Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Here’s a chance to get involved in citizen science while out on the water!

MVFN, in conjunction with the Mississippi Lakes Association, will once again conduct this year’s Canadian Lakes Loon Survey on Mississippi Lake, for Bird Studies Canada.

The task involves pairs of volunteers making one, two or three visits by boat to a section of Mississippi Lake, searching for loons and recording the findings.

The three visits are during the last week of June, July and August. You can volunteer for one, two or all three of the monthly visits. Each visit lasts up to two hours. Maps and forms will be provided.

A motor boat and driver will be made available for each team. Each team will coordinate, with the boat driver, the preferred day, time, and location of the launch.

You will need binoculars and sunscreen.

Orientation session: To prepare for the survey work, an orientation meeting will be held at the Mill of Kintail Gatehouse on Wednesday, May 16 at 1:30 PM. Please register with Cliff Bennett at or 613-798-6295 by May 15.

For further information please contact Cliff.

NOTE: to read about the results of the 2016 Mississippi Lake Loon Survey click this link

NOTE: link here to 2017 Loon Lake Survey results

 

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A new MVFN Membership Year begins April 1st and so it is time to renew your membership or perhaps to become a new member of MVFN for the 2018-2019 season!

We invite you to renew or become a member to . . .

  • Be a voice for nature; MVFN is a member group of the Ontario Nature Network
  • Participate in our canoe/kayaking program, nature walks, nature watches, citizen science efforts and outings
  • Enjoy monthly natural history talks/presentations January-April & September-November in Almonte
  • Support our conservation initiatives and environmental education programs
  • Volunteer on a committee or special project or on our Board of Directors

NEW AND RENEWING MEMBERS

Please complete a membership form (click here for printable membership form) and send with a cheque for your membership dues to:  MVFN, Box 1617, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0. We cannot accept e-transfer of funds at this time. Or, you could complete a form and renew your membership (cash or cheque) at one of our upcoming meetings/nature talks in Almonte (check details for the February 15th and March 15th talks on our Calendar of Events).

MVFN Annual Membership rates: $35 family; $25 individual; $20 seniors (65+); students $10.

If you have any questions about your membership status, please contact Membership Committee member Elizabeth Veninga at

Please continue to visit our website, join us on Facebook, pick up a brochure at one of our events, or contact Brenda Boyd, MVFN President (613-256-2706) to learn more about what the Club is offering, or to volunteer your time, knowledge, and ideas.

Thank you!

Sylvia Miller,

Chair, Membership Committee

/  613-256-7825

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Our windows reflect a lot of beauty, but please make sure the windows at your home or business are not harmful to birds. During the Almonte screening of The Messenger, a documentary film about the decline of songbird populations, the issue of fatal light attraction and collision with windows was highlighted. Two “striking” revelations from that film, and worth emphasizing particularly for our rural area of Ontario:

  • Windows that reflect natural surroundings (trees, hills, forest, water etc.) may present more of a hazard to birds than those reflecting an urban landscape
  • many more bird deaths could go unnoticed in a natural environment or in locations where industrial buildings are directly on the water (hydroelectric and other structures).

There are ways to reduce collisions at home and elsewhere.

According to Safe Wings Ottawa:

“Residences are responsible for 44% of bird collisions, while low-rises (4 to 11 storeys) account for 55%, and high-rises less than 1%. This is because most collisions happen within 5 storeys of the ground, and there are many more houses and low-rise buildings than big towers.

Many of these incidences go unnoticed because homeowners are away during the day, in another room, or otherwise not aware when collisions occur. They also may not find any dead or stunned birds because these are quickly picked off by neighbourhood cats or other creatures.

So just because you haven’t witnessed many collisions does not mean your home is not killing birds — for every collision you witness, there may be dozens more every year. And that means treating any hazardous windows as well as clear deck railings can make a tremendous difference.”

The key to preventing collisions is to make your windows visible to birds by applying visual markers in a dense pattern, ideally with a maximum gap of 5 cm (2″) between pattern elements, on the exterior surface of the glass. Read on for tips and strategies for reducing collisions at home.”

Read more at Safe Wings Ottawa about how to ensure your house or business does not present a risk to birds; also what else you can do to help reduce bird mortality due to collisions by monitoring buildings, reporting collisions, rescuing birds and other volunteer activities.

 

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Conducted by Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists members and Mississippi Lakes Association boat drivers.

Loon Count Numbers    2007   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2016    2017

Max number of adults       24       35      35       39        40         43       35        37

Max number mated prs.    10      12      11        12        13         12       17       18

Max.Number young           8        7        5          8           8          12       17        9

Actual chick survival                                                                               7         6

Summary Report

An orientation meeting was held at the MVCA Gatehouse in May, with 19 persons present.

Four teams of two, plus boat drivers, conducted surveys on four different sections of the lake, three times during the summer; end of June, end of July and end of August.

All sections of the lake recorded an average number of adults over the summer, but the maximum number of chicks counted was much lower than last year (17-9).

There were no chicks found in the Lower Lake.

Nine chicks in all were found in June; nine in July but only six were found surviving by the end of August (same as last year).

MVFN would like to do the count again next year.

Survey report submitted to Bird Studies Canada

Report submitted by Cliff Bennett    Compiler

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Barred and Great-horned Owls, Trumpeter Swans, Purple Finches and Pileated Woodpeckers are a few of the many colourful bird species which may be seen or heard, and counted, by keen observers during the Rideau Ferry Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 16, 2017!

The count area is a 24-km diameter circle, centered on Rideau Ferry, and includes Perth and Smiths Falls. The Rideau Ferry count is one of three local counts sponsored by MVFN (the other two MVFN-sponsored counts are centered around Carleton Place and the Lanark Highlands). All are welcome to join in this count, which is one of many bird counts being held as part of the 118th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Started in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count is North America’s longest-running Citizen Science project. Counts happen in over 2000 localities throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Small teams of birders are assigned a specific area within the count circle area. New birders for the count, experienced birders, and enthusiastic beginners; all are welcome to join one of the count teams. You do not need to be an expert, but it helps to know the local birds. You will be placed on a team with experienced birders. Residents of the area who have bird feeders are encouraged to register for the feeder count by contacting the Count Coordinator Rosemary Anderson and sending in observations of December 16. Often feeders cannot be seen from the road and have large numbers of over-wintering birds present which need to be counted! Detailed instructions will be sent when you join the count.

Registration information: To register, or for more information, please contact Count Coordinator Rosemary Anderson at or 613-700-9233.

Information collected by citizen scientists on this count, along with the data from thousands of other CBCs in Canada, is submitted to Bird Studies Canada and used to track the health of wintering bird populations and contributes much needed information to various research and conservation efforts, including those monitoring the effects of climate change on bird populations.

Results from the day’s observations will be collected at the count-in/potluck supper in Perth, to which all field and feeder observers are cordially invited!

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday December 16, 2017!

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