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Bird Study Group

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89133467334
Passcode: 891 3346 7334

Upcoming Meetings

For information about upcoming meetings, visit our calendar.

Previous Meetings

Monday, December 14, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

WEBINAR: Your Pane is Their Pain

Speaker: Michael Mesure, FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program) Canada, Executive Director and Cofounder

A look into the issue of bird/building collisions and how we can all play a role in helping mitigate this leading cause of bird death.

Learn more at flap.orgbirdsafe.caglobalbirdrescue.org and birdmapper.org/app

Monday, November 16, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

WEBINAR: What is the Winter Finch Forecast?

Speaker: Tyler Hoar

Purple Finch at Algonquin Park Photo: Mark Peck 

Have you ever wondered what it takes to write the Winter Finch Forecast? How can birders predict the movement of the more northern species throughout the province? Attend this webinar, hear how it’s done, and have your questions answered!

Monday, October 19, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

WEBINAR: Aerial Insectivore Conservation

Speaker: Kaelyn Bumelis

Join HNC Bird Study Group for a presentation by Kaelyn Bumelis, Aerial Insectivore Program Coordinator at Birds Canada.

Aerial insectivores are a group of migratory birds that catch and eat flying insects while on the wing, including swifts, swallows, nightjars, and flycatchers. Unfortunately, this group of birds has experienced greater population decline over the past several decades compared to most other bird groups. Though we don’t fully understand the cause of these declines, some evidence suggests that threats on their breeding grounds in Canada might be contributing. In this talk, Kaelyn will give a general overview of aerial insectivores, why they might be declining, and some of the ongoing work that seeks to improve our understanding as well as the conservation of this fascinating group of birds.

Monday, September 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

WEBINAR: Bird-Friendly City Canada: A Nature Canada Initiative

Speaker: Aly Hyder Ali

Join HNC Bird Study Group for a presentation by Aly Hyder Ali, Urban Nature Organizer at Nature Canada.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Aly Hyder Ali moved to Canada with his family in 2004. Since then he has lived in Toronto, Ottawa, Lindsay and Peterborough. Aly is passionate about conservation and sustainability, and loves collaborating with people towards the protection of all things related to nature. Aly graduated from a joint degree-diploma program at Sir Sandford Fleming College and Trent University, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences and an Ecological Restoration Technician Diploma. In his spare time, you can find Aly in the Ottawa/Gatineau area hiking, birding, fishing, gardening and/or playing with his little puppy, Lana!

Monday, April 20, 2020

eBirding British Columbia

Speakers: Jean Iron, Garth Riley, Barb Charlton, Nancy McPherson

Jean Iron

This talk was cancelled.

Join HNC Bird Study Group as we present Jean Iron, expert photographer and birder.

Using eBird, some of Canada’s top birders birded B.C. in September 2018 to increase their Canadian lists. This presentation shows the birds and how we found them with eBird. It includes birding hotspots, pelagics, diverse habitats, and resources. Learn how even experts can use modern technology to increase their birding opportunities.
The presentation is a combined effort. Jean Iron is a Canadian birder and former president of the Ontario Field Ornithologists. Her special interests are shorebirds, gulls, bird identification, geese, and grassland birds of the Carden Alvar. She loves the Hudson Bay Lowlands of northern Ontario and has participated in shorebird and goose surveys along Hudson Bay and James Bay. Jean will be accompanied by three other renowned field ornithologists, Garth Riley, Barb Charlton and Nancy McPherson.

View Jean’s photos at www.jeaniron.ca

From Worldwide Quest:
Jean Iron is a retired school principal with a master’s degree in education from the University of Toronto. She is a natural guide and gifted teacher. Ontario’s best known birdwatcher, Jean was President of the Ontario Field Ornithologists for nine years and edited its newsletter for 14 years.

Jean travels to many parts of the world studying and enjoying wildlife, human history, and digital photography. Her photos are featured in many nature publications. When not leading trips, Jean speaks at nature clubs and festivals and is an active member of the Brodie Club, one of Canada’s oldest natural history clubs.

Jean’s strong interest in conservation led her to serve as a board member on Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas Management Committee and as a board member and co-author of the Ontario Shorebird Conservation Plan. She supports the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s efforts to acquire globally rare habitats such as the Carden Alvar in Ontario. She is particularly interested in shorebirds and gulls, and authored Shorebirds of Southern Ontario, an informative and remarkably user-friendly field guide to a group of birds presenting very particular field identification challenges. For her many efforts and her assiduous study of bird life, Jean received the Ontario Field Ornithologists’ Distinguished Ornithologist Award in 2016.

