Winter Birds in the Media!

Prince George Naturalists Club media spokesperson Clive Keen will be interviewed on CKPG TV tonight, talking about mallards and migration. Tomorrow (Friday) he will be talking with Gloria Macarenko  from 12:30 p.m. on Almanac CBC Radio call-in show, talking about winter birds.

And be sure to keep an eye on the Prince George Citizen for an upcoming story about the PGNC Swan Count scheduled for  Sunday January 15.


Swan Count January 15, 2017


PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, sent 8 January, 2017

Club Events

  1. Wednesday Walkers, 11 January — Cancelled 

It will be minus 25 on Wednesday, so a day indoors seems a better idea than a nature walk.

  1. Annual Swan and Eagle Count, 9:00 – 3:00, Sunday, 15 January
    It will be much warmer next Sunday, but since the count is largely carried out by car, and walks are fairly short, this event always goes ahead whatever the temperature. Meet for a 9:00 am departure under the central green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for car pooling and waiver signing. Bring lunch and snowshoes, and keep on eye on weather forecasts so you can dress appropriately. For more info, email or phone at 250-963-8381.
  1. Presentation by Doug Heard on the Caribou Recovery Program, 7:00 pm, Thursday, 19 January, The Exploration Place
    Doug will be giving an update. Members that visited Kennedy siding on November 19 will fully appreciate the value of the Caribou Recovery Program.


  1. Christmas Bird Count

PG: A small army headed off from Cathy Antoniazzi’s place on Sunday, December 18, and by day’s end had tallied 10,836 birds in 48 species. There was an all-time high for Bald Eagles — 95, and other raptors included a Northern Goshawk, a Red-tailed Hawk, seven Rough-legged Hawks, and three Merlins. Eurasian Collared-Doves continue to increase in numbers, as do American Goldfinches. It was definitely not a finch year, though: no doubt food is abundant still in the forests. The full report is here.

   Note that next year will be PG’s 50th Christmas Bird count, so something special will be arranged.

Quesnel: PGNC members again took an active part in the Quesnel bird count, at which 47 species were spotted. For the first time, a Spotted Towhee was found at the count, and other highlights included a Golden Eagle, two Northern Pygmy Owls, five Sharp-tailed Grouse, and a Three-toed Woodpecker.

  1. Memberships

The club now has 89 memberships, some of which are family memberships. The executive has had a target of raising memberships to 100, as this would guarantee the long-term health of the club. If you know anyone that should be a member but isn’t, invite them to a meeting, or point them to our website at You can also renew memberships — it’s that time of year — on that website using Paypal.

