One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals


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Me being arty with the new camera.



We’re known as one of Canada’s Premier Nature and Birding Festivals for good reason…variety. Sure we’re all about birds but we take great care to cover every aspect of nature and how you choose to experience it as a child, a first time birder, an artist, a photographer, a field naturalist, a stargazer, a botanist or whatever. Below are some of our HFBF committee member’s top choices to satisfy your version of your favourite nature activity. Have a look. There truly is ‘something for everyone.’

FRIDAY MAY 27                                                           

A5 7:30 am BIRDING THE EDGE OF MacGREGOR – Terry Crabe – The MacGregor landscape offers a variety of habitats that provide the right niches for a good number of different species. Travelling by car to these areas, we will seek them out on short walks into each habitat.

A7 1:30 pm ARE YOU A PLOVER LOVER? – Stew Nutt – If you’re not already, you will be after spending time on the beach with these charismatic, endangered birds.


(NEW FOR 2016) A13 9:00 am MONARCH FRIENDLY HABITAT – Audrey Armstrong – Learn how to nurture monarch butterfly populations by growing your own easy to maintain monarch waystation garden. Following a slide show in the morning, the afternoon will be outdoors, making seed balls, looking for monarchs, eggs and larvae along the Lake Huron shore and visiting local way stations.


A25 6:00 am FLOWERPOT ISLAND – Doug Pedwell – An exhilarating open-air jet boat will take you from Tobermory to the showcase island of Fathom Five National Marine Park. Flowerpot Island is famous for shoreline flowerpots, perched caves, rare orchids and birdwatching. If Lake Huron is too rough, a Tip of the Bruce tour will be an equally worthy substitute! (difficult, car-pool, jet boat, bring backpack & lunch) ($45 extra per person)

A30 7:00 am eBIRDING THE PARK – Mike Burrell – Mike will take you birding, then introduce you to eBird, the amazing online repository of bird sightings, abundance, distribution and seasonal occurrence. You’ll find out how easy it is for you to become a citizen scientist and contribute your sightings to this awesome database.

(NEW FOR 2016) A341:30 pm SAUGEEN SHORES BUTTERFLY TRAIL – Kerry Jarvis – Want to know the best plants, trees and shrubs to attract wildlife? Join Kerry as he showcases various gardens throughout Saugeen Shores. Learn about the “magic plants” that are magnets for birds, butterflies, caterpillars and mammals.


A38 8:00 am THE BRUCE RE-BECKONS – Willy Waterton – Join Willy in a quest to rediscover Sherwood Fox’s Bruce Peninsula, based on his landmark 1952 book The “The Bruce Beckons”. You will spend the day exploring Fox’s Bruce to see what still exists after 63 years.

A42 1:30 pm DOWN & DIRTY PHOTOGRAPHY – Doug Pedwell – Participants will explore through photography the wildflowers growing along the Old Shore Road Trail. All types of cameras welcome. Be prepared to get down and dirty. (easy, car-pool, bring camera)


B3 6:30 am BIRDING KINCARDINE & AREA – James Turland – Hike the trails of Kincardine’s premier birding hotspot, locally known as “Pelee North”. You will see a variety of warblers, ducks and other migrants.

B4 8:30 am THE BIG SIT – Margaret Anderton – Join Margaret to see what can be seen from the comfort of a sitting position overlooking a pond, a field, forest and feeders.

(NEW FOR 2016) B6 1:30 pm WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION? – Fran Sanagan – Bring your photographic questions to Fran. With his many years of experience, he will offer insights into how to get the photos you’re after. From raw images to photo editing, Fran can help you improve your technique with his tips of the trade.


B9 6:30 am BIRDING SOUTH BRUCE – Marshall Byle – This is car birding at its best. We will follow a scenic route in Southern Bruce County, stopping to bird various habitats.

B11 6:30 am BIRDING THE 4 CORNERS OF MacGREGOR – James Turland – Visit wetlands, shorelines, forests and fields along the margins of MacGregor Park. You will enjoy James’ relaxed style and his ability to locate the birds.

B12 7:00 am BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL – Ellen Smout – Join Ellen as she leads us along the Tower Trail, a favourite spot for local birders. We will see species that will nest in the boreal forest. We will scope the wetland from the observation tower and dyke.

B14 1:30 pm WOULDN’T IT BE PLOVERLY – Stewart Nutt – Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plovers at one of their few nesting sites in Ontario. You may observe courtship (Plovers) as well as other behaviours and learn about the many perils these birds face. You will find out how local involvement is helping this species recover.

B16 1:30 pm SAUGEEN SHORES: WATERSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY – Kerry Jarvis – Saugeen Shores is a treasure chest for photographers. Learn photographic waterscape techniques to enhance your photography skills and discover some of the majestic vistas in Saugeen Shores. ( bring camera/accessories)


B18 6:30 am BIRDING THE BEYOND – Mark Peck – Mark will travel the back roads and byways beyond the Park boundaries searching for various habitats and their niche birds. Knowing Mark, an expert on “nidiology”, you’ll find a nest or two also.

B19 7:00 am BIRDING THE HURON FRINGE – James Turland – A visit to Inverhuron Provincial Park and the Lake Huron shoreline will provide dune grassland as well as edge and shoreline habitats.

(NEW FOR 2016) B20 8:00 am BEACHES & BIRDS – Karen Alexander – During this shoreline tour of varied coastal areas north of Sauble Beach, Karen will describe how different types of beach stewardship can influence the health and quality of coastal ecosystems.

