Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
October 26, 2002
Written by: Tine Kuiper
An Evening with Field Naturalist Tony Beck
The recent meeting of the Missisippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) kicked off with a short presentation by Mississippi Mills resident Hannah Larkin, an 11 yr. old student in R.Tait McKenzie Public School in Almonte. She told of her adventures at the United Nations sponsored International Children’s’ Conference on the Environment, held in June in Victoria, British Columbia. Hannah, who was chosen when she entered an essay on the environment, was partially funded by the MVFN through its Environmental Education Projects Programme. She was one of over four thousand children from sixty-five different countries around the world, who met to plan strategies and policies to present a challenge to the World Conference on the Environment held in Johannesburg, South Africa, last August. Hannah enjoyed the interaction with other the children, learning much about their cultures and dreams of a safer, cleaner environment. Her message to the audience was an appeal to take care of our environment through active and pro-active activities.
The main program of the evening, featured field naturalist and birder Tony Beck of Nepean, introduced by Tine Kuiper. For about one and a half hour he had the audience spellbound as he presented more than 100 of his beautiful photographs of birds found throughout the Ottawa Valley. These birds were either permanent residents or migratory species. Each photo showed great detail and colour, was subtly lighted, and the eyes were always perfectly in focus. Tony explained that the eyes provide a window to the soul, and without this focus, the bird would appear lifeless. Throughout the talk he provided many interesting details on bird behaviour, bird songs, conservation issues, and which birds were increasing or decreasing in number in our area. The photograph taken by Tony is of a barred owl, which commonly nests in this region. The next indoor meeting of the MVFN takes place on Thursday November 21 at 7:30 pm at the United Church, featuring Jane Buckley on Loon Lake studies.