Clive Keen

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, sent 12 December 2016

Club Events
1. Wednesday Walkers, 14 December — Cancelled 
Since the doughty Caledonia Ramblers are cancelling trips owing to the cold snap, we don’t feel too bad about cancelling this one.
2. Christmas Bird Count, Sunday, 18 December, all day event
The usual throng of birders will be leaving Cathy Antoniazzi’s house at daybreak for a full day of counting followed by an evening potluck. If you are wondering about taking part, Cathy can be contacted at or 250-562-2845. You can also take part by keeping a count of the birds on your feeder, as long as you live within a 15-kilometre radius of the centre of town.
3. Annual Swan and Eagle Count, 9:00 – 3:00, Sunday, 15 January
Meet for a 9:00 am departure under the central green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for car pooling and waiver signing. Bring lunch and snowshoes, and keep on eye on weather forecasts so you can dress appropriately. For more info, email or phone at 250-963-8381.
4. Presentation by Doug Heard on the Caribou Recovery Program, 7:00 pm, Thursday, 19 January, The Exploration Place.
Doug’s talk at the BC Nature Fall General Meeting was so well received we asked him to repeat it at our next Third Thursday event. Note that we do not hold Third Thursdays in December, given the seasonal pandemonium.
1. Quesnel Christmas Bird Count, 2 January
Prince George birders are a crucial part of this event. If you can help, contact Adrian Leather at 250-249-5561 or He’ll be delighted to hear from you. You can also find out about other CBCs in the province by heading to . Three PGNC members are even taking part in the Soda Creek CBC on December 15.
2. Geminid Shower!
The Geminid meteor shower peaks tomorrow (Tuesday), with a forecast of up to 120 per hour. Though you will be able to see meteors over the entire sky, they radiate from the Gemini constellation, which rises over the northeast horizon at 6:00pm. The display is best, though, after midnight. There should be clear skies, but it will be cold, so take care.
3. Christmas signed book offer for club members
  • Outdoor Safety & Survival by Mike Nash; Rocky Mountain Books, 2012: $25 (retail value $31.45)
  • Exploring Prince George – A Guide to North Central BC Outdoors, by Mike Nash; Rocky Mountain Books, 2007: $20 (retail value $26.20)
Mike only has a few copies left and this is the last year he will be doing this, so if you would like one for yourself or for a gift call him at 250-962-2453.
Event Report
Wednesday Walkers from the Pidherny Hills, November 23, 2016 
It is the season that has no name, that time between leaf fall and snowfall. It is that pause for chickadees, nuthatches and squirrels to stow away food for the winter to come; the time when the forest floor is no longer in the shade of birches, Douglas maple, alders, Devil’s club, Thimble berry or even Fairy bells and False Solomon’s seal. It is the season of all those small evergreens, their vivid green stopping us in our tracks, demanding our attention. It was such a day for those of us walking in the Pidherny Hills. The Stiff clubmoss with its spore cone held high to catch the breezes no longer impeded by the canopy, the green and yellow mosses, dwarf scouring-rush bent on taking over a hillside, Prince’s pine holding aloft its seed head, Twinflower scrambling over the ground still bearing its dried, y-shaped stalk, the Oregon-grape looking to outshine the sun, and so many lichens; all were there to delight kindred spirits happy to be out on such a day.  —  Dora Hunter

PGNC Events and Notes, sent 6 November 2016

Club Events

  1. Wednesday Walkers
  • 9 November: Anne Allgaier will again lead the on-going exploration of the relatively flat, wooded trails from the end of Peardon Road on Cranbrook Hill. The last trip yielded, amongst other things, some amazing bear tracks in the mud, a Red-breasted Nuthatch eating seeds of the sub-alpine fir, and greater understanding of the many species of mosses in the area.
  • November 23:  A visit to the Pidherny Hills. The choice of trail will be made closer to the day and will depend on the condition of the trail and the weather.

For more information on the walks, contact Dora Hunter at 250 596-6772.

  1. Thursday Evening Presentation Series, 17 November, 7:00 pm, The Exploration Place
    Patrick Michiel will give a photographic presentation on a trip many of us would like to add to our bucket lists: Cruising to South Georgia and Antarctica.

Club Notes

  1. Mountain Caribou: Emily Braam has been working on organizing a Club trip to see the Kennedy siding caribou. Meanwhile, Bob Steventon and Anne Hogan took a special trip earlier this week, and got some great photos. See Birders will also note the presence of Snow Buntings.
  2. Fortis Wetland Celebration and Cleanup: On October 29 an enthusiastic group of Fortis employees celebrated the opening of the new overlook on the Heritage Trail, and took part in a cleanup of the wetland area. Mayor Lyn Hall joined the celebrations, and said a number of kind words on the value of the wetland project to Prince George. thumbnail_fortis-2174
  1. Owls and Hawks: Raptors have been coming through PG in some numbers recently. Bill Bailey scooped the front page of the forthcoming edition of BC Birding with his magnificent shot of a Rough-legged Hawk in Shelley – a PDF advance copy of the front page is available here: front-page
  1. Outdoor Safety: Hiking/backpacking blogger Marty Belanger has added a new video on outdoor safety. See Outdoor Safety & Survival Part 4 (Bear Safety): .
  1. Pink Mountain
    Some members will remember a Club presentation by Ron Long on Pink Mountain – you can now see a version of his presentation at

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 26 October 2016

Club Notes
Hudson’s B
ay Wetland Project: Decks 3 and 4 Complete
Two new decks, each allowing an overview of the ponded area west of Queensway Street, are now complete.

