    4 June 2015 – The Lake Iroquois Plain – Mark Stabb

    7 May 2015 – Biomimicry: Learning from Nature's Designs – Richard Aaron

Biomimicry, from the Greek words bios (life) and mimesis (imitation), is a recent discipline that strives to solve problems by imitating designs and processes from nature.  Discover how 3.8 billion years of “research &  development” is inspiring engineers, scientists, architects and others to develop everything from gecko-like  adhesive tape to “echolocating” canes for the blind. 

You may remember Richard from the wonderful talk he gave us on the mushrooms of our area, or from the excellent odonate workshops he has led for us the past five summers. This subject appeals to Richard's particular interest in the weird and wonderful details in nature.  Prepare to be amazed!

    2 April 2015 – Save The Salamanders – Matt Ellerbeck

Join Salamander Conservationist - Matt Ellerbeck (A.K.A The Salamander Man) for an educational and exciting presentation on the conservation and protection of salamanders! The presentation will feature live salamanders, both local and exotic species. Don't miss this chance to observe some of these rarely seen amphibians.

    5 March. 2015 – Where are the Whip-poor-wills? – Audrey Heagy

Whip-poor-will populations in Ontario have declined by more than 50% since the 1980s and this iconic species is now considered a Threatened species.  In 2010, Bird Studies Canada launched a project to find out more about where whip-poor-wills are (and aren't) still present in Ontario, and to look for clues as to their disappearance.  Audrey Heagy of the Ontario Whip-poor-will Project will tell us about the natural history of this enigmatic nocturnal species and the survey and research efforts underway in Ontario.

   5 February  2015 – Journey to Nepal and India – Geoff Carpentier

Worldwide nature tour leader and PN member Geoff Carpentier will introduce us to the exotic birds and mammals of eastern Nepal and north central India.  As well as three national parks, we will see some surprising green spots in this densely populated area.  In addition to magnificent Bengal tigers, beautiful deer and Indian elephants, he'll show us the Indian one-horned rhinoceros and some of the region's over 1000 bird species. 

    8 Jan. 2015 – Why Birds are Dinosaurs – Kevin Seymour

Kevin will review the history and importance of the first excavated fossil ”bird”, and arguably the world’s most famous and significant fossil species: Archaeopteryx lithographica.  For over a century this fossil species has dominated the story of the evolution of birds.  Recent finds in Liaoning, China however, have started to fill in the gap between reptiles and birds.  By the end of the talk, Kevin will hope to convince you that Archaeopteryx is not a bird after all, but actually a flying dinosaur, and that our living birds clearly descended from these flying dinosaurs.

    4 Dec. 2014 Members' Meeting

Our members will share their interests and experiences on a variety of nature subjects, from Astronomy to Zoology, with slides, photographs, artwork, stamps and needlework. Rayfield Pye will test us with his popular Nature Quiz. And don't forget our combined Christmas Bake Sale & Silent Auction!

We will also be presenting the Pickering Naturalists Conservation Award to Don Davis.

    6 Nov. 2014 – Badgers in Southwestern Ontario – Josh Sayers

Over the past few years research has been conducted on the badgers of Southwestern Ontario with the aim of answering the questions necessary for their conservation in the province. With the help of public sightings, genetic analysis, and radio-tracking, we have slowly been learning more and more about these unique animals and their lives in the hidden corners of this region (and sometimes undetected right under our noses).
Josh Sayers, of the Ontario Badger Project, has been studying them since 2008. Josh will introduce us to these fascinating but elusive animals.

    2 October 2014 - Twilight to 2000: The Evolution of Ontario's Flora – Dale Leadbeater

Dale will give us a look at the influence of the last glaciations, megafauna, human occupation and modern use of the land has shaped the flora and fauna with which we are familiar today.  On the 100th anniversary of the death of Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon, this is a particularly poignant and revealing look at where we think we are going in the future.

