huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

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CELEBRATING 20 YEARS.

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When May of 2017 rolls around we will have been presenting the Huron Fringe Birding festival for 20 years.

From our simple beginning – a one day Festival of 3 0r 4 events – to now with over 80 events over 8 days – we like to think we’ve grown into one of Canada’s Premier Birding and Nature Festivals for good reason. We feature not only birding, but botany, photography, nature hikes, workshops, evening presentations, a Family Weekend Package and more.

In preparation for our 20th Festival we’ve made arrangements with some original and former leaders – like Martin & Kathy Parker, Doug Martin, Will Waterton, and Mark Wiercinski, to bring back their expertise to a new audience. As well as adding new presenters and leaders like Steve Burrows, Erin Mallon, Sciensational Snakes, Walter Muma and Birding By Boat, to name just a few. It will be a brand new and exciting program designed to refresh old acquaintances and develop new ones.

Plus, Ethan Melag will be our keynote presenter at our Social and Banquet Presentation…and that’s always entertaining.

Ethan

So, take note of these dates and come share in the celebration of 20 years of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival.

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ON-LINE REGISTRATION BEGINS FEBRUARY 1, 2017

And if you want to keep up-to-date on birds and birding until HFBF returns, log on to http://www.bobandannemarie.wordpress.com. Bob and Anne Marie will keep you informed with words and pictures of their birding adventures and the Bruce Birding Club. Well worth following.

Registration inquiries: birdfest@rogers.com or 519-389-6231

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

 

FAMILY WEEKEND STILL HAS PLENTY OF OPENINGS

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And you still have time to register for all events.

ONE LAST WEEKEND TO GO. AND YOU CAN STILL REGISTER FOR OPEN EVENTS. ITS EASY. COME TO MacGREGOR POINT PARK. MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE VISITOR’S CENTRE (JUST FOLLOW THE ROADSIDE SIGNS). AND TALK TO THE NICE LADIES AT THE REGISTRATION TENT. THEY’LL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO FIT YOU IN – ON THE SPOT. ITS A GREAT WAY TO SPEND TIME AND THE WEEKEND WITH YOUR KIDS.

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SATURDAY JUNE 4

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.

Morning

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)

Afternoon

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.

and

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.

Evening

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

SUNDAY JUNE 5

Morning

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.)

and

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.

Afternoon

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)

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Registration inquiries: AT THE PARK

OR – birdfest@rogers.com

OR – 519-389-6231

REGISTER TODAY, BECAUSE THERE’S ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT UNTIL OPENING

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Mark Binocs

YES! I’M LOOKING AT YOU. HAVE YOU REGISTERED?

FRIDAY. MAY 27. 5:30 AM. THE COFFEE IS ON. THE DONUTS ARE WAITING. THE FIRST HIKE KICKS OFF AT 6:00 AM. EARLY? YES. BUT THAT’S WHEN THE BIRDS START SINGING AND THE FIRST HIKES AND EVENTS GET INTO HIGH GEAR. QUESTION IS…WILL YOU BE PART OF IT ALL?

THERE IS STILL TIME TO REGISTER: (www.huronfringebirdingfestival.ca)

THERE ARE EVENTS OPEN ON BOTH WEEKENDS. HERE’S THE LIST OF WHAT IS LEFT. AND IF YOU’RE NOT AN EARLY BIRD…WE DO HAVE HALF DAY AND EVENING EVENTS.

FRIDAY MAY 27                                                              

All Day

A3 8:00 am NORTH OF THE SAUGEEN Joy Albrecht – Explore the backroads north of the Saugeen River. You will travel through the Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway territory and inland habitats at the base of the Bruce Peninsula. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Morning

A5 7:30 am BIRDING THE EDGE OF MacGREGORTerry 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. 7 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

A6 (NEW) 1:30 pm LET THERE BE LIGHTFran Sanagan – Learn how lighting influences your photographs. In this workshop, you will learn a variety of natural lighting techniques, and how to get the most out of outdoor flash photography. There will be an opportunity to share your photos and discuss the results. 6 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

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. 10 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A8 1:30 pm SHRUB & TREE ID IN MacGREGORJim Coles – Using leaf and twig keys, we will identify the conifers and hardwoods in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre and learn about the role of site (soil characteristics) in determining species composition. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

