Announcements

Beyond the Trees w/ Adam Shoalts

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
Event
Beyond the Trees w/ Adam Shoalts
When
Thursday, November 14, 2019
7:00pm - All Ages
Where
Bayshore Community Centre (map)
1900 3rd Ave E
Owen Sound, ON
Other Info
***NEW VENUE***
We have been gradually outgrowing the facility at the Owen Sound Library and invite you to join us on November 14, 2019 in the Bay Room at the BAYSHORE COMMUNITY CENTRE, 1900 3rd Ave E, Owen Sound, ON N4K 2M6.

Best-selling author Adam Shoalts launches his newest adventure book, Beyond the Trees, the story of his nearly 4,000 km solo journey across Canada's Arctic, and chats and shares pictures from his recent expeditions as Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, including tracking rare snakes, sleeping alone in polar bear territory, canoeing through arctic ice,
and photographing elusive wildlife.

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Nature Club News May 2019

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

NATURE CLUB NEWS May 2019

by John Dickson

On Tuesday April 9, at Grey Roots, Audrey Armstrong delivered two presentations of Monarchs in the Queen’s Bush. Her detailed research and up to date information on these majestic migrants really helped to clarify the timetables and challenges they face, in order to produce butterflies here where we live, who are able to fly successfully to the home of their ancestors from several generations before them. Armstrong also provided support materials for the two audiences, including pamphlets and seed packages of swamp milkweed, the primary food source on which the Monarchs rely to raise their young.


On April 11, Bob Knapp presented Rocks and Rock Formations to the Owen Sound Field Naturalists club, highlighting distinctive rocks with interesting shapes, sizes, patterns and stories, which many in the capacity audience recognized from popular locations along the Niagara Escarpment. I received a message just the other day from someone who is now searching out these special landmarks, while she is hiking, and consequently, Knowing Nature Better, as the OSFN motto encourages.

Bob Knapp’s follow-up, guided hike to visit some of these locations is now scheduled for this Saturday May 4th.

Bob Knapp

Bob Knapp

You can also learn about a new field trip planned for May 8th – Springtime Woodland Stroll – on a naturally diverse property part of which is also adjacent to the Long Swamp, sure to be teeming with Springtime activities.


On Saturday April 20, the Sydenham Sportsmen Association held their annual clean up event in honour of Earth Day, with crews of volunteers heading out from behind City Hall. Some of their members are also working on a project to build Loon nesting platforms for the Rankin Resource Group, with expected installation at Boat Lake and Isaac Lake in time for their use next year.

On the same day, the sold out, fourth annual Celebrate Earth Day presentation aboard the Chi Cheemaun, featured U of Guelph Professor Emeritus Doug Larson whose lively story telling and passionate musical renditions really struck a chord with the audience.

Doug Larson. (Supplied Photo)

Doug Larson. (Supplied Photo)

As a bonus, Islay Graham presented the impressive display from her OSFN first prize winning entry in the Bluewater Science and Technology Fair.


NWN_Logo

On Saturday morning April 27, the NeighbourWoods North team were busy in the fresh snow, planting replacement trees at the Hospital, in Owen Sound.

You too can join them this Saturday, May 4th, for Nurture the Forest of Hope & Healing, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. As announced on their web page, throughout May “We will be caring for the trees at the Hospital Forest of Hope and Healing for the next three Saturday mornings. On the last Saturday in May we will be working at Kelso Beach.” Check their events page at https://www.neighbourwoodsnorth.com/events-1


Bill Moses was extra busy this past weekend hosting a Hike to the Creek for the OSFN Saturday, April 27, where many trees, and flowering shrubs were identified, including the colourful Daphne, and many different Willows, Dogwoods, Hazelnut, Rock Elm, the very thorny Honey Locust, both European Larch and native Tamarack, plus several roses, including Dog Rose, or Rosa canina.

Then, on Sunday, Jody Johnson Pettit reports “The Owen Sound Young Naturalists Club had a beautiful hike, April 28th with Bill Moses at the B&C Moses Sunset Bed and Breakfast just outside of Owen Sound. The children compared the needles and cones of the different pine and spruce tree species and looked closely at the various tree buds in the Moses Arboretum. Bill showed the kids how to make paper planting pots and showed off his hut, which is made of wooden pallet walls and covered with dried phragmites stalks for protection. He says it keeps about 90 percent of the rain and snow off the plants inside.

Bill Moses and his bee habitat, made from phragmites (photo by John Dickson)

Bill Moses and his bee habitat, made from phragmites (photo by John Dickson)

The highlight for many was the snapping turtle that was spotted sunning itself during the hike to the creek at the back of the property.”

Snapping Turtle (photo by Jody Johnson Pettit)

Snapping Turtle (photo by Jody Johnson Pettit)


As for birding activities, meanwhile, on the other side of town, Jim Hastie was paddling with three companions on Shallow Lake, and observed that Great Blue Herons were occupying at least ten nests in the Rookery or Heronry there. Throughout April David Turner has been rewarded with terrific sightings in the Flesherton Hills, and in the Beaver Valley, of American Bittern, Fox Sparrow, Eastern Towhee, many waterfowl, including on April 28, “seeing the great egret in breeding plumage is VERY encouraging. It’s the first time I’ve seen it since living here.” Many of Turner’s photos of flowers and mammals are also exquisite.

American Goldfinch (photo by David Turner)

American Goldfinch (photo by David Turner)


Kiah Jasper reported seeing his first Piping Plover of the year at Sauble Beach on Tuesday April 30, which is, I think, pretty much right on schedule.

Piping Plover (photo by Kiah Jasper)

Piping Plover (photo by Kiah Jasper)

Then on May 1st, Bruce Edmunds reported “Birding in the rain today with the Bruce Birding Club. Came across this Northern Waterthrush (warbler). Checked the radar. Ran back to the car and got the camera. Was not disappointed.” May 1, 2019, Kincardine, ON


This weekend May 3 to 5, The Sources of Knowledge Forum taking place in Tobermory is intended to demonstrate how research in Bruce Peninsula National Park, Fathom Five National Marine Park, and the surrounding community contributes to knowledge of the Bruce Peninsula’s natural and human history. To learn more please visit https://www.sourcesofknowledge.ca/

At 7PM Wednesday May 8, the premiere screening of – Resilience: Transforming our Community – A different kind of climate change film – will be held at the Roxy. This uplifting film offers ways to build resilience in ourselves and our community by transforming the way we live. The film’s message, “let’s talk about it,” offers solutions at the individual, community and municipal levels – Doors open at 6PM, and admission is by donation.