    4 September 2014 – The Important Bird Areas Program in Ontario – Mike Burrell

Come hear about some of Ontario's most important sites for bird conservation and how your help can make a difference on a global scale. Ontario's Important Bird Areas Program is a global initiative to identify, monitor, and conserve the world's most important sites for birds and biodiversity. Using scientific criteria, nearly 600 Canadian sites have been designated. IBAs are found throughout the country. Ontario's 70 IBAs cover more than 23,000 km2, largely along the coasts of the Great Lakes and Hudson and James Bays. Most sites regularly host large concentrations of birds, or significant numbers of species at risk. Join Mike Burrell to find out more about these amazing sites and learn how you can help make a difference.

June 5, 2014 - A Tour of the Solar System - Jesse Rogerson

Our talk this evening is really out of this world!  Jesse Rogerson, who brought us the excellent talk a couple of years ago on Exoplanets - the Search for Earth II, will be taking us on a Tour of the Solar System, with amazing images and all the latest discoveries.  Jesse is working on his PhD in Astronomy and is also researcher/programmer astronomer at the Ontario Science Centre.

May 1, 2014 - Dragonflies & Damselflies of Rouge Park–Bev Edwards

Soon to become the first National Urban Park in Canada, Rouge Park is home to over 40 per cent of Ontario’s odonate (dragonfly and damselfly) species.  For four summers, Bev led the first comprehensive survey of odonates in the Park.  She will discuss their life history and why they have been described as “aerial acrobats”and “jewels of the air.” She will also present the results of the odonate survey and, using photos, describe some of the species.

Join us to learn about some of the most beautiful inhabitants of our new park.

3 April, 2014 - A Voyage to the Galapagos: What Darwin Didn't See – Justin Peter


The Galapagos Islands often conjure up images of iguanas, boobies, tortoises and... Charles Darwin. In this illustrated talk filled with personal anecdotes, Justin will lead us on an exploration of these islands that Darwin helped to bring to our attention, and will share some of the things we've learned since the HMS Beagle plied the waters of this unique archipelago. Justin is an expert naturalist who leads ecotours around the world.

6 March, 2014 - Arctic Wildlife of Iceland, Canada and Greenland – Jean Iron

Jean Iron is one of our foremost birders, but also interested in all the other elements of nature that make up our world. Last summer she visited Iceland, James Bay, Nunavut and Greenland. Jean's presentation will show and contrast the wide diversity of birdlife, mammals, flora and habitats found in four areas of the North. Although quite different, each of these northern wildlands has a beauty of its own and is teeming with life in the Arctic summer.

6 February, 2014 - Ontario Road Rocks – Nick Eyles


2 January, 2014 - Saving the Birds of South Georgia Island - Geoff Carpentier


South Georgia Island is a place of breath-taking beauty, with snow-capped mountains and rugged shores, in the remote south Atlantic near the tip of South America.
Designated an Important Bird Area, it is home to millions of seabirds, including several birds unique to the island, as well as different species of Albatross, Diving Petrels, Giant Petrels, Prions, Penguins and many others. Like many islands, many of its breeding birds have been decimated by invasive predators.

Geoff Carpentier, long-time birder and Worldwide Quest tour leader, will tell us about South Georgia's wonderful birds and the ground-breaking program that has been undertaken to save them.

December 5, 2013 - Members' Meeting

Our members will share their interests and experiences on a variety of nature subjects, from Astronomy to Zoology, with slides, photographs, stories and needlework. And don't forget our combined Christmas Bake Sale & Silent Auction!
We will also be presenting the Pickering Naturalists Conservation Award.

November 7, 2013 - Birds of Algonquin Park - Ron Tozer


Ron Tozer retired in 1996 after 25 years as the Park Naturalist in Algonquin Provincial Park.  He has drawn on his 50 years experience as a keen birder and records keeper in the Park to write an outstanding book.  “Birds of Algonquin Park” covers a wide range of topics such as changes in migration timing, declines in aerial insectivores, changes in species and numbers over time, major changes in Park habitats, finding northern specialties and winter finches.  Ron will tell us about his book and share with us his insights on the birdlife of Ontario’s greatest park.

October 3, 2013 - Geodes, & Other Mysterious Round Rocks - Elfi Berndl

Elfi Berndl is an avid rockhound who dabbles in many aspects of the hobby and is active in a number of rock and mineral clubs. Colour & texture are the aspects of rocks that appeal to her most. She loves pyrites, agates and geodes the best, but has rarely met a mineral she doesn't like.