SATURDAY MAY 28

All Day

A12 7:00 am INVERHURON BIRDING & BOTANY Dr. Scott Taylor – Inverhuron Provincial Park may be small, but the diversity of habitat and its shoreline location make it an excellent place to look for songbirds and unique plants. Join us for this exploration of the forest and shoreline habitats. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A13 (NEW) 9:00 am MONARCH FRIENDLY HABITATAudrey 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 waystations. 16 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Morning

A14 6:00 am BIRDING BY EARMichael Carlson – Do you have difficulty remembering bird songs and calls no matter how often you hear them? Michael is a natural at mnemonics. This field workshop will give you tips and tools you can use to sort out bird songs. 10 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A15 6:00 am SEX & THE SINGLE WARBLERMark Wiercinski – In spring, love is in the air. Let Mark explain the unseen action in the trees. It’s always fun when Mark tackles this topic. ONE OPENING LEFT

A18 7:30 am PAISLEY BIRDING Joy Albrecht – Join Joy birding the back roads from MacGregor to Paisley, with a stop at the Old Mill, Schmidt Lake and some roadside birding in the swamp on the way back to the Park. 4 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

11:00 am EAGLE OPTICS

During the lunch break Eagle Optics will have binoculars and telescopes on display and for sale.

Afternoon

A19 (NEW) 1:30 pm ETHICS OF BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY Terry Crabe – The Tower Trail provides many opportunities to view birds but what are the challenges for the casual or professional photographer who wants to get the best shot. A birder and photographer, Terry will share the principles he follows. 13 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

SUNDAY MAY 29

All Day

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. 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A27 7:30 am BIRDING SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULATodd Pepper – The southern Bruce Peninsula boasts a number of landform features found both within the Huron Fringe and along the Niagara Escarpment providing a variety of bird habitat. Participants will benefit from Todd’s knowledge of birdsong and breeding bird behaviour. 4 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A28 6:00 am WRESTLING WITH WARBLERSMark Wiercinski – Warblers are very annoying. They move around a lot and hide behind the most inconvenient leaves and branches. Mark’s humour and tips about habitat and song will definitely keep you interested. 4 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A30 7:00 am eBIRDING THE PARK Mike Burrell 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. 10 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

A33 1:30 pm DRAGONFLIES & DAMSELFLIES John Reaume – Damselflies and dragonflies are members of the order Odonata meaning “toothed ones” which reference their awesome mouth parts. We will attempt to capture some of them in butterfly nets for closer examination. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A34 (NEW) 1:30 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. 14 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A35 1:30 pm SONGBIRDS & SALAMANDERS ON THE FARM Art Wiebe & Janice McKean – All living things need water to survive. Let Art and Janice introduce you to their backyard pond as they explain “natural habitat” and what it means to migrating birds, and the little critters who call it home. They will also talk about conservation programs that have assisted them in enriching these habitats. 2 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

A36 (NEW) 7:15 pm SPIDERS OF EASTERN NORTH AMERICA John Reaume – Spiders have a bad reputation but in reality they are fascinating creatures. John will talk about their unique anatomy and interesting behaviours. Webs are not just for catching prey! Learn how to observe them. Understanding spiders will make you appreciate them more – it’s true! 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

MONDAY MAY 30

All Day

A38 8:00 am THE BRUCE RE-BECKONSWilly 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. 10 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Morning

A40 7:30 am BIRDING IN AN AMPHITHEATREJoy Albrecht – The elevated steps of the Saugeen amphitheatre provide viewpoints over the river and riparian habitat. Here you will get a bird’s-eye view. 6 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

A42 1:30 pm DOWN & DIRTY PHOTOGRAPHYDoug 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. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

A43 (NEW) 7:15 pm WHAT’S THE FLAP ALL ABOUT?Paloma Plant – The Fatal Light Awareness Program is sustained by a terrific group of volunteers. FLAP was the first organization in the world to raise concerns about bird collisions. They have instigated many changes to building design and lighting in urban areas. 20 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

THURSDAY JUNE 2

Morning

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. 12 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B4 8:30 am THE BIG SITMargaret Anderton – Join Margaret to see what can be seen from the comfort of a sitting position overlooking a pond, a field, forest and feeders. 9 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

B6 (NEW) 1:30 pm WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION?Bring your photographic questions to Fran Sanagan. 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. 14 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

