Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

We are excited to announce our February natural history presentation by Peter B. Mills, B.Sc. B.Ed., biologist, writer, and artist/illustrator of a brand-new field guide Metamorphosis: Ontario’s Amphibians at all Stages of Development.

Peter Mills has worked professionally as a naturalist in Algonquin Park over the past nine years and is currently studying at-risk salamanders by using mapping technology to plot locations of different species and how they interact with one another. “Peter will be speaking about a two-year journey he undertook to write and illustrate a unique field guide dedicated to enhancing our knowledge of the critical, developmental first half of the lives of frogs, toads, and salamanders.”

Peter will be bringing copies of his book for sale at the meeting ($30 cash or cheque). Please see the event details below and at http://mvfn.ca/living-a-double-life/ If you are interested in more information about the book by Mills, please visit the authors website at http://www.peterbmills.com/metamorphosis.html

Date: Thursday, February 16

Time: 7:30 pm (doors open 7 pm)

Place: Almonte United Church Social Hall, 106 Elgin St., Almonte 

Admission is free for MVFN members. There is an admission fee of $5 for non-members. No charge for youth 18 and under. Refreshments are available from before and after the presentation. We always welcome new members.

We hope to see you there!

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MVFN Nature Notebook Sighting

Sighting received Jan 11, 2017: Lise Balthazar is seeing hundreds of Snow Buntings on her property and sends some photos:

” The numbers have been gradually increasing and we now have about 200 birds visiting and feeding every day. I feed them white millet. I keep in touch with the Snow Bunting Network; they have volunteers who do banding of those birds to track their movements and to try to understand why their numbers are declining. For years now, I have been asking that group if someone could come and band some of our birds, but I haven’t had any success yet.”

snow-buntings-lanark-jan-2017

Lise Balthazar

Sheridan Rapids

 

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The award-winning documentary film, The Messenger, is coming to Almonte  TONIGHT JANUARY 19

Canadian Director Su Rynard’s visionary film will be showing for one night only at Almonte Old Town Hall. Since its world premiere at Toronto’s 2015 Hot Docs Film Festival, The Messenger has impressed audiences around the world.  This essential film has significant global implications and argues that the decline of songbirds signals an uncertain shift in an already fragile ecosystem, while warning that the uncertain fate of songbirds mirrors our own. Screening information is as follows: 7 PM, Thursday, January 19 at Almonte Old Town Hall. Admission is $5, with all proceeds to Bird Studies Canada (BSC), “The Messenger” Impact Campaign. The screening, hosted by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, will be followed by a Q and A discussion. Note that admission is free for MVFN members. However, for those who wish to donate to BSC, donations will be accepted on film night and at the Jan 6 MVFN Pub Night.

The Messenger AOTH 2017 poster

The films director had noticed birds “disappearing” from around her family cottage NE of Toronto: “For me, the first step was to simply stop, listen and see for myself what was going on in the skies above. The next step [was] this film” said Rynard.  Indeed, according to Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, author of Silence of the Songbirds,

“What we’re seeing with these songbird declines is 40 or 50 years in a row of the populations getting lower and lower. So we have only half the birds we did back in the 1960’s.”

Beautifully filmed in Canada (Toronto, Alberta’s boreal forest, and elsewhere), Costa Rica, Germany, France, The Netherlands and the USA, The Messenger excels, with an international panel of remarkable participants— expert scientists and artists whose insightful knowledge and passion movie-goers strongly connect with. To name a few: Dr. Bridget Stutchbury; University of Saskatchewan’s, Dr. Christy Morrisey, the young eco-toxicologist whose research on impacts of new pesticides on prairie farmland and wetland birds is revealing vital clues to what’s going wrong; German composer/DJ Dominik Eulberg whose contribution “reconciled his love of ornithology, with his talent, skill and experience in techno music”; and ecologist Alejandra Martinez-Salinas, in Costa Rica, whose current work focuses on the role of birds in control of coffee berry borer, an important coffee pest worldwide.

“Without a doubt, The Messenger is the most outstanding film I’ve seen on birds. The fact that it is so strongly science-based, so emotive in its pitch, so beautiful in its design it captivates me and everyone who has had a chance to see it” says Steven Price, President, Bird Studies Canada:

 The Messenger brings hope also. Rynard: “In ancient times, to predict the future, humans looked to the flights and songs of birds. Today once more, the birds have something to tell us.”  [Ultimately]: “I believe people are compassionate, intelligent, and capable of change. Real change occurs when people begin to positively care, and you can feel this in the film . . . we have launched an impact campaign with Bird Studies Canada birdscanada.org. We aim to connect people who care with ways they can help.”

Film Screening details: 

Date: Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Time: 7 PM (doors open 6:30 PM)

Place: Almonte Old Town Hall, 14 Bridge St., Almonte, ON 

Admission: Tickets are $5 at the door, with all proceeds going to the Bird Studies Canada (BSC) ‘The Messenger’ Impact Campaign. Admission is free for MVFN members. However, for those who wish, donations towards BSC will be accepted on film screening night or at the Jan 6 MVFN Pub Night. Refreshments will be available at the event. The film will be followed by an audience Q & A discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 A report yesterday from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife (COSEWIC) in Canada shows that the “status” of the Monarch butterfly needs to be changed to ENDANGERED. In the report: “We need to continue to support the conservation of milkweed caterpillar habitat both here in Canada and along the Monarch’s migratory journey, and we need to support continued conservation of critical overwintering areas. Otherwise, Monarch migration may disappear, and Canada may lose this iconic species.”

Read the December 5, 2016 COSEWIC report

 

 

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Cerulean Warbler sighting sent to MVFN Nature Notebook

Alison Bentley sent in a report June 3, 2016 of a  male Cerulean Warbler singing consistently in Maberly, ON.  First noted May 29th and every day since.

Cerulean Warbler

 

The image is from https://www.ontario.ca/page/cerulean-warbler. Note that the Cerulean Warbler is a Species at Risk in Ontario – Status Threatened. “In Ontario and the United States, the main threat to this warbler is habitat loss from degrading and fragmenting forests, since it requires relatively large tracts of forest.”

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