Speaker Schedule

  • 24 Sep 2021; Doug Tozer; The Canadian Lakes Loon Survey
  • 29 Oct 2021; Samantha Knight; Monarch Butterflies
  • 26 Nov 2021; Glen Brown; Vulnerability of Ontario’s subarctic ecosystem to environmental change
  • 28 Jan 2022; Katrina Wisniewski; Wild Pigs in Ontario
  • 25 Feb 2022; Luke Fuendling; Butcher of the Alvar, The Eastern Loggerhead Shrike
  • 25 Mar 2022; Kyle Blaney; Tales of a Canadian Explorer
  • 29 Apr 2022; Sarah Jamieson; Things that go bump in the night! The ecology of North Island Brown Kiwi

Meeting Information

Currently our meetings are held online via Zoom. WBFN members receive emails with links and instructions. Please visit our Contact Page for further information.

Note that all regular indoor meetings have been cancelled due to COVID-19. During normal times we meet as follows:
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 24, 2021, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Doug Tozer
Topic: The Canadian Lakes Loon Survey
Description: We recently used several decades of volunteer data from our Canadian Lakes Loon Survey to document and help explain mysterious declines over the years in the number of Common Loon babies raised to independence (i.e., loon “productivity”). Our analysis shows that Common Loon productivity has significantly decreased across most of southern Canada over the past several decades. Of course, the “million-dollar” question is why is loon productivity declining? In this presentation, Dr. Doug Tozer, Director, Waterbirds and Wetlands, Birds Canada, will overview information from a remarkable 35,000 breeding attempts by Common Loon pairs across the country, collected by over 4000 volunteers. Dr. Doug Tozer is Director, Waterbirds and Wetlands at Birds Canada in Port Rowan, Ontario. He did his undergrad at the University of Guelph and went to grad school at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. At Birds Canada, he leads the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program, the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey, and the Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Program

Friday, October 29, 2021, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Samantha Knight
Topic: Monarch Butterflies, A tale of milkweed, migration, and management strategies
Description: The iconic Monarch Butterfly inspires awe in the public and scientists alike, yet populations have rapidly declined in the past few decades. In this presentation, Sam will share recent research from the Norris lab at the University of Guelph, including three studies she led highlighting the role milkweed, migration, and management strategies play in Monarch Butterfly conservation. Sam Knight manages the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)’s Weston Family Science Program, the organization’s national research program. NCC is Canada’s leading not-for-profit land conservation organization. Prior to starting at NCC in 2019, she worked as a Monarch Butterfly researcher in Dr. Ryan Norris’s lab at the University of Guelph, where she also had completed her Master of Science degree studying Tree Swallow migration patterns. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, she recently settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, after the multi-year layover in Guelph, Ontario.

Friday November 26, 2021, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Glen Brown
Topic: Vulnerability of Ontario’s subarctic ecosystem to environmental change
Description: Global warming is a threat to arctic biodiversity, yet little is known about the vulnerability of the subarctic ecosystem in northern Ontario. The region contains the largest wetland in North America, providing breeding habitat for many thousands of birds that migrate north each year. Our work is to clarify the roles of different pathways linking climate to wildlife and is intended to support development of conservation measures and sensitive monitoring indicators. Dr. Glen Brown is an Adjunct Professor at Trent University and Research Scientist at Ontario’s NDMNRF. Glen leads Ontario’s northern animal ecology research program, with research interests linking ecosystem processes, population dynamics, and individual behavioral strategies. He has conducted research on woodland caribou, moose, and habitat management for a suite of forest-dependent wildlife, including songbirds, mammals, and amphibians.

Friday January 28, 2022, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Katrina Wisniewski
Topic: Wild Pigs in Ontario
Description: Katrina Wisniewski is a Wildlife Research Technician with the NDMNRF who works on the Wild Pig program following up on reports of wild pig sightings across the province. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a Degree of Bachelors of Environmental Science, Field Of Study Natural Resource Management Invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are considered one of the most damaging species globally, and once they become established in an area, they are notoriously difficult to eliminate. As such, identifying the potential pathways of invasion, especially in places with emerging populations, is critical for preventing new or continued invasion. Wild pigs have been reported in Ontario, Canada, in recent years. We tested four nonexclusive hypotheses about the source of wild pigs in Ontario: (a) escapees from captive sources within Ontario; (b) invasion from neighboring jurisdictions; (c) existing wild populations within Ontario; and (d) translocation and illegal release.

Friday, February 25, 2022, Annual General Meeting, 7:30 p.m. Join at 7 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
A new Executive Board will be elected. A quorum of at least 25 members is required, so be sure to join the meeting.
Speaker: Luke Fuendling
Topic: Butcher of the Alvar, The Eastern Loggerhead Shrike
Description: Luke Fuendling is a writer and freelance journalist from Kitchener-Waterloo. After studying History at the University of Guelph, he worked for several years as an historical interpreter at the Waterloo Region Museum. Luke has turned his research energy toward Canadian environmental issues. Last year he had his first article published in Ontario Nature covering the critically endangered Eastern Loggerhead Shrike, and the recovery project to save them. The loggerhead shrike, one of the fastest-declining bird species in North America, is a unique songbird. Loss of grassland ecosystems through natural succession and continuous human impact — in the form of climate change, agriculture, and use of pesticides — have destroyed many grassland habitats that the eastern loggerhead shrike depends on in Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba.

Friday, March 25, 2022, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Kyle Blaney
Topic: Tales of a Canadian Explorer
Description: Kyle Blaney has lived in Belleville, Ontario since 1976 and has only ever left the area for a brief stint to attend university. Needless to say, he has had more than enough time to explore the Quinte region’s great birding sites and hidden gems along the way.

Kyle has presented all over Canada. Travel, particularly Canadian wilderness exploration, is a very important part of his life. Each spring from 2013 to 2018 he went on a long camping trip (around 20,000 kilometers return) from his home in Belleville to his summer job in Vancouver. Throughout his life, birding shifted from a family pastime into one of his greatest passions through the means of photography. He recalls a time back in 2011 when he took one of his first ever good bird photos. This photo ended up being of a LeConte’s sparrow, an uncommon species that he has not seen locally ever since. “I got into birding through photography. I started taking my camera with me when I walked around.”

Friday, April 29, 2022, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Sarah Jamieson
Topic: Things that go bump in the night! The ecology of North Island Brown Kiwi.
Description: Dr. Sarah Jamieson’s love of birds all started when she was 19 years old hiking along the Yukon River and spotted an adult male Surf Scoter in all his breeding glory. Soon after she started working as a field technician on a seabird colony in her home province of Newfoundland and Labrador and never looked back. Her adventures chasing birds has taken her from Greenland to Alaska, Nunavut to Costa Rica. Her most recent international research led her to New Zealand where she worked as a Conservation Research Postdoctoral Fellow studying the spatial and reproductive ecology of North Island Brown Kiwi.

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