All posts by osfnadmin

Earth Day with John Riley



The Once and Future Great Lakes Country Speaking Tour by John L. Riley John Riley is the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) science advisor emeritus. He has had careers as botanist, geologist, ecologist and conservation professional with the Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Geological Survey and Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Nature and, since 1998 with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. John Riley’s Contributions to Conservation are Legion.


Aboard the MS Chi – Cheemaun      Limited Seating

7PM Friday April 22, 2016  EARTH DAY

*** SOLD OUT! ***

Tickets $5 each, available at

Click for larger size
Click for larger size


Earth Film Festival

This spring, the  Grey Sauble Conservation Foundation is hosting  a  Earth Film Festival at the Roxy  Theatre on Thursday April 28.

We have chosen  some excellent films. Check out the poster that I have attached.

My committee is approaching local business and selected individuals to help sponsor this event. Sponsorship  , you will receive free tickets, acknowledgements on the film screen, program  and on posters.We will have a number of door prizes.

Give some thought as well,  think about attending. Tickets are now available at the Roxy Theatre.

Proceeds from this event will go towards school programs(wild water, trees  for schools), the Pottawatomi Memorial Forest  trails and signage.


So take time, mark it on your calendars. Hope to see out there,

New Sign. Sauble Dunes Nature Reserve

OSFN Club Members – this is an image of the sign to be installed, with an official ceremony,  tentatively planned for Sunday afternoon May 22, 2016.  Once we have this date confirmed we will share that with you, so you can plan to attend for this very special occasion.
The Lewington family was presented with the OSFN Community Conservation Award in the recent past.
(Click on sign to get an enhanced image.)

2016 Contract Employment Opportunity: Piping Plovers at Sauble Beach

Species at Risk – Piping Plovers at Sauble Beach
2016 Contract Employment Opportunity:
Coordinator of Volunteer Monitors
Last year marked the ninth year that the endangered shorebird, the Piping Plover,
successfully nested on Ontario’s side of Lake Huron after a 30-year absence.
Volunteer Monitors play an important role in the species recovery program through
public education and contributing valuable monitoring data on a daily basis.
Starting in mid-April 2016, a contract position will be available for a “can-do”
individual with an interest in species-at-risk, birding, and the coordination of
volunteer monitors. This is a 20-week position, lasting through to late August. It
requires a seven-day-a-week commitment between phone/internet volunteer
coordination and an “on-the-beach” presence in all types of weather.
Key requirements include an ability to schedule/manage volunteers, work in
harmony with the Stewardship Grey-Bruce Plover Lovers Committee, Ministry of
Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) field staff, liaise with community members,
maintain and regularly update the website and social media, complete an “end-ofproject”
report, and be an effective communicator in-person, over-the-phone, via
social media and in stand-up presentations. The successful candidate will have
reliable mobility to work with volunteers at Sauble Beach. Internet access and
mobile phone are required. A more detailed description of the requirements is
posted at
The position will be reimbursed to a maximum of $15,000.
Prospective candidates should convey their interest and resume via email to: with the subject line: 2016 Volunteer Coordinator Position
Resumes received by March 4, 2016 will be considered for interviews to be
conducted on March 11, 2016.

Attention teen birders!

The Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists’ Workshop

Young Ornithologist Workshop Announcement

The Doug Tarry Bird Study Awards foster the development of ornithological interests in Canadian teenagers. Recipients of the awards attend a week-long workshop/natural history camp or a month-long student internship at Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO).

The Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists’ Workshop is a major component of the Observatory’s educational program. Since its inception in the mid 1970s, the Workshop has been the jumping-off point for many of today’s most talented field biologists. Thanks to the keen foresight and generosity of humanitarian and naturalist Doug Tarry, the Workshop is offered free to selected applicants. It focuses on “hands-on” learning and training in field ornithology, providing a unique opportunity for like-minded teenagers to enhance their knowledge and skills in the scientific study and aesthetic enjoyment of birds. Participants learn how to identify, age and sex birds, and to study their populations and behaviour. Careful and skilled instructors teach the secrets of bird handling and banding techniques, how to prepare specimens for scientific study, and an array of bird censusing techniques. Regular afternoon field trips are taken to places of biological interest within the internationally designated Long Point Biosphere Reserve. Evenings too are busy with slide presentations and nocturnal field work.

This year, the Workshop is being held from Saturday, August 6 to Sunday, August 14, 2016. Space is limited to 6 participants, ranging in age from 13-17 years old. The Award covers all direct costs of the workshop (accommodation, meals, travel while at Long Point, and professional instruction), but recipients are responsible for their transportation to Long Point.

What is a Student Internship?