Elfi will explore formation theories of the beautiful crystal geodes as well as their relationship to other round rocks such as nodules, concretions, spherulites, amygdules and other round rocks. Whether you're an experienced rockhound or a complete beginner, you will enjoy this talk.

September 5, 2013 - Hurricane Sandy: a Superstorm of Rare Birds - Brandon Holden

Brandon will take us through the meteorological history behind the Hurricane Sandy event in the fall of 2012; and show how it brought about the incursion of pelagic Storm-Petrels, Kittiwakes, Jaegers and other amazing birds into Southern Ontario.  Along with the ornithological events associated with it, he will tell us what we can learn about the relationship between birds and major weather systems in the future!

Brandon is more than your average obsessed birder – he makes his living at it! And you will have seen some of his wonderful bird photographs gracing the pages of Ontario Nature Magazine and other publications.

June 6, 2013 - What the &@$% is a Bioblitz? - Shawn Blackburn

In May 2013 dozens of nature enthusiasts and experts converged on Rouge Park for our first Bioblitz. They were on a voyage of discovery, and they were not disappointed! Shawn Blackburn, from the Toronto Zoo, was the lead coordinator. He will tell us about the exciting new way that scientists and naturalists are coming together to discover the biodiversity of our natural communities.

May 2, 2013 - Reptiles & Amphibians of Eastern North America - Sid Daniels

Sid Daniels is interested in all facets of nature, but he has a special enthusiasm for reptiles and amphibians. Most of his holidays are adventures in search of elusive scaly creatures! Sid will show us an amazing variety of frogs, turtles, snakes, toads, salamanders and lizards, many of which can be found in our own backyard.
Did you know that Ontario has its own beautiful lizard? Frogs that can change their colour? Salamanders with lungs, with gills, with neither? Many reptiles and amphibians are creatures that live in our own woods and waterways, but we seldom see them. Creatures with their own unique beauty.

April 4, 2013 - Birds and Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands - Jody Allair

Join Bird Studies Canada biologist Jody Allair for a look at the amazing world of the southern Alberta badlands.  This talk will highlight some of the unique natural history that exists in this strange and beautiful region of Canada.  We will also look at some of the prehistoric life that existed in this region 70 million years ago and discuss the fascinating link between modern birds and their ancestors – the theropod dinosaurs.

March 7, 2013 - The Return of the Trumpeter Swans - Bev Kingdon

When Harry Lumsden started Ontario's Trumpeter Swan Restoration program in 1982, Trumpeters had not been seen for almost 100 years, since 1886 when a hunter at Lake Erie's Long Point shot the last known individual.  Bev Kingdon is a key member of the dedicated team of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to bring these magnificent birds back to Ontario.  She will tell us the story of that struggle, and these beautiful birds she has come to know intimately.

February 7, 2013 - An Evening with the Reluctant Twitcher - Richard Pope

Richard Pope, a relatively normal birdwatcher, morphed into a "twitcher" in 2007, pursuing rare species of birds from Rainy River to the Ottawa, seeking to record at least 300 birds in Ontario for his "Big Year."  The book that he wrote about his quest is titled  “The Reluctant Twitcher.”  He will share with us some of his humorous adventures and images of some exciting birds.

January 3, 2013 - Hudson Bay Shorebirds and Tundra Wetlands - Jean Iron

Jean Iron is one of our foremost experts on birds, and is an excellent photographer.
In spring 2012, Jean was a member of a four-person crew at a wilderness camp on the Ontario coast of Hudson Bay surveying breeding shorebirds.
 Concerns about climate change have prompted the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to initiate this new study of Ontario's tundra. In her presentation, Jean will show breeding shorebirds and specialty birds of the Hudson Bay coast, as well as mammals, tundra wildflowers at their blooming peak, butterflies, and more.

December 6, Member's Night

Our members will share their interests and experiences on a variety of nature subjects, from Astronomy to Zoology, with slides, photographs, stories and needlework.  And don't forget our combined Christmas Bake Sale & Silent Auction!
We will also be presenting the Pickering Naturalists Conservation Award.