B7 (NEW) 7:15 pm TICK TALK: LYME DISEASE IN ONTARIO Dr. Andrew Peregrine – Lyme disease is an infection that primarily occurs in wildlife. However, infections also occur in people. This talk will review current information on the importance of identifying Lyme disease in wildlife and people across Ontario. Practices to prevent infection in people and pets will also be discussed. 17 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

FRIDAY JUNE 3

All Day

B9 6:30 am BIRDING SOUTH BRUCEMarshall Byle – This is car birding at its best. We will follow a scenic route in Southern Bruce County, stopping to bird various habitats. 9 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B10 7:30 am A GEOLOGICAL JOURNEYBob Gray – Join Bob in exploring spectacular caves, deep gorges and a scenic broad glacial re-entrant valley along the Niagara Escarpment in eastern Grey County. 3 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Morning

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. 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

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. 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

B14 1:30 pm WOULDN’T IT BE PLOVERLYStewart 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. 15 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

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. 6 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

B17 (NEW) 7:15 pm SPARROWS Sarah Rupert – Do little brown jobs have your head spinning? Join Sarah for a light-hearted presentation on sparrow identification. She’ll break the sparrows down into small groups, give you tips and tricks to figure out one of the more challenging groups of birds and show you some imposters that are often confused for sparrows. 3 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

SATURDAY JUNE 4

All Day

B18 6:30 am BIRDING THE BEYOND Mark Peck – Mark will travel backroads 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. ONLY 1 OPENING LEFT

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. 11 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B20 (NEW) 8:00 am BEACHES & BIRDSKaren 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. 16 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B21 6:30 am BIRDING THE TOWER TRAILJustin 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. 7 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B22 7:00 am ROAD BIRDING FOR GRASSLAND SPECIES Brett Woodman – Tour the local countryside looking for elusive nesting grassland birds of Saugeen Shores. 13 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B23 7:30 am BIRDING HIDDEN SPOTS OF MacGREGOREllen Smout – Travel some of the lesser known areas in the park looking for hidden gems. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B24 8:00 am BEGINNING BIRDING FOR ADULTSDoug 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. 12 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

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. 7 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

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. 9 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B28 1:30 pm BLUEBIRD LANDLORDSDennis & Gwen Lewington – Bluebirds are cavity nesters and natural cavities are not very abundant. Dennis and Gwen will take you on their “Bluebird Trail” which they have been maintaining and monitoring for over 32 years. 3 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B29 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. 13 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

B30 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm BRUCE COUNTY CHICKEN DINNER(MacGregor Point Provincial Park, additional charge of $17. Dinner combined with B31 as a single event $23. Pre-registration required) 16 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

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

B32 9:15 pm STARRY STARRY NIGHTJohn Hlynialuk – John will introduce you to the wonders of the night sky, and tell you about dark sky events for 2016. Weather permitting, members of the Bluewater Astronomical Society will have their telescopes available for viewing the evening sky. 2 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

SUNDAY JUNE 5

All Day

B33 6:00 am DEBATING THE ISSUES, & MORE, WITH MARKMark Wiercinski This walking / driving tour travels between Bayview Escarpment and Bognor Marsh. Along the way, Mark will highlight issues affecting bird populations in Ontario. You will find out what this has to do with sex, which of course it does! 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B34 6:30 am WINGED PURSUITSNathan 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. 14 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

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

B35 7:00 am BIRDING THE PERIMETER OF THE PARKJustin Peter – Driving the varied habitats along the edge of the park provides a mix of warblers, flycatchers and other possibilities. An opportunity to view wetlands and the shoreline will also enhance this outing. 3 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

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. 11 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

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. 10 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

B38 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. 15 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B39 1:30 pm WITCHES & WILDFLOWERSHeather Starrs – Legends and superstitions are attached to many common, and not so common, plants found at MacGregor Point. Heather’s walk will introduce you to stories about plants. 12 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

B40 8:00 pm SUNSET WALKDoug Pedwell – Join Doug for a leisurely stroll along the shore of Lake Huron to discover the sights, sounds and scents of an early June evening in MacGregor Point Provincial Park. 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

family

FAMILY WEEKEND STILL HAS PLENTY OF OPENINGS

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.

SATURDAY JUNE 4

Morning

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)

Afternoon

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.

and

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.

Evening

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

SUNDAY JUNE 5

Morning

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.)

and

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.

Afternoon

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)

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www.huronfringebirdingfestival.ca - for online registration

Registration inquiries: birdfest@rogers.com or 519-389-6231

Follow us on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

 

 

 

ARE WE IN YOUR CALENDAR?

