Speaker Schedule

  • 27 Sep 2019; Amanda Tracey; Brighton Wetlands
  • 25 Oct 2019; David Geale; Butterflies of South America
  • 29 Nov 2019; Kathryn Peiman; The Return of the Atlantic Salmon
  • 31 Jan 2020; Elora Grahame; Decline of Whip-Poor-Will and The Nighthawk
  • 28 Feb 2020; Gail Fraser; Bad Reputations: Cormorants and Conservation
  • During the COVID-19 Pandemic, WBFN meetings were cancelled. Depending on conditions during the summer, we hope to have a meeting in September. The status of that meeting will be announced late in the summer.
  • 25 Sep 2020; Josh Sayers; Have you seen Ontario’s elusive Badger? (Online Zoom Meeting)

Meeting 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 27, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Amanda Tracey
Topic: Brighton Wetlands
Description: Join guest speaker Amanda Tracey PhD, Coordinator of Conservation Biology for Central Ontario-East with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to look back on the first season of stewardship work at the Brighton Wetland property. This 223 acre property is a mix of lush coastal wetlands and agricultural fields that is home to many interesting plant and animal species. From Phragmites management to breeding bird surveys and even some grassland restoration work, Amanda will share the details of all of the interesting discoveries and challenges from the 2019 field season.

Friday, October 25, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: David Geale
Topic: Butterflies of South America
Description: Since 2000, David has guided bird and butterfly tours in Peru and other Andean countries, especially Colombia. His knowledge of South American birds always impresses clients and he has become one of the region’s most popular guides. Recently he has taken a keen interest in butterflies and is quickly becoming an expert on Andean species. Starting in 2018 and carrying on through to 2019, he began to run more tours in South America’s biggest country – Brazil! The variety of butterflies is astounding and in 2018 he visited the Pantanal and the Amazon. In early 2019 he was seriously smitten by the beauties of the Atlantic Rainforest.
David splits his time between Canada, where his family is located, and South America.

Friday, November 29, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Kathryn Peiman
Topic: The Return of the Atlantic Salmon
Description: Join guest speaker Dr. Kathryn Peiman Program Coordinator of the Ontario Federation of Angler and Hunter’s Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program since 2018. She has worked with birds and fish throughout her career and completed her MSc at the University of Guelph, PhD at UCLA, and was a Postdoctoral Associate at Macquarie University (Australia) and Carleton University (Ottawa).

Friday, January 31, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Elora Grahame
Topic: Decline of Whip-Poor-Will and The Nighthawk
Description: Roadways disrupt wildlife corridors and catalyze animal fatalities via automobile strikes, but they are seldom scrutinized for their potential to provide enticing habitat. Two species potentially susceptible to a roadway-induced ecological trap are the Common Nighthawk and Eastern Whip-poor-will, both migratory nightjars that breed in Ontario. Elora Grahame is a Ph.D. student from the University of Guelph and is part of the Norris Lab. Elora’s research is on movement ecology for both the Common Nighthawks and Eastern Whip-poor-wills which are secretive species and relatively understudied.

Friday, February. 28, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Annual General Meeting – Doors open at 6:30, meeting starts at 7:30. Come early to enjoy a social time prior to the meeting and browse the offerings of the Silent Auction.
Speaker: Gail Fraser
Topic: Bad Reputations: Cormorants and Conservation
Description: Since their rapid population recovery in the Great Lakes, double-crested cormorants have a bad reputation because they are a large black water bird that eats fish and their nesting habits kill trees. Professor Gail Fraser (Faculty of Environmental Studies) describes the role of cormorants in the Great Lakes ecosystems and how cormorant ecology relates to biodiversity conservation. She is an associate professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. She has worked on colonial nesting water birds for over two-decades. Her masters work (North Dakota State University) was on the foraging ecology of Forster’s terns and her PhD work (Memorial University of Newfoundland) was on the parental care of crested auklets.

Friday, March 27, 2020, 7:30 p.m. Cancelled
Speaker: Jeff Bowman
Topic: Flying Squirrels in Ontario
Description: Flying squirrels are cryptic, nocturnal species with many interesting adaptations to their nighttime habits. I will provide some insights into the natural history of flying squirrels, how and why we study these species, and the history of our research, as well as distribution of Ontario’s two flying squirrel species, the northern and southern flying squirrel, our recent discovery of hybridization between the species, and the causes and consequences of this hybridization. Dr. Jeff Bowman is a Senior Research Scientist with the Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, also an Adjunct Professor in the Environmental and Life sciences Graduate Program at Trent University. Jeff leads Ontario’s furbearer and small mammal research programs, and has expertise in population and landscape ecology, and landscape genetics. He has conducted research work on fishers, martens, lynx, wolverines, mink, wild turkeys, flying squirrels, and a variety of bat species. He has led the Kawartha Flying squirrel Project since 2002.

Friday, April 24, 2020, 7:30 p.m. Cancelled
Speaker: Josh Sayers
Topic: Ontario Badger Project
Description: TBA

Friday, May 29, 2019, 7:30 p.m. Cancelled
Speakers: WBFN Members.
Topic: Member’s Night Presentations.
Description: WBFN members have a wealth of experience and knowledge in nature. During the final general meeting of the spring, members will do short illustrated presentations on their nature topics of choice. The evening will be organized into five, 12 minute (or less) presentations. Topics will be varied and the evening should be very interesting. Come out and support your fellow WBFN members as they share their knowledge.

Friday, September 25, 2020, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Josh Sayers
Topic: Have you seen Ontario’s elusive Badger?
Description: Biologist Josh Sayers, leader of the Ontario Badger Project, a conservation program to save the grizzled grey creatures, calls them “ghost-like” because they are nocturnal, few people ever see them. Plus, they have a huge range that they move within every few days. One badger around Tillsonburg, Ont., called 32,000 hectares home.
Originally from rural Lambton County, Josh has spent the last 15 years or so working across North America and the Caribbean on a variety of research and conservation projects studying a wide range of mammals and birds. His primary focus for much of the last decade has been the Ontario Badger Project, which he started along with his wife Danielle Ethier, and Chris Kyle of Trent University.

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