The next night, May 9, in the auditorium of the Public Library, the Owen Sound Field Naturalists Members’ Night will feature several varied presentations by club members. Topics will include Fleabanes, wildlife images captured by a trail camera on a Nature Reserve, NeighbourWoods North, A Taste of Belize, Spring Wildflowers, and Islay Graham’s Piping Plover food and habitat display, entitled “Rake, Wrack and Risk”. The evening gets started with refreshments and social time just after 6:30, with the meeting itself getting underway at 7PM. Admission is free. Donations are welcome.

To close, a Nature quote from Birgit Stutz and Larry Scanlon, extolling the majesty and beauty of Mount Renshaw and of Mount Robson – “the stunning highpoint of the Canadian Rockies… where climbers who reach its almost four thousand metre summit glory in views that extend one hundred kilometres in every direction, and rave about its vast meadows and many lakes, as well as the glaciers…. that spill into the aquamarine waters of Berg Lake…”

Nature Club News April 2019

Friday, April 12th, 2019

NATURE CLUB NEWS April 2019

by John Dickson

On March 13, Nikki May’s presentation to the Owen Sound Field Naturalists (OSFN) – Prairie Ecosystems – featured intriguing details of the resilience of the root structures of various prairie grasses, and their ability to stay alive underground in spite of drought, floods, foraging by bison, and fire. Some of these grasses have both shallow roots and deep roots to ensure their access to nutrients.

Butterfly Weed in Canatara Park (photo supplied by Nikki May)

Butterfly Weed in Canatara Park (photo supplied by Nikki May)


On March 20th, the Bruce Birding club witnessed two to three thousand Tundra Swans, in a staging area near Grand Bend. Here they rest and fuel up to fly across Lake Huron, and across Lake Superior, to Manitoba, eventually arriving at their destination – the tundra. The BBC members also visited Pinery Provincial Park, where the resident Tufted Titmouse population and a few wild turkeys were observed at very close range through the large windows of the Visitor Centre there. Another highlight of the day was the discovery in Kincardine, of a pair of Snow Geese, with a Ross’s Goose (a smaller relative of the Snow Goose) keeping them company, and likely migrating with them. Within a day or two of this outing, David Turner of Flesherton, reported that there were about 25 migrating Tundra Swans along with a selection of other waterfowl, at Lake Eugenia.

American Woodcock, April 1st, Kincardine. Photo by Bruce Edmunds.

American Woodcock, April 1st, Kincardine. Photo by Bruce Edmunds.


On March 24, a full busload of the Owen Sound Young Naturalist Club visited the Butterfly Conservatory in Cambridge, to see and learn about, first hand, the many exotic butterflies on hand there.

An exotic "Ricepaper" butterfly from the conservatory. (File photo/Brian Robin)

An exotic “Ricepaper” butterfly from the conservatory. (File photo/Brian Robin)


One of the Young Naturalists, Kate Burridge-MacDonald also created artwork for a toque, which was voted the winner in a nation-wide contest as the basis for a design that will grace the hats of over 10,000 Junior skiers nation-wide next year! It featured a smiling polar bear, on skis, looking up at a puffin flying by, along with some clouds and snowflakes in the air. Congratulations Kate!


At the Bluewater Science and Technology Fair, the Owen Sound Field Naturalists award was won by Islay Graham, for her Piping Plover Project, demonstrating conclusively their preference for beach habitat with debris and vegetation, which not only provides some much needed shelter from predators, but also encourages the presence of more food for the Piping Plovers to find when they forage in the sand.


NeighbourWoods North is gearing up for its 2019 campaigns of developing and nurturing our urban trees. In a recent communication, with the heading Branch and Root news, they announced “It’s springtime and we’re getting ready for the spring planting and gardening season at the Owen Sound Hospital. Right now it looks like we will be busy tending the Forest of Hope and Healing every Saturday morning in May. Keep updated on these events through our website, or on Facebook, or Twitter.” For more information on how you can help here is the website link https://www.neighbourwoodsnorth.com/


On Tuesday April 2nd, Bob Knapp presented Rocks and Rock Formations in the Owen Sound Area, to a capacity audience in the theatre at Grey Roots. If you missed that one, Bob is also giving the same presentation to the Owen Sound Field Naturalists at 7PM Thursday April 11, in the auditorium of the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library.

BobKnapp_2019_04_11-01

On Tuesday April 9, Naturalist Audrey Armstrong will twice present Monarchs in the Queen’s Bush at Grey Roots, at 1PM and again at 2:30PM. For more details please visit https://greyroots.com/

On Thursday April 18, at 7PM, Grey Sauble Conservation Foundation hosts its Earth Film Festival, at the Roxy theatre, featuring Project Wild Thing, and The Messenger. This fund raising event will support projects of the Grey Sauble Conservation Foundation. For ticket information please call the Roxy at 519 371 2833.

On Wednesday May 8, at 7PM, the film Resilience: Transforming Our Community created locally, will have its first screening also at the Roxy theatre. Admission is by donation. More information is available at www.resiliencedoc.info

The Celebrate Earth Day event, presented by OSFN, on Saturday April 20, featuring renowned Ecologist and Scientist Doug Larson, aboard the Chi Cheemaun, is almost completely sold out, with only a handful of tickets ($5. each) still available at the Ginger Press. For information about this event or other activities of OSFN please visit www.owensoundfieldnaturalists.ca/programs

To close, a Nature quote from Doug Larson and Peter Kelly, referring to the forces responsible for the rocks, trees and ecology of the Niagara Escarpment: “The relentless pressures of human development …may be the most imposing force in the Escarpment’s long history.”