November 1, 2012 - Greenwood Conservation - Kimberly Krawczyk
Hoofs, Paws, Wings and Feet - Larry Kirtley

At our November 1st meeting, Kim will brief us on the progress that TRCA is making in adding two major tracts of land to the already popular Greenwood Conservation Area.

These additional spaces will be very popular with naturalists from across the GTA.

Kim will discuss a little of the history, what vision TRCA had for the lands, the process that they used to engage all the interested parties and what the future holds in store.

For the second half of the meeting, photographer Larry Kirtley will show us a program of beautiful nature images accompanied by music.

October 4, 2012 - Autumn Astronomy: The Fall Colours Above! - Paul Delaney

It is not just the season for great sights on the ground but in the sky as well.  The transition from the warm days of Summer to the darker, longer and cooler nights of Fall allow the star gazer to view both globular and open clusters in the same evening.  The Milky Way is setting but Cassiopeia is rising high and the variety of objects accessible to binoculars and smaller telescopes is excellent.   This talk will hopefully whet your appetite for finding the nearest telescope and partake of a long night of celestial wonder. Paul Delaney is a professor and popular lecturer of Astronomy at York University.

September 13, 2012 - Praying Mantids: Masters of Disguise - Julio Rivera

Despite their popularity with scientists and the general public, praying mantids are one of the least studied orders of insects.  With over 2300 species around the world, many have taken on some bizarre and beautiful forms.  Julio will show us some of these fascinating predators and tell us little-known details of their hunting strategies, behaviours and adaptations.
Julio is a Peruvian-Canadian entomologist at the Royal Ontario Museum and has been studying praying mantids for over 10 years.

June 7, 2012 Assisted Species Migration: helping species or hurting communities - Nina Hewitt

As the climate warms, and the weather tends to be more extreme, many plants and animals will find it impossible to survive in their present locations. The talk will examine the controversy surrounding the policy of assisted migration of plant and animal species polewards/upslope during climate change.
Example species will be presented to illustrate the potential risks and benefits of such a policy. Nina will discuss the feasibility of these proposals and how different interest groups may reach a consensus.

Nina Hewitt is a professor of Geography and works with the Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability at York University

Introduction to Birdsong Workshop - Thursday May 3rd 6:00 to 7:15 pm before the May meeting.

We will also have a chance to practice these identification skills during the outing to Thickson's Woods on Saturday, May 5th.
The workshop is intended as an introduction to birdsong and will concentrate on the identification of songbirds that could be moving through the woods in early May.
Anyone interested in beginning or adding to their skills is encouraged to attend. Acquiring these skills adds greatly to the enjoyment of birding. There will be some handouts but no test.

May 3, 2012 - Creatures Small and Smaller: Shooting Macro - James Kamstra

James Kamstra grew up in Durham Region and has been an avid naturalist here his whole life.  He is employed as an ecologist / environmental consultant for the engineering firm AECOM  based in Markham.  He conducts biological inventories and environmental impact studies.  

James spends a lot of time in the field searching for unusual organisms, both locally and further afield.  James has been practising photography for many years before the digital age, and is particularly interested in natural subjects.  He will present examples of small wildlife (insects, reptiles, amphibians) and discuss techniques for finding and photographing these fascinating subjects at close range.  

April 5th - Earle Keatley - Views from Below- Meeting at 7.30 pm


We seldom get a chance to visit the “other world”, under the ocean that covers nearly 3/4 of our planet.  Fran & Earle Keatley are active scuba divers and naturalists.  They have travelled the globe to assemble a wonderful collection of undersea images, to take us on a tour of that spectacular world.  From tiny spectral crabs lurking in coral to menacing sharks and ponderous sea turtles, we will see the mysterious ocean world in all its brilliant colours and bizarre shapes.

March 1, 2012 Great Slave to Svalbard -Travels in the Arctic and Subarctic - Peter Money

All human attempts to define the Arctic are flawed, as will be discussed. Human definitions in any case mean nothing to the flora and fauna of these vast regions. The presentation will be illustrated by images of these challenging environments and of a wide variety of plants and animals that have successfully dealt with that challenge.