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Rack Card

Follow us on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

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WALKING FOR THE FERN OF IT

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Fern Habitat

On Saturday, May 30 at 8:00 AM, Brett Woodman will be WALKING FOR THE FERN OF IT. Brett will introduce you to natural areas along the escarpment where hunting for ferns will also lead you to a variety of interesting habitats. His birding and wildflower identification skills will help to enhance this all day field trip.

You can still register for his hike (B20). Join him as he searches our local countryside for ferns and more.

Brett is an ecological consultant and lives in Kitchener with his wife and three sons. Growing-up, Brett spent his summers in Southampton at his Grandparent’s house. His love of the outdoors is a result of his time here along the shores of Lake Huron; early on building tree forts and biking through the woods, later, birding and botanizing these same areas. As a result MacGreor Park and more broadly the southern Bruce Peninsula became a special place for Brett. It is in this area that he really explored his interest in birds and plants.

He specializes in bird and plant surveys. Brett is a distant member of the Bruce Birding Club. As a volunteer, he participated in the second Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, and now has a Breeding Bird Survey route near his in-laws in Sarnia, Ontario. He is also an ecological advisor for ‘rare’, the largest urban green space in Canada which is owned and managed by the Cruickston Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge, Ontario.

Brett has three young boys who are quickly finding their own love of the outdoors through their family adventures as they continue to explore the southern Bruce with Brett.

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One of the 100 Festivals in Ontario for the second straight year. The Only Birding Festival in Ontario to earn this distinction

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival is One of the Top 100 Festivals in Ontario for the second straight year. The Only Birding Festival in Ontario to earn this distinction.

The complete schedule is available at: http://www.friendsofmaccgredor.org.

Huron Fringe Birding Festival Registration: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

Registration inquiries: birdfest@rogers.com or 519-389-6231

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

DONT WAIT FOR SPRING.

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Redstart2

On our first day of registration we received 34 bookings in the first 30 minutes.

By the end of the day 117 had signed up not wanting to miss securing their favourite events and leaders. Seven events were fully booked on day one.

Barely a full week later and we’ve logged 166 registrations and 13 Sold Out events.

This puts us way ahead of our last two years and suggests that registrations will continue to fill up fast. So, if you are biding your time thinking you’ll take care of registration later…you might want to take another look at our list of hikes on http//:www.friendsofmacgregor.org/page/registration and make some decisions…now.

Judith on a recen wintery Bruce Birding club outing.

Judith on a recen wintery Bruce Birding Club outing. If there are birds out there Judith can find them…in any weather.

Some of you may not want to miss Judith King’s two excellent birding hikes…excellent because Judith brings a lifelong interest in birds to her outings. She has taken personal trips throughout Canada, the United States and New Zealand searching out new and different birds and habitats. She has participated in bird atlasing in many Provinces and States across North America. Judith is a regular trip leader with the Bruce Birding Club. Her knowledge of the local area makes her a favourite leader during the birding festival.

Judith’s event, LOVING LAGOONS IN LOWER BRUCE (A2), takes you exploring the Ripley and Kincardine lagoons. Then you’ll continue up the shore of Lake Huron. The emphasis will be on warblers, with as many as 20 species possible at the lagoons. Pockets of migrating warblers may be found along the shore. There are 8 spots left on this event, at this posting, so register soon.

Or you can register for her BRANT TRACT, PAISLEY & BLIND LINE (A38) event which has you exploring the Brant Tract with its mixed woods and streams. You’ll travel along an old road to the bottom of the valley. Paisley will showcase bird feeders and several species of swallows. The Blind Line parallels the Saugeen River and passes through fields and mixed forest. Judith will help you find Grasshopper Sparrows, Clay-coloured Sparrows, Cliff Swallows, Bobolinks and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. Only 6 spots remain on this event, at this posting, so don’t miss out.

Follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

 

 

 

BETTER BOOK FAST!

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MarkFull

Its the morning of Day One. Registration is open.

People are logging on to http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org and booking the events they want. As you can see from above, perennial favourite Mark Wiercinski is ALREADY SOLD OUT. But he always gets snapped up the first day of registration. So, if you want to be entertained while birding by Mark…you better move fast…he still has a couple of other hikes open.