Nature Club News March 2019

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

NATURE CLUB NEWS March 2019

by John Dickson

NATURE CLUB NEWS MARCH 2019

The Owen Sound Field Naturalists and Young Naturalists Club met on February 10, to learn about the Flesherton Hills and the rest of the property behind Grey Highlands Secondary School, all of which was, at one time, part of the Bentham Heritage Farm. In addition to learning about the diverse natural features and species of the property, it was explained that at one time there was oil exploration and drilling taking place there, along with such other locales as Hepworth. The quality of the oil, however was not high enough to justify continued pursuit of an oil industry here.

Springs and ponds in the Flesherton Hills are also the beginning of the Boyne River, which meanders to Hogg’s Falls and to the Beaver River. Nesting ducks, beavers, otters, and mink have been regular inhabitants of the wetland there for decades. Guidance for the day was provided by Richard Bentham, and John Burton.

This sign is a reminder of the good work and partnerships forged in the past to preserve this special habitat. (Photo by John Dickson)

This sign is a reminder of the good work and partnerships forged in the past to preserve this special habitat. (Photo by John Dickson)

This tree displays the many holes created by a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, in the forest of the Flesherton Hills (Photo by John Dickson)

This tree displays the many holes created by a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, in the forest of the Flesherton Hills (Photo by John Dickson)


On February 14th, Brian Robin brought his innovative and detailed nature photography to share with the audience at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Hall. There were ooh’s and ah’s galore, and a lot of laughs, while folks were still learning about the many “bug” species who were captured by Robin’s camera lens.

Brian Robin keeping his audience enrapt, with the shared learning experience of his observations and his presentation. (photo by John Dickson)

Brian Robin keeping his audience enrapt, with the shared learning experience of his observations and his presentation. (photo by John Dickson)


On February 28th, Leanne Robinson demonstrated how she and her husband and small children travel by canoe in the far north, surviving on what they are able to harvest along the way, supplemented by the little they bring with them. Their son Emile learned to walk on uneven ground and while he was in the canoe, soon was able to recognize rose hips along the shore, and demand that they stop so that he could enjoy this wild food he enjoyed so much.

OSFN_2019_02_28


On March 2nd, there was a good turn out for Jeff Kinchen’s annual tracking outing, and even with the fresh new snow from that very morning, Kinchen was able to demonstrate how the evidence in the snow, on nibbled saplings and bushes, plus on the tree trunks, told the stories of who made those tracks, and why. Tracks observed included Jack Rabbit, Coyote, Fisher, Skunk, and White-tailed Deer.

This image shows where deer had rested for a while in the snow.

This image shows where deer had rested for a while in the snow.


Members of the Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association (SSA) have recently been inspecting, cleaning out and readying duck nesting boxes for this Spring’s arrival of Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers. They have also installed some newly constructed boxes which they have built in preparation for this upcoming season. Sites for this work include Hibou, Bognor Marsh, and the Sydenham River. Jim Hastie reported that all of the boxes at the Bognor Marsh had been occupied since the last inspection. While on site at the Bognor Marsh, we observed several chickadees feeding on the fronds of last year’s cattails there. Cheryl Jobbins also found a pussy willow there which had already opened.

Already opened Pussy Willow, found by Cheryl Jobbins on March 6th at Bognor Marsh (Photo by John Dickson)

Already opened Pussy Willow, found by Cheryl Jobbins on March 6th at Bognor Marsh (Photo by John Dickson)

Newly constructed and installed nesting box for waterfowl (Photo by John Dickson)

Newly constructed and installed nesting box for waterfowl (Photo by John Dickson)

SSA's Jim Hastie, Cheryl Jobbins and Wally Cunningham after having completed a work detail with nesting boxes, at Bognor Marsh (Photo by John Dickson)

SSA’s Jim Hastie, Cheryl Jobbins and Wally Cunningham after having completed a work detail with nesting boxes, at Bognor Marsh (Photo by John Dickson)

On Thursday March 7th, their monthly speaker was Stephanie Nickels of the Grey Bruce Health Unit, with her presentation on Lyme Disease, breaking it down into signs and symptoms, prevalence in our area. She then discussed the tick program at the health unit (personal protection, surveillance program, types of ticks in our area, submission process, etc.).

To learn more about the Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association please visit http://www.sydenhamsportsmen.com/


There have already been some reported sightings of Red-Winged Blackbirds, and of an Eastern Towhee, back to find and claim territories for sharing with mates when they arrive. The Bruce Birding Club is usually out for a day of birding, twice per month, to observe and document the birds that are in our area on those days. More information can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/brucebirdingclub/home

There have also been some owls observed in the area, including the Great Horned Owl, plus both grey and red morph Eastern Screech Owls.

This red morph Eastern Screech Owl was photographed by Cheryl Jobbins

This red morph Eastern Screech Owl was photographed by Cheryl Jobbins

I have been hearing more vocal Cardinals, with Spring on their minds, and many of the willow trees in the area definitely have that extra bright glow that tells me they are getting ready too.


On March 7th the Friends of Hibou invited Bruce Trail and OSFN members to join them in a snowshoe hike along the ice-bound shore and on the woodland trails at Hibou. Conditions were excellent and hike leader Marie Knapp shared some of the history of the property, now owned by Grey Sauble Conservation. We were able to hear several woodpeckers and there was also evidence of recent Beaver activity in the wetlands there.

Frozen shoreline at Hibou - photo by Carol Harris

Frozen shoreline at Hibou – photo by Carol Harris

John Dickson, Marie Knapp and Frank Bouma - photo by Carol Harris

John Dickson, Marie Knapp and Frank Bouma – photo by Carol Harris


Registration is now open for the Huron Fringe Birding Festival in late May and early June at MacGregor Point Provincial Park. This Festival continues to grow and to attract the best guides, on an even wider range of topics. To learn more visit
http://friendsofmacgregor.org/page/huron-fringe-birding-festival


This Thursday March 14, in the Library auditorium, Nikki May, former President of the Saugeen Field Naturalists, will discuss Prairie Ecosystems, speaking about the different kinds of prairie in North America and Ontario in particular, their extent, history and ecology. The talk will feature iconic fauna and flora and their role in the prairie ecology. Learn about species you can grow in your own back yard to attract butterflies and bees.

Butterfly Weed in Canatara Park (photo supplied by Nikki May)

Butterfly Weed in Canatara Park (photo supplied by Nikki May)

Grazing Bison. (photo by Rick May)

Grazing Bison. (photo by Rick May)

To close, a nature quote from Richard Outram, referring to the nature losses occurring around us, “Unless the prevailing misrule is corrected, a heritage loved and inhabited as such, will be gone.”