February 2, 2012 The Forest Understory - Paul Heydon


January 5, 2012 - Planets beyond our Solar System: The Hunt for Earth 2 - Paul Delaney

Since 1995, over 550 new exo-planets have been discovered. When the Kepler spaceprobe was launched in April 2009, many expected hundreds of new worlds to be discovered in its 4 year lifespan. It appears that some 1200 of exo-planets may have been found within the first year of its mission, suggesting that planets are more common than we had thought or dared hope.

In this talk, Astronomy and Physics Professor Paul Delaney discusses the exploding field of exo-planetary astronomy, what we can expect in the coming months and its implication for other Earth's and life within our galaxy.

December 1, 2011 - Member's Night

Our members will share their interests and experiences on a variety of nature subjects, from Astronomy to Zoology, with slides, photographs, stories and needlework.  And don't forget our combined Christmas Bake Sale & Silent Auction!

 We will also be presenting the Pickering Naturalists Conservation Award to Rosemary Speirs.

November 3, 2011 - Gull Watching in Ontario - Jean Iron

Gulls are fascinating and challenging. This presentation will help you appreciate the 21 species of gulls in Ontario with tips on identification, plumages, and where and when to see rare gulls.
Among our foremost birders, Jean is probably the best at pointing out just what we need to identify birds to species.  

Enjoy her wonderful photographs and brush up on your ID skills, just in time for our November Niagara Gulls outing!

October 6, 2011 - Pollinator Gardens - Clement Kent

Many of us know that honeybees have declined drastically, some of us know that other pollinators such as native bees and butterflies are experiencing habitat loss, disease, and use of pesticides.  This talk focuses on positive things you can do to create pollinator habitat and enjoy wildflowers and native plants - a win-win proposition!
Clement Kent has a PhD in insect genetics and behaviour.  He researches the genomics of honeybees at York University.

September 1, 2011 - Bats: Evolution of Flight & Echolocation - Kevin Seymour

Most living bats use echolocation to detect and capture flying prey. Echolocation and the ability to fly are the key innovations largely responsible for the evolutionary success of bats today. But how did these two characteristics evolve? Up until recently, the fossil record has been mute on this subject because all fossil bats looked pretty much like living bats.

The world's most primitive bat was described by Kevin and his colleagues in 2008, and this changed all that. Because of the preserved features in this fossil, now we know that in the evolution of bats, flight evolved first and echolocation evolved later.

June 2, 2011 –Invasive Plants and Insects - Stephen Murphy

Stephen Murphy is a professor in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo.  He specialises in restoration ecology and the ecology of invasive plants such as garlic mustard and knapweed.  Stephen will cover a range of plant and insect species, focusing on the evolutionary reasons why some species invade,  human management or mismanagement of landscapes that encourage invasives and some effective management responses.   He will also take a wry look at the sometimes hysterical and sometimes blase coverage of invasives.

May 5, 2011 –An Introduction to Bird Banding - Elizabeth Kellogg

As the spring bird migration gets into full swing, so do a number of  birding activities organised to add to our knowledge of our feathered friends.  This presentation is an introduction to bird banding – why it is done, how it is done, where it is done and how the birds are caught to be banded.  

Elizabeth Kellogg and her husband, Roger Frost, band in Northumberland County as the Willow Beach Banding Group.  She will present banding through her personal experience of banding, primarily in Northumberland County.  The talk will be illustrated by photographs of the banding process.


April 7, 2011 – Northbound Shorebirds - Jean Iron

Shorebirds provide birders with some of our greatest challenges in identification.   Jean Iron, one of our top birders, who has a special interest in studying them, has come to the rescue, with this wonderful interactive program.
Jean will cover 28 regularly occurring spring migrant and breeding shorebirds, plus 8 rarer species that migrate through southern Ontario to their Arctic breeding ground.  Her talk is loaded with tips to sharpen identification skills, and you will increase your knowledge of shorebird molts, plumages and aging. You will learn to identify shorebirds by jizz or giss - general impression of size and shape. You can test your new knowledge by doing interactive shorebird quizzes and find out the best spots to see shorebirds in spring.