And Mark isn’t the only one selling like hotcakes…MICHAEL CARLSON, MARK PECK, KERRY JARVIS, and nature hikes like JOHN REAUME’S ‘Damselflies and Dragonflies’ event are close to full.

There is always a rush on Day One as folks zero in on their favourite leaders, hikes, workshops, evening presentations, of course the Banquet/Keynote Speaker evening.

So a word (or two) to the wise…

2Openhttp://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

2014 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

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Wiercinski’s Ramblings

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Mark Wiercinski is an original (in more ways than one). He has been leading HFBF events every year with the same passion and enthusiasm as he did on his very first hike…but with more (or less) gray hair. If you’re one of the diligent (and lucky) ones to have signed up for any of Mark’s instantly sold out events…here is a primer on what to expect as you try to keep up with his rambling humour in the field.

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MARK AND THE ZEN OF BIRDING: We’re off at 600 AM. ‘Really?’ you say. ‘Seriously!’ I say. That is NOT early. Any earlier and none of you would show up and there I would be talking to myself and the birds. Hmm, I guess I do that already. I will try to socialize more. I know I whine about this every year. Earlier is better if we really want to catch the cool stuff and get overwhelmed with the bird song. I like early hikes. They are the best for finding birds. Beware! ‘Cause this is when I’m really on my game. Coffee not required. But it helps. In spite of the craziness, I’ll regurgitate many helpful tips on bird identification through sound, behaviour and habitat. Fledgling or full-fledged birder I always try to inspire and entertain…I’m full of information from birds to plant-life to wildlife and everything in between.

I’m doing a hike on Sex & The Single Warbler. “It’s all about the sex, baby.” Why? Because, I am a Biologist! That is the dominant theme of it all for me. I love the biology and ecology of the birds and the habitat and the bigger picture around birds. And yes, biology and ecology are two different things. I will explain on the hike; or you may just “get it” on your own. Being a biologist means I have about twenty different words (or maybe more) for poop. I do pay attention to the bigger picture around the birds and I try my best to fill in loads of information on the environment and how it all fits. I like that part. In fact it is often more fun to spend time and watch and learn something new on the most common of species out there. Chickadees have brains that grow or shrink depending on the time of year or the emphasis of what they are doing. Cool! And yes it is all about the sex baby…really it is! Biology is the study of life and wildlife biology is a study of that whole process. Don’t forget to ask me about chickadee brains … food in the winter…sex in the spring. Take a guess which season requires the bigger brain? Did I talk about this already?”

Bird song dominates. I always hope it is warm enough to get them singing and keep them going until the hike is winding down. The more they sing the less I have to talk. The forest, pond and marsh habitats will be mixed enough to make it all worthwhile. If the weather sucks, I try to tell lots of stories…anyway…since way too many of you have been on my hikes before I have to keep looking for new material and new one liners! Besides, trying to figure out my humour and keep up to the hyper little birds…that’s the real challenge.

I will do my best to find the cool stuff though.

WRESTLING WITH WARBLERS” Cool a new title – I like it. So we honestly don’t fight with these birds…but it is a fight to figure them all out at times so the word ‘fight’ fits well. Warblers are hyper little critters that seem to conveniently hide behind a twig or leaf just as you spot them. They really are annoying little critters that just don’t sit still. Song is important to this one…warblers are best to learn songs. We always find at least a dozen or so species. Seeing those birds is the goal…but remember I am a song guy and so I hear more than I see. So we cover lots of song identification. If the singing is not happening then we have to really dig in and find them in the trees and if that is not happening them I just make up stuff and fly by the seat of my pants! There are always plants and they conveniently don’t fly away.

I do try to focus on warblers though…we even should get the protected species. Did I say I was a biologist? Yeah I am…so Species At Risk is a big thing for me. And we can see a few if we get lucky! We almost always get the Blue-Winged Warbler or the Golden-Winged Warbler…or both…or the cross over variation between the two. Yeah there are genetics lessons in there too.”

We should track down at least a dozen or so warblers. We will have plenty of Redstarts too, the poster bird for the festival.

Remember, I am a biologist so there is lots to learn! I know learning! Wwwhhhaaaat! This is supposed to be fun! Don’t fret…it will be fun. I can always find a way to bring it back to humour…or sex…or something. And remember I am a Triple A Personality and often get way ahead of myself in topics and side trips…so we won’t be talking just about warblers. It will just be the theme that ties it all together.

