I was out strolling along the cracks and crannies of the natural world in Orangeville for a couple of hours at dawn this morning. In this Covid-19 isolation time, the town was — thankfully! — so quiet from a human perspective. So few cars out; the lineup for Timmies near where I live was down from the typical dozen cars wound around the place to one or sometimes none at all. But the trails and stream valleys were often filled with the morning cacophony of bird song and screeching. The gangs of Grackles and the swirlings of Starlings were especially noisy! What struck me was that the Common Grackles and European Starlings were still in flocks. Not in pairs carrying nesting material. They were in remarkably large groupings, perhaps hundreds of grackles and several swirls of fifty or more starlings. Why? I’m wondering if these birds are not quite ready for… Read more »
The 120th annual Christmas Bird Count is run by the Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. Counts can be done on any single day between Dec 14 and Jan 5 and are conducted within a circle of diameter 24 km (15 miles). This year we counted on 2020 January 04, marking our 28th count as several years were missed. Since 1987, the UCFN/HN have been responsible for the Caledon circle, which includes Orangeville.
Outdoor adventurer Cylita “Batwoman” Guy of the University of Toronto and Ontario Science Centre will talk about her research on viruses and bats. 2018 November 27, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm, at our usual meeting place. Cylita Guy is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on bats and their viruses. Using a combination of field and computational approaches she is investigating why bats seem to be good at carrying viruses that they sometimes share with humans, but rarely get sick from themselves. In her spare time she looks to help others foster their own senses of curiosity and discovery. She works as a Host at the Ontario Science Centre and started a Junior Bat Biologist Program in conjunction with the High Park Nature Centre. You can also read about her hilarious field exploits in the recent general audience book Fieldwork… Read more »