Nature Club News, February, 2019

Friday, February 8th, 2019

NATURE CLUB NEWS February 2019

by John Dickson

OSFN Celebrates 30 Years
On Thursday January 10, 2019, Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy presented this Certificate of Recognition to Club President Gordon Toth, at the regular Indoor Meeting of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists in the Library Auditorium.

OSFN President Gord Toth and Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy (phot by B. Robin)

OSFN President Gord Toth and Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy (phot by B. Robin)

President Toth got a strong showing of hands from the capacity crowd, when he asked the audience how many were there 30 years before, on Thursday January 5th, 1989, when President Lorraine Brown presided over the Inaugural Indoor Meeting of the Club. During the fall months of 1988, an initial gathering, chaired by Andrew Armitage at the Library, took place to gauge the level of interest in forming a Naturalist Club. With the endorsement of those present, the creation of the club took place – planning, programming and organizing, with help and guidance from members of the already established Saugeen Field Naturalists.

On this occasion 30 years later, (2019) Audrey Armstrong and Willy Waterton gave an informative and entertaining presentation entitled Bruce Trail: 856 kms of Discovery, based on their end to end hike, with references to science, geology and history all along the Niagara Escarpment with a healthy emphasis on our area. (i.e. black bears, rattlesnakes, ferns and a plane crash!).


Young Naturalists Club report by Elaine VanDenKieboom

Our outing on February 2, 2019 had the Young Nat’s snowshoeing in mixed hardwood forest and some conifer plantation, searching for signs of wildlife. The animal tracks that were observed included Snowshoe Hare, Red Fox, Fisher, and American Mink. We were also fortunate to see the resident porcupine resting up in a tree. The conditions were excellent for snowshoeing and we were lucky to have a mild day in the midst of some recent poor weather. Afterwards, gathering around an open fire, the Young Nat’s enjoyed some hot chocolate, and roasted bannock on sticks over the open fire. The conditions of the day made for a great hike, and the kids really seemed to enjoy being out in the woods.


On Monday February 4, NeighbourWoods North chairman Lloyd, and Rhiannon Lewis hosted a dinner and presentation, featuring Toni Ellis, who started and continues to lead the volunteer program called NeighbourWoods, out of Centre Wellington (Elora and area) in 2006 and since its inception, have planted and maintained over 1500 trees in their local communities. The organization runs annual workshops on learning tree skills and educating the public of the critical role trees play in our towns and how we need to foster their continued good health. It was at one of these workshops that Lloyd was introduced to the idea of school yard greening, which he applied to a school where he taught in Guelph. In addition, the organization does a great job collecting tree data, which is used to map the town species and monitor their health.

I was delighted to finally meet Toni, as I had heard about her from Lloyd, when he first approached the Owen Sound Field Naturalists to see if NeighbourWoods North might be a good fit for working together. Guests at the dinner found Toni’s infectious enthusiasm, and love of Nature, to be key factors for Lloyd’s inspiration, upon moving here to form Owen Sound’s NeighbourWoods North organization. Watch for more news about NeighbourWoods North’s upcoming projects in this column.


This entire 2018-19 OSFN season, we are celebrating 30 years of what our motto says – Knowing Nature Better.

One highlight is the Celebrate Earth Day event with Doug Larson’s Songs and Stories of Nature and Ecology. University of Guelph Professor Emeritus Doug Larson was the club’s first guest speaker, in January of 1989. This year he returns on Saturday April 20, 2019, at 2PM, aboard the MS Chi Cheemaun, berthed in Owen Sound harbour, with songs and stories of nature and ecology. In recent years he has also been crafting his own guitars, and these instruments also have tales to tell, some of which are outlined in his book The Storyteller Guitar.

Tickets (only $5 each) are now on sale for this 4th Annual Celebrate Earth Day event and are available at Ginger Press, Owen Sound Farmers Market (Saturdays, from Sheila Gunby), OSTC Springmount office, and at OSFN meetings – (Jan 10, Feb 14, Feb 26, March 14). Once again this event is sponsored by Caframo, and is hosted by Owen Sound Transportation. All proceeds are directed to OSFN youth projects. Don’t miss out – tickets continue to sell quickly.


This Sunday February 10, from 1PM to 3:30PM, the OSFN Club and Young Naturalists will be on a field trip snowshoeing to the Flesherton Hills and the Bentham Heritage Farm, starting from Grey Highlands Secondary School. This outing will be led by Richard Bentham, whose property received high praise from legendary naturalist Mark Kressman, and by John Burton, former teacher at the school, known for leading many outdoor activities and expeditions, with his students there.


Coming up soon, on February 14, OSFN Board Director, and member of the Owen Sound Camera Club, Brian Robin, will present Nature Photography – Armed with a camera, a desire to learn, and the ability to enjoy the underappreciated, Brian will take you on a lighthearted photographic tour of his favourite nature observations. This is not one to miss, as Brian’s enthusiasm and sense of fun, along with the quality of his images and intriguing approach to both Nature and photography are indicative of his engaging personality, and his artistic flair.

Because the Library is undergoing some renovations, this meeting will be held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 856 1st Avenue West, and we are encouraging folks to arrive by 6:45 if possible. Admission is by donation.


Of special note is a bonus presentation on Tuesday February 26, also at St. Andrew’s, with admission by donation and proceeds going to OSFN Youth Projects. There will be an even earlier start time of 6:30PM, as some parents may wish to attend with their “little ones” to see and hear –
Travelling by canoe with little ones by Leanne Robinson and
Harvesting food from the land by Dwayne Wohlgemuth

Owen Sound native, Leanne, and her spouse Dwayne and their family live in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. They seek to harvest food from the land, pack less food, and take the routes less traveled. They live a life that allows them to get out for long summer canoeing adventures, enabling their two children to have nature nurture them. At the age of 1, Emile learned to walk over uneven ground, identify and pick berries and feel at home in the wilderness on a 2 month canoe journey in the Northwest Territories.