Jean has led land tours to Honduras, Peru, Cuba, Belize and Guatemala, Point Pelee, and Iceland. As an experienced expedition cruise leader, she has taken Quest groups to Canada’s High Arctic, Svalbard Archipelago in Arctic Norway, Galapagos, Costa Rica and Panama, Iceland, Japan and French Polynesia.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Cancelled: Western Pacific Odyssey: Birding from New Zealand to Japan

Speaker: Alexander (Sandy) L. Darling

Join HNC Bird Study Group as they present expert birder and Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch coordinator Alexander (Sandy) L. Darling, who will share his photos and experiences birding from New Zealand to Japan.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Prothonotary Warblers in the Carolinian Zone

Speaker: Don Wills

Don Wills, a Hamilton-area farmer, has been an active advocate for endangered birds for decades. In 2007, he received an award from the North American Bluebird Society for installing bluebird boxes along the Grand River to help revitalize the local population of Eastern Bluebirds. More recently he has directed his energies to help the Prothonotary Warbler, another endangered species. Don, who co-wrote the chapter in Bob Curry’s Birds of Hamilton on “Prothonotary Warbler conservation in the Hamilton Study Area,” will speak to us on the broader topic of Prothonotary Warblers in the Carolinian zone.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Wild West Birding in Cuba

Speakers: Bob Highcock and Jean Hampson

Bob Highcock and Jean Hampson, renowned birders from the Peninsula Field Naturalists in Niagara will be reviewing their recent trip to the wilds of Cuba in search of the Island’s birds and wild lands. Even though Cuba is just across the Florida Strait from Key West the two lands are worlds apart, at least for the birds.

The Traditional December Bird Quiz

Monday, December 8, 2019

First of all, there is nothing traditional about it. Only Dr. Brewer, a world renowned birder and author with his unique viewpoint of the world and its avian occupants, can bring the hobby of bird watching to life in a whole new way. His presentation will test the best of birders in the group but his stories and humour is what really draws our friends of feather friends out for the evening.

Dr. Brewer promises his presentation to be chaotic, disorganized and only loosely tethered to reality; a mixture of bird id questions, trivia and appalling puns. Only the genius of Dr. Brewer can bring this all together for our season’s entertainment.

Habitat Restoration for Sagebrush Songbirds

Monday, November 18, 2019

Natasha will highlight the significance of the Sagebrush ecosystems of Wyoming, an area of North America that has yet to be discovered in our Bird Study Group meetings. Through Natasha’s work we will see the species that depend on the Sagebrush in this high altitude, prairie-like environment. This unique ecosystem is under threat from agriculture, invasive species, urbanization, and energy development.

Natasha Barlow is completing her Masters at the University of Waterloo, examining the effect of Sagebrush restoration on the songbirds that depend on this intriguing ecosystem including the Sage Grouse.

Birds of Australia

Monday, October 28, 2019

Our speaker, Dr. Paul Eagles, will take us through his experiences with birds in Australia and their importance to continents ecology and conservation. Many of Australia?s? birds are endemic to the continent. His talk will highlight parrots and the important bird areas of Australia.

Dr. Eagles is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Waterloo. He specializes in environmental, recreation and tourism planning, with 45 years of planning experience. He has undertaken planning and research in this field in over 30 countries. He recently spent four years at Murdock University in Perth, Australia, at the school of Environmental Science.

Songbird Conservation: Hazards, Recovery Strategies, and What We Can Do to Help Seasonal Migrants

Monday, September 16, 2019

Join us to learn about Jane’s research findings and role in the Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program. You’ll get a chance to discover why shrikes are?fascinating and singular songbirds. Jane will also be discussing why buildings are so hazardous to migrating birds and what we can do to keep songbirds safe along their?migratory journeys.

Jane Hudecki works at Wildlife Preservation Canada on the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program. Before joining this organization and working with this unique species at risk, Jane completed her Master’s degree at the University of Guelph, where she studied building collision injuries in migratory songbirds.

Wingtips at our Fingertips: Understanding the Complex Lives of Migratory Animals

Monday, January 21, 2019

HNC Bird Study Group presents Stuart Mackenzie will be exploring the world of migration of winged animals, birds, bats and insects by researchers using different technological tools.

From the Arctic to the edge of the Antarctic the research tool known as MOTUS, a radio tracking system, allows scientists to follow winged animals throughout their life cycle as they travel across the globe. With 600 monitoring stations across 26 countries knowledge is being obtained that was hardly imaginable just a few years ago as 15,000 animals of 110 species have been followed on their migrations.

Stuart Mackenzie began exploring the natural world in the womb, and has been birding since the age of 2. He is Director, Migration Ecology at Bird Studies Canada (BSC) responsible for the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, Long Point Bird Observatory and aspects of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. Stu holds degrees from the University of Guelph and Western University. He is the past-president of the Ontario Bird Banding Association and Chair of the North American Banding Council.

Birding in Falklands

Monday, February 25, 2019

Dr. David Brewer will be taking the audience on an illustrated cruise around the various islands off of the southern tip of Argentina, the Falkland Islands , South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. We will see how David has experienced this truly wild part of the world on his five polar cruises around and on these remote islands. The birds and mammals of the Southern Atlantic Ocean will be highlighted. ?David will take us to a part of the world that will intrigue and open our imagine.

David Brewer is a renown author and bird researcher. His talks are aimed at all levels of the audience. His travels have taken him around the world and he is always delighted to share his experiences with the audience.


The Bird Study Group meetings are normally held on the third Monday of the month.

Bird Study Group meetings normally feature reports of recent sightings, news of birding events, an Identification session focussing on birds which can be difficult to identify in the field, and a main program whose subject can be anything from a talk on bird skins to a slide show on the birds of a distant place.

If you are a beginning birder, come out to learn more about birds. If you are an experienced birder, come out to share your knowledge and enthusiasm.

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