Speaker Schedule

  • 30 Sep 2022; Todd Farrell: The Northumberland County Forest – Your natural place in the County
  • 28 Oct 2022; Jenny Jackman and Gerry McKenna; Joint Working Group – Wesleyville
  • 25 Nov 2022; Mark Stabb: Conservation, connections and community: A Landscape Conservation Plan for Northumberland
  • 27 Jan 2023; Monica Fromberger: Piping Plover conservation in Ontario Parks – Darlington and Presqu’ile
  • 24 Feb 2023; Jeff Bowman: Lynx and Bobcats in Ontario, Annual General Meeting
  • 31 Mar 2023; Dr. Catherine Scott: Eat Prey Love: the secret lives of spiders in Ontario & beyond
  • 28 Apr 2023; Cayla Darling: The Impacts of Phragmites on Species at Risk Reptiles
  • 26 May 2023; Bridget Stutchbury: New Discoveries in Song Bird Migration

Meeting Information

Starting in September 2022 WBFN meetings will be held at the Cobourg Public Library and online via Zoom. Members can choose either venue and if by Zoom, will receive emails with links and instructions. Please visit our Contact Page to request further information.

Monthly meetings take place at the Cobourg Public Library, 200 Ontario St., Cobourg, typically during the last Friday of the month and starting at 7:30 p.m. Each meeting will start off with WBFN business, announcements and sightings, typically lasting 30 minutes. Approximately 1 hour is then devoted to our guest speaker. The final 30 minutes allows for meeting the guest speaker and visiting among members and guests. These meetings are open to the public and we encourage guests to introduce themselves.
Google Maps: Meeting Location

Speaker Topics & Descriptions

Friday, September 30, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Todd Farrell, Natural Heritage Manager
Topic: The Northumberland County Forest – Your natural place in the County
With more than 25 years of conservation experience monitoring and managing habitats across Ontario, Todd Farrell oversees the Northumberland County Forest in the role of Natural Heritage Manager. Established in 1924 and spanning over 5,500 acres, Todd will highlight the gem that is the Northumberland County Forest and its history, habitats, and management.

Friday, October 28, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
Speakers: Jenny Jackman and Gerry McKenna
Topic: Joint Working Group – Wesleyville
Description: WBFN members Gerry McKenna and Jenny Jackman will provide an overview of the activities of the Joint Working Group – Wesleyville; a joint group of the Willow Beach Field Naturalists and the Northumberland Land Trust. Their presentation will include a description of the ecological features that make Wesleyville important in our County, a synopsis of the surveys undertaken by volunteers of the two clubs, and some of the challenges in conserving these lands.

Friday, November 25, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Mark Stabb, Program Director for the Central Ontario East region of Nature Conservancy of Canada
Topic: Conservation, connections and community: A Landscape Conservation Plan for Northumberland
From Rice Lake to Lake Ontario and from the Ganaraska River Valley to the Trent Hills and beyond, Northumberland County has phenomenal habitat and landscape diversity. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and partners of the Rice Lake Plains Partnership (including the WBFN) have collaborated for 20 years to help conserve and steward this natural heritage. Originally focused on the hills and habitats of the Oak Ridges Moraine, the landscape plan that guided the partnership has recently renewed and greatly expanded. Mark Stabb, NCC Central Ontario Program Director, will present an illustrated overview of the landscape diversity of Northumberland and the highlights of the plan – known as the Rice Lake Plains-Lake Iroquois Plain Natural Area Conservation Plan. Come learn about some of the conservation opportunities, successes and challenges that lie ahead for your County.