Leanne Robinson hopped in a canoe early with her family in Owen Sound ON but didn’t really get into canoe travelling until she moved to Yellowknife, NT, where her love of canoeing was fostered by the uncountable lakes and rivers of Canada’s Northwest Territories. Her spouse, Dwayne Wohlgemuth chooses not to buy food for their family but relies on what nature provides and what society discards. They now have two little ones, both of whom were taken on multi-day canoe trips before the age of two months, they are dreaming of how and where they will teach their second child, Aleksi, to walk.Robinson will be speaking at the Wilderness Camping Symposium in Toronto, the previous weekend, while her husband has been a presenter there in the past.

Robinson will be speaking at the Wilderness Camping Symposium in Toronto on the previous weekend, while her husband has been a presenter there in the past.

Leanne canoeing (photo by Brian Kinzie)

Leanne canoeing (photo by Brian Kinzie)

Leanne Robinson hopped in a canoe early with her family in Owen Sound ON but didn’t really get into canoe travelling until she moved to Yellowknife, NT, where her love of canoeing was fostered by the uncountable lakes and rivers of Canada’s Northwest Territories. Her spouse, Dwayne Wohlgemuth chooses not to buy food for their family but relies on what nature provides and what society discards. They now have two little ones, both of whom were taken on multi-day canoe trips before the age of two months, they are dreaming of how and where they will teach their second child, Aleksi, to walk.

Robinson will be speaking at the Wilderness Camping Symposium in Toronto on the previous Saturday, while her husband has been a presenter there in the past.

This may be especially interesting for parents who have their children in cubs, scouts, guides, as well as the Forest School, etc.

 


To close, a Nature quote from Winchell Price, (1907-2003) once known as the Painter of the Bruce – “Winter created a breathless beauty, as all hummocks, dells, knolls and recessions are covered in deep snow, which on a clear cold day had lots of long blue shadows cast on the ground. Many a time I spent painting out in the snow, in the bushland,”

Information on Bill 66

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

At our Jan. 10th meeting, Julie Lamberts provided a brief summary of Bill 66.

For those wanting to learn more, Ontario Nature has a wealth of information on their website, and has asked its member groups to spread the word. Their brief version and timeline:

Dear Great Lakes West Nature Network Members,

As most of you are likely aware, Bill 66 (Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act) passed first reading on December 6th, 2018. If passed, this legislation would trump critical environmental protections for land, water and wildlife throughout Ontario. There is a serious misconception that the overriding of environmental protections that this Bill enables is confined largely to the Greater Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt and surrounding areas. This is not true. It affects all municipalities in Ontario and all of your communities.

 There are some very important deadlines that you should be aware of:

 •        January 20th: Deadline for comments on Bill 66 through the Environmental Registry for Ontario (ERO postings were previously referred to as EBR postings).

•        Bill 66 is on the order paper for second reading on February 19th when the Legislature returns.

•        After passing second reading, Bill 66 goes to committee. So the anticipated third reading and passage of the Bill is early March.

Ontario Nature has a blog post summarizing the concerns, Bill 66: What You Need to Know, which includes a link to a form letter you can sign (and modify to your liking) which will be sent to the relevent politicians. Additionally, they have a PDF flyer of Bill 66: What You Need to Know that you can print out or email to spread the word and their draft comments on Bill 66.

Nature Club News, January, 2019

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

NATURE CLUB NEWS January 2019

by John Dickson

 

The December 13 Indoor Meeting of Owen Sound Field Naturalists was very well attended, for John Reaume’s  Spiders of Eastern North America. He featured many of his own superb photographic images along with detailed and entertaining commentary.

Coincidentally, the Royal Ontario Museum has a current exhibition entitled Spiders – Fear and Fascination, still on display but closing January 6.   For more information please visit –  https://www.rom.on.ca/en/spiders

The Owen Sound Young Naturalists Club have a planned outing to the Bognor Marsh on January 20, for snowshoeing, nature sightings, and even some hot chocolate with bannock.

Mmmmmmm Bannock. (Photo by Brian)

Mmmmmmm Bannock. (Photo by Brian)

This entire 2018-19 OSFN season, we are celebrating 30 years of what our motto says – Knowing Nature Better.

One highlight is the Celebrate Earth Day event with Doug Larson’s Songs and Stories of Nature and Ecology. University of Guelph Professor Emeritus Doug Larson was the club’s first guest speaker, in January of 1989. This year he returns on Saturday April 20, 2019, at 2PM, aboard the MS Chi Cheemaun, berthed in Owen Sound harbour, with songs and stories of nature and ecology. In recent years he has also been crafting his own guitars, and these instruments also have tales to tell, some of which are outlined in his book The Storyteller Guitar.

Tickets  (only $5 each)  are now on sale for this 4th Annual Celebrate Earth Day event and are available at Ginger Press, Owen Sound Farmers Market (Saturdays, from Sheila Gunby), OSTC Springmount office, and at OSFN meetings – (Jan 10, Feb 14, March 14). Once again this event is sponsored by Caframo, and is hosted by Owen Sound Transportation. All proceeds are directed to OSFN youth projects. Don’t miss out – tickets are already selling fast.

On Thursday January 10, the OSFN kicks off 2019, with – Bruce Trail: 856 kms of Discovery – featuring Audrey Armstrong and Willy Waterton whose presentation is “based on our end to end hike, with references to science, geology and history all along the Niagara Escarpment with a healthy emphasis on our area. (i.e. black bears, rattlesnakes, ferns and a plane crash!).” The meeting begins at 7PM, in the auditorium of the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

(In addition, Waterton’s evocative photography can also be seen at the Roxy Theatre until January 13, and at a new show at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, opening January 11th – SALT OF THE EARTH: PEOPLE OF GREY & BRUCE COUNTIES.”)

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Details about all OSFN programmes, Young Naturalists, online membership and donations can be found at www.osfn.ca

Apropos to the season here are a couple of Nature quotes from Knud Rasmussen – “the moon shimmered in the ice crystals, and the trembling arc of northern lights played over the edge of the wood…” and, since we have just received a fresh blanket of new snow here in Grey Bruce overnight, Rasmussen, in Northern Canada, in 1923 also writes ” a glittering carpet of innumerable tiny crystals;  and across it moved the caribou in their hundreds.” 