The first is located at a high point of The Heritage Trail, some 70 metres along the trail from the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Nature Park on Queensway Street. This Saturday, October 29, will see a celebration of its opening by the main sponsor, Fortis BC, which contributed $15,000 towards the project. Fortis BC will be holding a Community Giving Day, starting at 1:00 pm, which will see teams of Fortis employees combing the wetland area to conduct an extensive clean-up. A media release announcing this is attached.


The second deck, which is elevated to give clear views of the whole ponded area, is on the north side of the water along an informal trail. In November an event will be held for Naturalists Club members to mark its inauguration and to recognize the funders.

Engineered designs for both decks were by McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd, the helical pile foundations were installed by Techno Metal Post BC, and construction was carried out by a volunteer team led by George Roberts and Nowell Senior of the Caledonia Ramblers.

With completion of the two new decks, just two new features are required to put in place the bones of the overall project. An earthen ramp is needed to finish the universal-access section around the wetland channel, and a footbridge with boardwalks at the west end of the ponded area is needed to complete the circular loop. This is the most ambitious part of the project, opening the circular walk for the first time, and will require additional funding.


Events and Notes, 18 October 2016

Club Events

1. Club Presentations Night, 7:00 pm, Thursday, 20 October, Exploration Place
This is to be a mixed bag of updates, presentations, and member feedback, covering the BC Nature Fall General Meeting, the Wetland Project, the City’s Signage program, and members’ wishes for future events. If time remains, there will be a short presentation on birding in Iceland.

 2. Wednesday Walkers: Wednesday, 26 October

Anne Allgaier will lead an exploration of the relatively flat wooded trails from the end of Pardon Road on Cranbrook Hill. These walks are open to members and potential members and are suitable for adults and mature teens. Meet under the large Save-On sign at Spruceland Shopping Centre at 5th Avenue and Central Street, for car pooling and the usual waiver-signing, in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Walks finish at around noon. Natural history guide books, binoculars and cameras will be useful. Please leave dogs at home. For more information on the walks, contact Dora Hunter at  250 596-6772.

Club Notes

1. Wetland Project

Work is continuing apace on the new decks on either side of the ponded area west of Queensway. The foundations – helical piles –  have been installed, and building is moving fast, spearheaded by George Roberts and Nowell Senior. More soon.

2. Ncenbird

Ncenbird – the club listserv used primarily to spread information on bird sightings – is still down: Club Treasurer Sandra Kinsey is working with the service provider to find a resolution.

3. History of the Wetland

If you have any information on the history of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland, Kyla Jensen would like to hear from you – email her at

Other Events

The following events from other groups may be of interest to PGNC members:

1. Annual UNBC Wildlife Photo Contest

If you’d like to enter the UNBC Wildlife Society’s annual contest, you have just one day left to do it: take your photos to the Wintergarden tomorrow (October 19). Voting takes place October 20th and 21st. Prizes will be awarded to some of the top photos with some being featured in the TWS 2016-2017 calendar.   In past years the proceeds from the contest have gone to support wildlife recovery.  More info can be found at

2. Chris Harris Presentation, 7:30 pm, Wednesday,  November 9, Canfor Theatre, UNBC

Sponsored by the Prince George Photographic Society, Chris Harris will present his final book: British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast – A Photographer’s Journey. The presentation will feature photographs, videos and original music. See Chris’ latest newsletter at for his explanation of why this will be his final book! Tickets are $10.00, and can be purchased at Books & Co, at Studio 2880 or at the door.