March 3, 2011 – Bees - Laurence Packer

Laurence is a biology professor at York University and a renowned expert on bees.  He will bring his new book “Keeping the Bees: Why All Bees Are at Risk and What We Can Do to Save Them .”
He says: Bees are in trouble and there is news about this almost every week.  But few people know what bees are.  It would surprise most people to find that there are over 19,000 described bee species.  I will dispel some myths about bees based upon common misconceptions about them, outline their diversity in the world and in Canada, explain their importance to us concentrating on their potential role in environmental monitoring and outline two Canadian-led initiatives that seek to help us make best use of them.  Lastly, I will outline some ways in which we can make our backyards better for bees.


Feb 3, 2011 – Natural Brazil – Peter Money

Brazil has a diversity of ecosystems and a very large number of species of mammals, birds and other fauna, many endemic to specific ecosystems. This natural history “snapshot” includes several areas in the Atlantic Coastal Rainforest and others in the savannah-like cerrado, the Amazon Rainforest and the Pantanal wetlands. Mammal highlights include the endangered northern muriqui monkey endemic to the Atlantic Coastal Rainforest, giant anteater on the cerrado, and giant river otter and jaguar in the Pantanal. Additionally, there are many birds, other mammals, some reptiles, insects, and flora, and views of  their environments.

Jan 6, 2011 – Fungi on Our Doorstep: The Mushrooms of Durham Region - Richard Aaron

Mushrooms and other fungi are an integral part of the natural world, with a rich diversity of species found right here in Durham Region. We will become acquainted with some of the region's common and less common species while discussing their life histories and various uses. From tiny bird's nests to giant puffballs, and the stunningly beautiful to the oddly bizarre, a world of discovery awaits you in the fungal kingdom. Richard lives in Toronto and operates a nature interpretation business. He gives lectures, walks and workshops on plants, dragonflies, and fungi (http://natureknowledge.weebly.com). From 1996-2002, Richard led a joint mushroom outing each fall for the Pickering Naturalists and the Durham Region Field Naturalists.

Nov 4, 2010 – Wild Ontario - Raptor Rescue & Conservation - Jenn Bock and friends


When the Wild Bird Clinic at the University of Guelph had to close in 2006, some members of the group determined to reform and pursue their goals in a different format. After considerable reorganisation, they have re-emerged as" Wild Ontario" , with a mandate to educate the community about wild bird and habitat conservation. Jenn Bock and her volunteers will be bringing 3 or 4 of their raptor friends to our meeting - perhaps Einstein the Great Horned Owl or Socrates the Turkey Vulture, maybe beautiful little Artemis the American Kestrel or Indiana the majestic Red-tailed Hawk. They will share their stories and discuss their adaptations to survival in Ontario. Come and meet some of our wonderful raptors close-up, and learn how we can change the impact that humans have on wildlife from negative to positive.


Oct 7, 2010 – Insect Life Cycles and How They Survive our Winters - James Kamstra


We all know about the complete metamorphosis of butterflies, with four stages from egg to adult. Other insects, such as dragonflies and grasshoppers, have an incomplete metamorphosis, with only three stages in the life cycle. The variations, however, are as wide ranging as the diversity of insects. While late spring to early autumn is when most insects are active, all of our species must somehow cope with the long snowy winter. James' presentation will highlight the life cycles of a number of southern Ontario insect species, looking at the variety of strategies that they employ to survive the cold season.

James lives in the Oak Ridges Moraine north of Whitby and works as a full-time naturalist for an environmental consulting company. He is an excellent all-around naturalist with a particular interest in insects.

 

Sept 2, 2010 – Birding Northeastern Australia

Otto will be taking us on a birding trip from Sydney, Australia, north to Cairns.

Northeastern Australia is a land of spectacular scenery and lush tropical rainforest. Otto visited a number of the country's beautiful national parks, seeking out the bizarre and exotic birds that the area is famous for.