Friday, January 27, 2023, 7:30 pm
Speaker: Monica Fromberger
Topic: Piping Plover conservation in Ontario Parks – Darlington and Presqu’ile
Piping Plovers were once locally extinct from the Great Lakes in Ontario. They returned in 2007 to nest at Sauble Beach, and later returned to the shores of Lake Ontario in 2015. Monica Fromberger, Piping Plover Biologist with Ontario Parks’ Southeast Zone, will provide an overview of conservation efforts for Piping Plover recovery in Ontario, with recaps of nesting seasons at Darlington and Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

Friday, February 24, 2023, Annual General Meeting, 7:30 pm
Speaker: Jeff Bowman
Topic: Lynx and Bobcats in Ontario
Description: Dr. Jeff Bowman is a Senior Research Scientist with the Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section of the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, and also an Adjunct Professor in the Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program at Trent University. He will speak about the distribution of Canada lynx and bobcat in Ontario, interactions between these two species, and how their distributions are changing in the face of contemporary influences like changing climate and habitat conditions. He will discuss these topics by summarizing recent research findings from the province.

Friday, March 31, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Catherine Scott
Topic: Eat Prey Love: the secret lives of spiders in Ontario & beyond
Description: There are far more reasons to be fascinated by spiders than to fear them. In this talk, Dr. Scott will provide a window into the private lives of spiders, highlighting their remarkable strategies for predation and defense, the critical role that they play in food webs, and weird and wonderful mating and parenting habits. Dr. Catherine Scott is an arachnologist and behavioural ecologist whose research is focused on the behaviour and communication of spiders. A former arachnophobe, she is passionate about trying to shift perceptions about these fascinating creatures.

Friday, April 28, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Cayla Darling
Topic: The Impacts of Phragmites on Species at Risk Reptiles
Description: Invasive Phragmites is a widespread alien grass species that can be found in ditches, lakeshores, and in wetlands. Phragmites is detrimental to wide array of species and habitats, including species at risk reptiles. The presentation will focus on the impacts of not just the spread of invasive Phragmites but also its management on species at risk reptiles, with a special focus on turtles. Cayla Darling is a Species at Risk Ecologist with Blazing Star Environmental. She holds an Honours degree in Biology from Trent University, and a diploma in Ecosystem Management from Fleming College. Cayla has experience working with species at risk reptiles, with a focus on turtles. She also has experience in the removal and management of various invasive plant species.

Friday, May 26, 2023, 7:00 p.m.
Speaker: Bridget Stutchbury
Topic: New Discoveries in Song Bird Migration
Description: Each fall, billions of songbirds leave Canada on an epic journey to their far-away wintering grounds in Central and South America where many live in tropical forests shared by toucans, howler monkeys, and jaguars. Dozens of species have experienced serious, long-term population declines that are driven in part by the threats that these birds face on migration and while in the tropics. Bridget Stutchbury talks about her research on purple martins, wood thrushes, and white-crowned sparrows that tracks the migration of individuals over part, or all, of their migration journey to better understand the threats they face along the way, and how we can help.

Professor Bridget J. Stutchbury, M.Sc., Ph.D., researcher and author.
Bridget Stutchbury is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Biology at York University, Toronto. She did her M.Sc. at Queen’s University, her Ph.D. at Yale and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Since the 1980s, she has studied migratory songbirds to understand their behavior, ecology and conservation but has also witnessed first-hand the shocking declines of many birds including wood thrushes, barn swallows and bobolinks. She studies the
incredible migration journeys of songbirds and the many threats they face along the way. She is author of Silence of the Songbirds (2007) and The Bird Detective (2010) and was featured in the award-winning 2015 documentary The Messenger. She has also been a long-serving board member for Wildlife Preservation Canada whose mission is to prevent animal extinctions (including the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike).

Celebrating our 70th anniversary
Refreshments and a celebration of our anniversary will take place after the speaker.
Doors open at 6:45 p.m., meeting starts at 7:00 p.m., Cobourg Public Library, 200 Ontario St., Cobourg. This meeting can be attended in person at the Cobourg Public Library or by Zoom.

Due to venue capacity limits, registration is required. Click here to register.

Past Speaker Page

Speaker Posters