6:00 am to noon BIRD BANDING – weather permitting

B21 6:30 am BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL – Justin Peter – Diverse habitat along the Tower Trail makes it a mecca for an eclectic mix of warblers, flycatchers, thrushes and more. Justin will help us find these birds by sight (and sound!) and will share tips about bird behaviour.

B22 7:00 am ROAD BIRDING FOR GRASSLAND SPECIES – Brett Woodman – Tour the local countryside looking for elusive nesting grassland birds of Saugeen Shores.

B23 7:30 am BIRDING HIDDEN SPOTS OF MacGREGOR – Ellen Smout – Travel some of the lesser known areas in the park looking for hidden gems.

B24 8:00 am BEGINNING BIRDING FOR ADULTS – Doug Pedwell – This event is for those who wish to learn about the world’s number one hobby – birding. Topics include binoculars, field guides and apps, identification marks of birds and eBird.

B26 1:30 pm WILDFLOWER DIVERSITY WITHIN THE FRINGE – Brett Woodman – Here’s your chance to learn about and appreciate some of MacGregor Point’s varied wildflowers. Brett will show you some of his favourite plants.

B27 1:30 pm FIELD SKETCHING &/or JOURNALING – Sarah Rupert – Field sketching helps you hone your identification skills. Everyone can do it. Sarah will show you how sketching can help you document your observations in the field. (bring pencil & notebook)

(NEW FOR 2016) B31 7:15 pm STORIES FROM THE SUBCONTINENT: A NATURALIST’S RAMBLES IN INDIA – Justin Peter – Justin has visited India several times and will share some of his experiences and observations during this illustrated talk. Visit some of India’s signature sites, see the countryside and people, and of course, some of its amazing wild things and places!

9:00 pm to 10:00 pm ATTRACTING MOTHS – Andalyne Tofflemire


B34 6:30 am WINGED PURSUITS – Nathan Miller – Join Nathan as he pursues the winged jewels of MacGregor Point Provincial Park and Bruce County. We will focus on finding birds during the morning and winged insects as the day warms up. All creatures found will be discussed.

6:00 am to noon BIRD BANDING – weather permitting

7:00 am to 8:30 am MOTH ID – Andalyne Tofflemire

B36 7:30 am BIRDING & BOTANIZING – Dr. Bill Crins – The Lake Huron shoreline, fen and edge habitats are featured during this walk from the Visitor Centre. We always benefit from Bill’s broad experience as an interpretive naturalist.

B37 8:00 am NEST QUEST – Mark Peck – On a leisurely walk in the park, you will take your love of birding to the next level. Find out how citizen scientists provide valuable conservation information while expanding their observation skills and learning about the nests of breeding birds.

Registration and payment online



“Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, birds and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime.” Robin Moore & Herb Wong – A Joseph Nanni photograph

One parent/guardian must accompany children from the same family. This person is allowed to participate in the event free of charge. See the website for parent/guardian registration details.



6:00 am to noon BIRD BANDING – weather permitting

FAM1 9 am PLUGGING KIDS INTO BIRDING – Richard Tofflemire – Birding with kids can start right in your own backyard or in a provincial park! It is a family friendly activity. Learn about the equipment needed, field guides and apps and the easiest ways to identify birds. Bring binoculars if you have them, we will have some for you to use if you don’t. (limit 40)


FAM2 1:30 pm AFTERNOON ADVENTURES(Children will be divided into two groups. Each child will attend both afternoon programs.) (limit 40)

BINO BOY & ELYTRA GIRL – Andalyne & Richard Tofflemire – Everyone already has the superpowers they need to explore nature! Come out for a dynamic exploration of the forest and learn how much fun discovering nature can be.


MONARCH MADNESS – Audrey Armstrong – Not only are monarchs beautiful, but their life cycle and migration is amazing! In this hands-on interactive workshop, children will learn about monarchs and create really cool crafts. To help foster habitat for this Species at Risk, you will make “seed bombs” to take home.


FAM3 7:15 pm ANIMAL DEFENCES – CAMPFIRE PROGRAM – Park Staff – Join    Park Naturalists for an evening of deception, camouflage and chemical warfare as they investigate the defensive nature of MacGregor’s wild inhabitants. (outdoors)

9:00 pm to 10 pm ATTRACTING MOTHS BESIDE VISITOR CENTRE – Andalyne Tofflemire



6:00 am to noon BIRD BANDING – weather permitting

7:00 am to 8:30 am MOTH ID – Andalyne Tofflemire

FAM4 9:00 am MORNING EXPLORATIONS(Children will be divided into two groups. Each child will attend both morning programs.) (limit 40)

BUILDING FOR THE BIRDS – Kerry Jarvis – Get in the birding spirit. Build your own structure for a nest or wildlife feeder. No carpentry skills are required; just bring your enthusiasm! (kit – $10 extra per child. All tools provided.)


POND EXPLORATION – Andalyne & Richard Tofflemire – Join Richard and Andalyne for an informal, hands-on look at the fascinating critters that make the pond their home. Dip nets, basins and hand lenses will help us look at the often unseen animals that live in pond water.


FAM5 1:30 pm SPEED, STRENGTH & STEALTH: ONTARIO’S RAPTORS – Wild Ontario – Ontario is home to some of the most amazing hunting birds on the planet! Come get nose-to-beak with these stunning predators, and learn about the incredible skills and abilities that help them do what they do. (outdoors)

Registration and payment online


A Liz Addison photograph.

Registration inquiries: or 519-389-6231

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twitter: @HuronBirdfest



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