June 3, 2010 – BIRDS OF NIAGARA & PAPUA NEW GUINEA - JOHN BLACK

John Black and Kayo Roy have put together an impressive new book on the birds of Niagara, involving 25 authors and over 400 illustrations and photographs! John will tell us how they achieved this impressive task, and show us some examples of the page layouts.

John will also give a presentation on his 18-day birding trip to Papua New Guinea. This tropical land of rainforests, volcanoes and mangroves has 630 species of birds, and 84% of the animal genera are endemic. He will show us some of the amazing things he saw (including the strange wig college and many birds of paradise).

May 6, 2010 – Nick Eyles - Frenchman's Bay, 150 Years of Change


Nick will describe more than ten years research on the Frenchman's Bay watershed by University of Toronto and McMaster University and explore the major changes that have affected the area over the last 150 years. This talk will identify the effects of urbanization on the Bay and its aquatic biota.

A professor of geology at U of T Scarborough, Nick's main research is in environmental geology and ice age geology. He gave us an excellent talk on Ontario's Long Geologic Journey a couple of years ago.

April 1, 2010 – Sixty Years of Birding Around Toronto - George Bryant

Many of you will know George Bryant as a prominent birdwatcher, both locally and as a leader on trips abroad. He has bee interested in birds since he was a boy in Toronto. George will tell us about the history of birding in the Toronto area, using both historical photos and personal anecdotes.
He will also talk about how many of our birds have been affected by the changes that human settlement and activities have made to their environment, using information from the two Ontario Breeding Bird Atlases.

March 4, 2010 – Ontario's Polar Bears

February 4, 2010 – Western Canada & AlaskaCoastal Rainforest to Sub-arctic Taiga - Peter Money

An introduction to the dramatic mountain ranges of the western and northern Cordillera of Canada and Alaska and to the diverse flora and fauna in this region and in near-shore environments in the adjacent Pacific Ocean. Featuring, among many others, Turkish towels and calypso orchids; bald eagles and willow ptarmigan, grey whales and sea otters; moose, black-tailed deer and caribou, and black and grizzly bears. Peter brings his knowledge and insight as a geologist and dedicated naturalist to show us this spectacular landscape with its amazing wildlife

January 7, 2010 - Antarctica - First Journey! - Geoff Carpentier

The mystique of the Antarctic enthralls everyone, but few dare venture to its icy shores. But for those who do, a myriad of questions arise - what do I wear? What will I do? What will I see? How do I prepare? Geoff Carpentier, a veteran expedition guide, has travelled to the Antarctic, South Georgia and the Falklands 11 times so far and loves it more each time he visits. Join Geoff as he treats you to an insider’s view of the wildlife, the history and the sites you will see if you venture there. Learn about the penguins, seabirds, whales, seals, dolphins, safe travel and ice, ice, ice as Geoff shares his knowledge of this remote region. He will also bring us copies of his new book on Antarctica.

November 5, 2009 - A NEW SURVEY for Ontario's Reptiles and Amphibians - Joe Crowley


Ontario Nature has begun work on a new Ontario Herpetofaunal Atlas Program, under the direction of biologist Joe Crowley. The objective of the program is to improve our knowledge of the distribution and abundance of Ontario's reptiles and amphibians, collectively referred to as herpetofauna, through public solicitation of species observation data, field surveys and the amalgamation of existing databases. Joe will provide a brief summary of reptiles at risk in Ontario, discuss the new atlas program and how to get involved, and will also talk about how to survey for and identify local reptiles and amphibians.

October 1, 2009 - DRAGONFLIES and DAMSELFLIES of ONTARIO - Colin Jones

All summer our ponds and marshes have been alive with the acrobatic flight of dragonflies and damselflies (odonates). Colin will give us an overview of the fascinating biology and life cycles of these beautiful aerial hunters, and also touch on their conservation.
Colin is a contract biologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources in Peterborough. He is very well-known and respected in the odonate world as an expert. He is one of the authors of the new book Dragonflies and Damselflies of Algonquin Park and Surrounding Areas. He will be bringing copies of his book to this meeting for those who want to purchase it.