In recent weeks, Christmas Bird Counts took place in our area and many OSFN members were helping out with these surveys. Here are  excerpts from some of the compilers’ reports:

Owen Sound – December 15 – Compiler Erik Van Den Kieboom reported that although some numbers were down, good sightings included a red morph Eastern Screech Owl, and a Northern Goshawk, along with 14 brown-headed cowbirds, 30 Bohemian waxwings, a Northern shrike, a snowy owl, a Northern flicker, house and purple finches, pine grosbeaks and redpolls.

I was with a team in Harrison Park just after 7AM where we counted an amazing 600 or so mallard ducks arriving steadily in small groups for about 40 minutes, from wherever they had spent the night. I was also fortunate to see a single Bald Eagle, circling high above the Jubilee bridge around midday.

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Hanover – Walkerton   Compiler Gerard McNaughton 

The Hanover-Walkerton CBC took place under excellent conditions on Saturday Dec 15, 2018.  There was very little wind which meant birds were easy to detect by call, and once the early fog lifted birds were easy to spot but not concentrated at feeders as in the past few years.
Overall 53 species were detected on the count day itself with 1 additional species found during count week bringing the total to 54 which ties the highest total recorded (2004, 2007, 2012, 2016).

1 species set new high count record       Red–breasted Nuthatch 45 birds (43 in 1999)

3 species tied high counts records          Belted Kingfisher (4 in 1998, 1999), Red-bellied Woodpecker (11 in 2016) and White-throated Sparrow (3 in 1983)

Winter Finches seen included                  Pine Grosbeak (1), Common Redpoll (181), Evening Grosbeak (8)

3 Owl species were recorded                  Eastern Screech Owl (12), Great Horned Owl (1) and Snowy Owl (2)

1 meadowlark species was recorded just outside Walkerton, feeding in a wet grassy area with Starlings (not recorded since 1978)

Notable misses included Wild Turkey not seen on count day but were seen during count week.

Total number of birds seen 6509.
Next Count will take place on Saturday Dec 14, 2019

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Jarmo Jalava and Miptoon (Anthony Chegahno), co-compilers report that the eighth annual Neyaashiinigmiing (Cape Croker) Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, December 15, on the beautiful Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula.

Count weather was spectacular, with sunny skies, light winds, and pleasant temperatures ranging from -3.5C during pre-dawn owling to +3.5C in the afternoon. The waters of Georgian Bay and streams were open, but non-flowing inland waters were generally ice-covered. Fifteen cheerful participants of varying ages and skill-levels tallied a total of 39 species, which is about average for the count. The 1,025 individual birds tallied was considerably higher than the average of 824. Highlights included only the count’s second Redhead and third Common Grackle. No new taxa definable to species were documented, but a very interesting find was a Brewer’s/Rusty Blackbird, which was well-described, but with not quite enough detail to conclusively settle on one species or the other. All-time high counts were tallied for seven species: Bufflehead (68, previous 39, average 21), Ruffed Grouse (25, previous high 9, average 4.2), Horned Grebe (10, previous 8, average 2.1), Barred Owl (2, previous 1, only the second count record), Great Horned Owl (3, equaling previous high, average 1), Hairy Woodpecker (9, previous 8, average 3.1), Pileated Woodpecker (5, previous 3, average 1.2) and Brown Creeper (4, previous 2, average 0.8). The only regularly occurring species for which a low count was recorded was Blue Jay (8, previous 15, average 32.2). This was the first Neyaashiinigmiing CBC with no American Tree Sparrows. House Sparrows have now been absent for five years, down steadily from the 45 individuals reported in 2011. Chi Miigwetch to Neyaashiinigmiing First Nation for hosting this very special birding event, and the always delicious breakfast and dinner feast.

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Wiarton CBC Jarmo Jalava compiler The 45th (not quite annual) Wiarton Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, December 16. Count weather was spectacular, sunny and mild, with little to no wind. Temperatures rose from -1 in the early morning to +5C in the afternoon. The waters of Georgian Bay were open, as were creeks and rivers, but most inland waterbodies were frozen, and the shallows of more sheltered bays of Lake Huron had a thin layer of ice. Twenty-seven enthusiastic participants and three feeder watchers tallied 63 species, tying the all-time high set in 1997, and well above the 45-year average of 48.7 species, and the 10-year average of 52.8. The 4,793 individuals counted was also well above the 45-year (3,436) and 10-year (4,417) averages. One new species for the count was found, Barred Owl. It was heard within the circle shortly after the round-up dinner. Barred Owls are uncommon but widespread residents on the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula, so it’s a bit surprising it’s taken almost half a century for one to be found on the Wiarton CBC. The bird-of-the-count prize (again) this year has to go to a hardy Winter Wren. Wiarton Winnie? Prior to 2016 there had been but two Winter Wren observations since 1971. Presumably the same individual has now been found at the exact same location for the third year in a row! Other notables included Gadwall (3rd count), Glaucous Gull (5th count), Golden Eagle (2nd count) and White-throated Sparrow (8th count). A presumed “Great Lakes Gull” (Herring X Great Black-backed hybrid), which would be a first for the count, was also found and photographed. Winter finches, most of which have been absent for several years, were represented in low numbers but good diversity, with 27 Pine Siskins, 19 Evening Grosbeaks, 6 Purple Finches, 4 Common Redpolls and 3 Pine Grosbeaks. All-time highs were tallied for Mute Swan (16, previous 13), Bald Eagle (21, previous 17), Red-bellied Woodpecker (9, previous 7) and Common Raven (86, previous 81). Second highest-ever counts were recorded for Long-tailed Duck (65, all-time 71), Red-breasted Nuthatch (52, all-time 54), Brown Creeper (7, all-time 11). No regularly occurring species had record low counts, and there were no notable misses. Thanks to everyone who made it such a memorable day! Jarmo Jalava

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Michael Butler & Tricia Stinnissen (co-compilers) for the 46th Tobermory Christmas Bird Count.

Date: December 19th, 2018.

A record high number of participants (56) enjoyed exceptionally mild weather and the usual fine camaraderie. Recent thaws had left very little snow cover allowing for excellent access to the backcountry. Indeed, 13 parties logged a remarkable 103 km (61.5 hours) on foot . Despite the increased coverage of the circle area, most parties reported that birds were scarce and feeders were poorly attended.