Bognor MarshBirding ‘n Botany at Bognor Marsh. No description officially yet so I can say whatever I want! Woohoo! Field, wetland, forest even a bit of escarpment…Bognor will be fun…a learning experience for me as much as whoever comes along for the trip. It is a big swamp – one of the biggest wetland complexes in Grey County – with a good variety of habitat and decent trails as far as I remember. I will try to get there ahead of time and get familiar with it…but I am such a hair brain I will likely forget and just fake it on the day…ha!

But, seriously folks – the best thing is the wetlands. The fun part here will be extra wildlife along the way…snakes and turtles and other stuff. I will always be happy to talk about whatever else presents itself along the hike…hawks, ducks, herons, hawks, plants, turtles, hawks…and well did I say hawks yet? I like to fit it all in and like to put them all into perspective in the ecosystem. I did promise the organizers I would keep it fit for public consumption though and will do my best to stay focussed. Maybe.


 

For an up-close look at the what you can expect to experience at this year’s Huron Fringe Birding Festival click on: http://youtu.be/0_vvcLJdE74

Recognized as One of Ontario's Top 100 Festivals

Recognized as One of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals

CHECK OUT THE EVENTS THAT ARE STILL OPEN: http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL  – MAY 23 to MAY 26 – MAY 29 to JUNE 1 -2014

MacGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK – PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

Email: birdfest@rogers.com

 

JOIN THE ‘PLOVER LOVERS’

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PIPL Male by Log SB

 “Piping Plovers at Sauble Beach and Oliphant.”

A few years ago, that headline appeared in the Saugeen Times of Saugeen Shores. To area birders this was significant news. To Stew Nutt of Southampton it was especially significant. He stated, “We are celebrating the Piping Plover’s return to the Canadian shores of Lake Huron”. Their presence so close to home marked the beginning of a quest by Stew to lead in the efforts to see that the Plover’s return would become an annual event, helping to secure their survival. Under that headline came an article by author and birding expert Mick Pickup that went on to describe Stew’s involvement with the plovers.

Image 6Volunteers with guidance from Stew Nutt of Southampton have undertaken to monitor the birds on a daily basis at both sites. Their duties are to protect the birds from predation, human disturbance, educate beach visitors about the status of the birds and to cooperate with the municipality, local residents and cottagers, MNR and CWS in protecting the birds and their habitat. From the middle of May to the beginning of August, many volunteers have generously donated their time to this project…

To which Stew has commented: StewSometimes, we are presented with unique opportunities that can change our lives. For me this opportunity came in the summer of 2007 when the endangered Piping Plovers arrived and established a nest at Sauble Beach. These birds build their nests, mere scrapes in the sand, on the beach close to the shoreline and usually in the same area. This becomes their habitat for feeding, nesting and raising young. Such habitats are mostly inhospitable for survival as many beach areas are used for beach and water-based recreation. They are also of course used for development.  As such Piping Plovers are struggling to survive. They are forced to battle the elements, human encroachment, and many predators. As a special event at this year’s Huron Fringe Birding Festival I invite you to join me as we travel to the nesting area(s) at Sauble Beach and observe the plovers’ behaviors including: courtship, feeding, life history, territorial displays and fierce protection will be observed and/or explained as well as local attempts to protect this delicate species. Be a ‘Plover Lover’! Sign up for A17 – 7:30 AM – SATURDAY, MAY 24 – or B23 – 1:30 PM – SATURDAY, MAY 31 – THE TALE OF THE PIPING PLOVER and experience the unique, fragile world of these special birds and what is being done to help this species survive.

PIPL Female Brooding 1 SB

For up-to-date information on the progress of the Piping Plovers at Sauble Beach click on: http://saublepipingplover.com

Image 3

Stewart Nutt is a retired educator and local naturalist who led the Piping Plover recovery project for five years. His Piping Plover knowledge was gained through countless hours of both personal and project participant observations, along with current information from visiting longer established projects in Michigan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

PIPL  Chick Trying to Fly

REGISTER NOW FOR A17 or B23: http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

Take a up-close look at the what you can expect to experience at this year’s Huron Fringe Birding Festival click on: http://youtu.be/0_vvcLJdE74

Recognized as One of Ontario's Top 100 Festivals

 One of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals

http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL  – MAY 23 to MAY 26 – MAY 29 to JUNE 1 -2014

MacGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK – PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

Email: birdfest@rogers.com