The student internship is a month-long position awarded to mature teenagers with clearly demonstrated interests in field ornithology (often graduates of the Young Ornithologists’ Workshop). Each year, one or more interns spend three to four weeks in August and September and become involved in all aspects of LPBO’s Migration Monitoring Program to further develop skills gained from the YOW program. In addition, with help of Bird Studies Canada staff, interns design and conduct an independent field research project. Funding for these positions is provided by The Doug Tarry Internship Award. This year, internships will be held throughout August.


Prospective participants of the workshop or the student internship are invited to download the application form (Adobe Acrobat Reader required) or request an application form:

Long Point Bird Observatory
Box 160, Port Rowan, Ontario N0E 1M0

ax: (519) 586-3532

Applications are due by April 30.

The Young Ornithologist Workshop and Internship is supported by BSC’s Doug Tarry Natural History Fund. Additional support has been provided through a special grant from Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) “PromoScience” program for young scientists.

The Doug Tarry Bird Study Awards are an excellent opportunity for like-minded teens from across Canada to meet and learn field ornithological skills and increase their aesthetic appreciation of birds. But don’t just take our word for it!

“It was one of the most enjoyable weeks I’ve ever spent anywhere, and that’s the truth.”
Chris Greenwood – age 15

“I have now met young people who have similar interests, who are great people, who are now my friends, and we will keep in touch.”
Sarah Trefry – age 14

“That evening we went to Backus Woods to listen for owls, and we actually got to communicate with them . . . they were the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.”
Lea Ann Doan – age 17

“This has been an awesome week. We did a lot of banding each morning, and got to handle at least 16 species of birds including the Northern Waterthrush, Tennessee Warbler, Warbling Vireo and Cardinal. We learned about the whole process, from setting up nets to aging by skull ossification.”
Philina English – age 14


Winter 2015, President’s Message

As I compose this message for the Winter Issue, I am still enjoying the Autumn Colours, and there have been some wonderful displays – my red and green cabbages, orange carrots,  red potatoes; yellow, green and purple beans; beets and kale – my, what a palette! When we look around we see the beautiful red, orange and yellow leaves against the blue skies, while the orchards present their bounty of fruit in all the shades of scrumptious!

In November, the first week was amazing, featuring plenty of warmth and sunshine – eminently suitable for enjoying Nature, whether birding, cycling, or hiking trails. When I finally got out of Owen Sound on November 2nd, I discovered that my favourite fall features were well underway – the tamaracks had turned to gold against the green background of cedars and pines, while the sumacs were already a bright crimson.

As an added bonus Dennis Knight and I witnessed a most intense double rainbow, as we returned from a regional meeting of Ontario Nature Member Clubs.

The several OSFN club events this fall, have been wonderful opportunities to learn – Ray Robertson’s Tour of Agricultural Initiatives of the 90’s demonstrated effective methods to use Nature’s materials and human ingenuity to enhance water quality, and control erosion. Freeman Boyd led and then fed, while providing valuable instruction about wild mushrooms.   Dennis Knight shared his keen interest in ferns, plus other plants, critters and geology, on an exquisite section of the Bruce Trail, with even a half dozen garter snakes sunning on a hillside within the woods.

Fred Jazvac gave insightful instruction on bird identification, while Ducking around the Sound.

At Indoor Club Meetings we learned about cryopreservation and invitro conservation techniques. We also learned just how much can be achieved when the Youth of Today, harness their thoughts and their passions. We used this opportunity to honour all of the many people who initiated and then have nurtured our vibrant Young Naturalists Programme for so many years.

We were fortunate to be able to present the Reptiles at Risk Workshop for many of you – a learning experience that won’t soon be forgotten.

I am looking forward to our upcoming events with you – as we transition from our Autumn Colours activities to a whiter wintry canvas, where we will learn again how to enjoy Knowing Nature Better.


With a Song in My Heart,


John Dickson

December 2015

Great Backyard Bird Count


Dear Nature Club,

I am hoping that you can help us spread the word about the 19th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count Feb 12-15, 2016.  I think your members may be interested in participating in this free, fun event that helps birds!! The Great Backyard Bird Count is a 4 day annual event that creates a snap shot of where birds are around the world.Bird Watching is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the world.  It’s not hard to see why it’s so popular:  it gets you outdoors, you don’t need a lot of equipment, and it’s fun to spot the less common birds. We ask people to count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count (Feb 12-15, 2016) and enter their sightings at The information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps track changes in bird populations on a massive scale. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada.Here is a link to the instructions and to  last year’s results

Best wishes,

Kerrie Wilcox

Canadian Coordinator, Great Backyard Bird Count
Bird Studies Canada
888-448-2473 ext 134