Total species: 44 (average=40).

Total individuals: 1243 (average=1637).

NEW SPECIES: 

  • Trumpeter Swan: 1. Karen Connoy photographed a young swan in Eagle Harbour which, after much consultation, was identified to this species. In the frame of one of her swan photos was a Mallard which proved to be the only one encountered on count day  – all waterfowl were scarce.

HIGHS:

  • Bohemian Waxwing: 144. This count is just shy of 1999’s record high of 148.
  • Chipping Sparrow: 1. Only the second record for the count (the first was in 2015).
  • Evening Grosbeak: 104. Only the second occurrence since 2001.

LOWS:

  • Red-breasted Nuthatch: 14 (average=41), down from last year’s record high of 155.
  • Blue Jay: 4 (average=41). This is the lowest number tallied since 1975.
  • Snow Bunting: 1 (average=33).

MISSES:

  • European Starling:  This is only the second time the species went undetected on count day (average=27).

ADDITIONAL COUNT WEEK SPECIES:

  • European Starling.
  • Swamp Sparrow (2nd record for count period).

Lost and Found: Someone left a black, zippered Mountain Equipment Co-op jacked at the Visitor’s Centre. Email me if it’s yours.

Much gratitude: Many thanks to all who participated in the count or helped out with preparation and clean-up of the delicious breakfast and dinner. Thanks as well to Bill and Judy Caulfeild-Browne for hosting a cozy and tasty pre-count gathering on Tuesday.

47th Tobermory Christmas Bird Count: WednesdayDecember 18, 2019.

 

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Meaford CBC – Lynne Richardson, Compiler 

The 48th annual Meaford CBC was held December 28th in balmy, snowless conditions thanks to a spring-in-December day with temperatures rising to +12; no wind, a bit of sun in the afternoon. Georgian Bay was completely open with no ice-edge and most other water bodies were partially open with barely a skim of ice on still areas.

21 count participants found 55 species, continuing the trend of the past 10 years of totaling over 50 species in the Meaford circle, up from the average of 46 over the previous 30+ years of the count. 55 species ranks 4th highest in the all time totals.

Total individuals was about on average at 3534 birds.

No new species were recorded leaving the cumulative total at 120 species.

Interesting sightings included 14 Brown Creepers foraging together which contributed to a new high for this species, and the only new high for the count.  A tie for high was made by Horned Grebe at 9. Two American Tree Sparrows were a somewhat unusual low. Missing were the Golden Eagle(s) of the past 6 counts.

A Carolina Wren was a count 2nd; 1 Northern Pintail was the count’s 4th ever, and Evening and Pine Grosbeaks put in an appearance for only the 3rd times in the past 14 years.

Thanks to the dedicated participants who so diligently covered the count areas!

Bohemian Waxwings on a wire (Photo by Lynne Richardson)

Bohemian Waxwings on a wire (Photo by Lynne Richardson)

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The results from this year’s Pike Bay, (December 29) and Cape Chin (December 30),  Counts are as follows…

Andrew Keaveney, Compiler 

Pike Bay: 17 participants, 39 species + 6 ‘Count Week’ species; most numerous species were Snow Bunting (700), Black-capped Chickadee (261) and Common Redpoll (217); New to the count were Mute Swan (2 at Pike Bay), White-winged Crossbill (1) and Horned Lark (count week). Birds of interest were Hoary Redpoll (1), Pine Grosbeak (6) and White-throated Sparrow (1) at a feeder in Howdenvale. Absent on Count Day were Pileated Woodpecker and Brown Creeper, always difficult to find in the winter months. Count Week produced a flock of over 2000 Snow Buntings and several Lapland Longspurs.

Andrew Keaveney, Compiler 

Cape Chin: 20 participants, 36 species + 3 ‘Count Week’ species; most numerous species were European Starling (327), Black-capped Chickadee (277) and Common Redpoll (171). Appearing for the first time in many winters, 111 Evening Grosbeaks were recorded at a few feeders and they always travel in crowds. One group was even photographed feeding naturally on sumac. The only new species recorded was an immature Northern Goshawk in the Dyer’s Bay area during Count Week. Perhaps the most talked about bird was a Belted Kingfisher found along an open creek by three separate groups, much to their surprise. Another Hoary Redpoll was carefully picked out of a group of more than 100 Common Redpolls and Dyer’s Bay once again produced an excellent number of winter grebes with Horned (25) and Red-necked (12), despite waterfowl being extremely scarce across most counts in the region this winter.

At least 3 Snowy Owls have been present in the count circle areas but only 1 was recorded on the weekend, during Count Day.

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Saugeen Shores CBC  Norah Toth, Compiler, 

reports that fifty-five species were recorded by 24 citizen scientists during the Saugeen Shores Christmas Bird Count which was held on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.  This is an average number of species for the count.  The number of individual birds was slightly above the average at 6441.  The fact that Lake Huron remains open and that there is not a lot of snow cover will have contributed to an all time high for the number of Canada Geese seen throughout the day.  The volunteers found the temperatures cold and crisp with clear skies in the morning and snow flurries in the afternoon.

Common Raven vs Snowy Owl (Photo by Bruce Edmunds)

Common Raven vs Snowy Owl (Photo by Bruce Edmunds)

Hermit Thrush (Photo by Bruce Edmunds)

Hermit Thrush (Photo by Bruce Edmunds)

Northern Shrike (Photo by Bruce Edmunds)

Northern Shrike (Photo by Bruce Edmunds)


Nature Club News, December, 2018

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

NATURE CLUB NEWS December 2018

by John Dickson


Fred Jazvac (Photo courtesy of Jim Punnet).

Fred Jazvac (Photo courtesy of Jim Punnet).

On Sunday November 4th, on a cool but mostly sunny day, and Fred Jazvac felt that it was perhaps the largest turnout (almost 40 birders, including some from the Bruce Birding Club) in his more than ten years of leading Around the Bay with Fred – Waterfowl ID: Tips and Techniques. And, coincidentally, almost 40 different species were observed and noted during the four to five hours of this annual outing of the Owen sound Field Naturalists. Highlights included 48 Greater White-Fronted Geese, at Leith, and a rare sighting of a Red Phalarope at the East Side Boat Launch plus about 20 various species that are found near water, along with a Bald Eagle and a few songbirds. Having announced that this would be the final time he would lead this event, Fred was given a rousing cheer, and a round of applause, in appreciation.