September 3, 2009 - BIRDS of ECUADOR - Carol Horner and Kevin Seymour

Ecuador, because it is bisected by the Andes, has a very large biodiversity in a very small area, making it an excellent choice for a birding destination. Carol and Kevin will talk about birding on the east and west slopes, and páramo regions of the Andes, as well as birding in the eastern Amazonian lowlands. The presentation includes beautiful photographs, not only of birds, but also plantlife, butterflies and the spectacular Ecuadorian scenery.

Carol Horner is a birder and nature photographer. She is a member and former board member of the Pickering Naturalists, as well as former board member of the Ontario Field Ornithologists. Kevin Seymour has been a birder and a naturalist for many years, and is currently President of the Toronto Ornithological Club.

June 4, 2009 - The Wonderful World of Vernal Pools

Ever notice those large puddles in a forest that seen to be full of calling frogs in the spring and early summer? These are vernal pools and they are important to Ontario because of their contribution to groundwater recharge, flood attenuation, maintenance of water quality, as habitat for species at risk, and to the preservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity.

Join the Pickering Naturalists and Ontario Vernal Pool Association for a presentation that explores the weird and wonderful world of the vernal pool.


May 7, 2009 - THE APPALACHIANS AND THEIR MARGIN
Peter Money

Peter Money brings us another of his excellent nature programs, from the point of view of a naturalist and geologist. He will introduce us to the Appalachian mountain system, a region extending from coastal Labrador to northernmost Florida, including fauna ranging from puffins and moose to salamanders, pelicans and armadillos, many flowering plants, and fossils of the oldest known (565 million years old) multicellular life. Peter’s expert photography brings to life this vast area of impressive landscapes, delightful wildflowers and a surprising variety of wildlife.

Apr 2, 2009 - THE ONTARIO HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT
Cindy Cartwright

Few birds inspire such delight as the tiny hummingbird. That such a diminutive jewel-like bird can migrate thousands of kilometres is a constant source of amazement. The Ontario Hummingbird Project is a long-term research effort throughout the province to understand the life cycle of Ontario's hummingbirds. Cindy Cartwright is the Founder/Coordinator of the project and is one of only three active Canadians with permits to band hummingbirds in Ontario. Learn more about the project and how you can help.

Mar 5, 2009 - TREASURES OF CAROLINIAN CANADA
Lorraine Johnson
Sweeping from Toronto to Lake Huron and Lake Erie, Canada’s Carolinian Zone is a region of exceptional biological richness. This area is home to dozens of southern species not found elsewhere in Canada – trees, grasses and wildflowers, as well as birds, animals, fish, amphibians and reptiles, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects. Lorraine Johnson will show us many of the flora and fauna of this unique region featured in her new book. “Natural Treasures of Carolinian Canada”.
Feb 5, 2009 - Birding in northern Peru
Hugh Currie
Northern Peru is an area of great diversity – Amazon rainforest, high Andes mountains, montane forest, savannah and even desert. These habitats support an amazing variety of birds, animals and insects, as Hugh Currie found when he visited the area in 2007 with a small group of eager naturalists. Hugh, an expert Toronto birder, will show us some of the wonderful birds, wildflowers and insects that he saw on that trip.
Jan 8, 2009 - Subarctic Wildlife of Akimiski Island
Jean Iron

Jean joined an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources research crew counting, aging, and studying shorebirds on Akimiski Island. In this digital presentation you will see Akimiski's birds, mammals, and wildflowers, and experience its subarctic wilderness.

Come and see Akimiski's birds, mammals, wildflowers, and experience its subarctic wilderness.

Thurs, 4 Dec 2008 -MEMBER’S NIGHT  
 Member participants

Join us for the Annual celebration of member presentations, sharing of collections and fun.

Thurs, 2 Oct 2008 - REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS 
Sid Daniels

Sid is interested in all facets of nature, but he has a special enthusiasm for reptiles and amphibians.

Thurs, 6 Nov 2008 -ONTARIO’S LONG GEOLOGIC JOURNEY
Nick Eyles

Many of us know about the Lake Iroquois shoreline.  Nick will tell us the fascinating history of the lakes, hills and rivers that shape our part of the world.

 

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