The 2016 Champion for Nature Award was presented to Ray by Lynda Bennett (Bennett and Georgina Doe were co-nominators of Ray for the award) at MVFN’s Spring Gathering in May.
“It is my pleasure to introduce Ray Holland to receive the Champion for Nature Award.
Ray, a resident of Pakenham, and an MVFN member, has spent his lifetime studying birds and their habitat. He has personally been responsible for rescuing many bird species during his whole time (41 years) in Canada.
He was a “transporting angel” of injured birds to Kitt Chubb, of Verona, Ontario, for treatment.
As an example of local help, he watched over and cared for the female Bullock’s Oriole found in Pakenham last March. Over a 5 week period, he daily monitored her, not allowing birders or photographers to come too close. One morning, at minus 31 degrees celsius, Ray found her lying on the ground. He carefully picked her up, wrapped her in a blanket, and transported her to the Wild Bird Care Centre in Nepean. Her recovery was insured.
In the 1980’s Ray helped Kathy Nihei, the original director of the Centre, save hundreds of Ring-billed Gulls nests and eggs before they were plowed into the ground, locally.
There is nothing Ray would not do to protect any living species. He generously shares bird sightings with local observers, with excellent directions for observation. His findings are forwarded to the bird committee of the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club.
Ray is a well-deserved recipient of this Champion for Nature Award.”
NOTE: Sadly, Ray Holland passed away in August 2016. And, recovering at the Wild Bird Care Centre, the bird he rescued was confirmed to indeed be a Bullock’s Oriole. The following summer, mere weeks after Ray’s passing, the bird was flown back to British Columbia. Read story about the Pakenham Bullock’s Oriole returning home.