Scanning for birds. (Photo by John Dickson)

Scanning for birds. (Photo by John Dickson)


On November 8th, in the auditorium of the Public Library, Susan McGowan, Forest Health Technical Specialist for the Midhurst – Aurora Districts, enlightened the audience on her role, in monitoring forests, and reporting her findings on the relative health of trees, including ones threatened by disease, or insect infestations. She shared details of wooded areas right here in Grey Bruce, and farther afield, with details about Beech, Elm, Ash, Spruce, Oak, as well as the cyclical activities of the Forest Tent Caterpillars. There were many questions afterwards, and McGowan invited folks to report cases where healthy specimens are thriving, and could have greater disease resistance, possibly through genetics, and potentially providing a good source of future seedlings. Visit the OSFN website for her contact information as well as a list of online resources related to her talk.

Gypsy Moth Pupa, an invasive defoliator. (Photo by Brian robin)

Gypsy Moth Pupa, an invasive defoliator. (Photo by Brian robin)


On November 25, Brian Robin led the Young Naturalists Club on a field trip at Kinghurst Nature Reserve. His main focus was to show and share information about winter survival for many of the local fauna. Bird nests, Beaver lodges, cavities in trees – all of these were there to be discovered. Robin also brought with him and showed samples of butterfly cocoons, and even a wintering home of a Praying Mantis. Later he pointed out a vernal pool in the middle of forest, where amphibians may be able to find some mud, and where many critters even have a type of anti-freeze component in their bodies. The members of the Young Naturalists Club had many engaging questions questions answered and as one parent, Yulia Belov, reported –
“Thank you so much for the great hike today at Kinghurst! My family and I really enjoyed it! We found it very informative and interesting.”

Cecropia moths spend their winters as pupa tucked inside papery cocoons attached to tree branches. (Photo by Brian Robin)

Cecropia moths spend their winters as pupa tucked inside papery cocoons attached to tree branches. (Photo by Brian Robin)


In the month ahead many members of the OSFN, will be engaged in the annual Christmas Bird Counts. Held every year between December 14th and January 5th, the Christmas Bird Count is one of the the largest citizen science projects.

If you would like to join one of the counts in Grey or Bruce counties, the contact information and dates of the 2018 counts are listed on the OSFN website. If you are outside the area, or would like more general information about the project, head to the Bird Studies Canada Website.


On Thursday December 13, John Reaume, an accomplished wildlife photographer, naturalist, and physician, will present Spiders of Eastern North America. A popular speaker, Reaume states -“Spiders have a bad reputation but in reality these fascinating creatures are very valuable to us and have an amazing life history. Understanding more about spiders will make you appreciate them more – its true!”

John Reaume (Supplied Photo)

John Reaume (Supplied Photo)

The meeting begins at 7PM, in the auditorium of the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library. Admission is free, although donations are welcome.

To close, a couple of nature quotes from our good friend Jake Doherty, recently deceased -“Was it a quick flurry of blowing snow, like a looming northern mirage, or was it perhaps something more primordial, left behind from an earlier time in the ancient forests?” ; “The wind picked up, and a single yellowed, withered leaf twisted, then tumbled to the ground … in the fading autumn -“

Christmas Bird Counts – Grey and Bruce Counties (2018)

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Held every year between December 14th and January 5th, the Christmas Bird Count is one of the the largest citizen science projects.

If you would like to join one of the counts in Grey or Bruce counties, the contact information and dates of the 2018 counts are listed below. If you are outside the area, or would like more general information about the project, head to the Bird Studies Canada Website.

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS IN GREY AND BRUCE – 2017
LOCATION COMPILER DATE EMAIL
Owen Sound Erik Van Den Kieboom Dec. 15, Sat. ekieboom@gbtel.ca
Hanover-Walkerton Gerard McNaughton Dec. 15, Sat. gmcnaughton@wightman.ca
Wiarton Jarmo Jalava Dec. 16, Sun. jvjalava@gmail.com
Kincardine James Turland Dec. 19, Wed. jaturland@gmail.com
Tobermory Tricia Stinnissen Dec. 19, Wed. tricia.stinnissen@canada.ca
Meaford Lynne Richardson Dec. 28, Fri. lynnerichardson@rogers.com
Pike Bay Andrew Keaveney Dec. 29, Sat. uofgtwitcher@msn.com
Cape Chin Andrew Keaveney Dec. 30, Sun. uofgtwitcher@msn.com
Saugeen Shores Norah Toth Jan. 2, Wed. ntoth@rogers.com

Forest Health Resource Followup

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Susan McGowan, our speaker last November, sent the following online resources related to her talk:

OMNRF Forest Pest web page
https://www.ontario.ca/page/forest-health-pests-diseases-and-severe-weather-conditions

Official Forest Health Presentation by Mike Francis, Forest Health Technical Specialist, Sault Ste Marie, given on Oct 25 2018
ftp://ftp.nrcan.gc.ca/cfs/glfc/

Bruce Grey Woodlands Associations
https://bgwa.ca/

Invasive Specie Centre
https://www.invasivespeciescentre.ca

Silvecon Invasive Species Site
https://www.silvecon.ca/forest-insects—invasive-species.html

Ontario Woodlot Association
https://www.ontariowoodlot.com/

Emerald Ash Borer Info
http://www.emeraldashborer.info/

United States Department of Agriculture
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/pests-diseases/hungry-pests/

info on research for fungus to control EAB
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/scientists-try-to-fight-off-emerald-ash-borer-using-fungus-traps-1.3161262

Parasitic wasps to control EAB
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/science/canadian-researchers-successfully-raise-wasps-that-kill-emerald-ash-borer/article34362600/

 

Susan McGowan
Forest Health Technical Specialist
Midhurst – Aurora Districts
Southern Biodiversity and Monitoring
Science and Research Branch
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
1450 7th Ave East
Owen Sound Ontario
N4K 2Z1

519-376-2352 Office
519-375-0910 Mobile
519-372-3305 Fax
susan.mcgowan@ontario.ca