Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 8 February 2016

Club Events

  1. Presentation, Thursday 18 February, 7 p.m. at The Exploration Place

Be prepared for an exciting presentation on the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in northern landscapes, along with discussion on the pros and cons of this new technology as it relates to the natural world. More details to come.

  1. Seedy Saturday, Saturday 20 February, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Exploration Place

The Prince George Naturalists Club will have an information table devoted to bird-friendly seeds and plants, along with information on the Club’s activities and a chance to renew memberships. If you would like to help out at the table for an hour or two, please reply to this email. See below for more details on Seedy Saturday.

Other Events and Notes

  1. Wanted: Bobcat and Lynx photos

A bobcat/lynx MSc study is currently under way at the University of BC Okanagan, in partnership with BC’s Ministry of Environment. Researchers are seeking photos of bobcats and lynx captured by trail cameras, or conventional cameras, from all corners of the province and from all time periods to help determine the current provincial distribution of each species. Please email photos to TJ Gooliaff at tj.gooliaff@ubc.ca

The photos do not have to be great photography – they just have to show a bobcat or a lynx, or even just a part of one. Photos can be blurry or dark and don’t even have to clearly show which cat species is present. When sending photos, please include both the date and location of each photo. Location should be as specific as possible: most preferred is UTM or LAT/LONG coordinates. If that information is not available, then please provide the name of the nearest road or landmark (including distance and direction from road or landmark), or nearest town (including distance and direction from town), or watershed or Management Unit.

Photos will be used for data only (which species was where when) and will not influence management decisions regarding hunting/trapping bag limits or season dates. Photos will not be published or shared with anyone without permission, and photographers will retain ownership of their photos. The results of this study will be gladly shared with all those who are interested. Feel free to email any questions or comments that you may have about this project to either TJ Gooliaff at tj.gooliaff@ubc.ca or Dr. Karen Hodges at Karen.Hodges@ubc.ca

  1. Ethnobotany Presentation, Friday 19 February, 3:30 to 5 p.m. at UNBC Room 7-212

“A Mutual Love of Plants: Collaborative Community-based Research in Ethnobotany in British Columbia”. NRESi Colloquium presenter is Dr. Nancy Turner, Distinguished Professor and Hakai Professor in Ethnoecology, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria and a UNBC Honorary Degree recipient.

  1. Seedy Saturday, Saturday 20 February, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Exploration Place

Enjoy displays, seed packages, seed sales and gardening information including a session at 11 a.m. of interest to all naturalists: “Bugs: Why we need ‘em and how to keep ‘em”.

2016_Seedy Saturday

  1. Travelling World Community Film Festival, March 10 to 17, various locations in Prince George

This is an annual festival created by the World Community in Comox/Courtenay, brought to Prince George each year by various local non profit organizations. Watch for more details to come.

  1. Jasper National Park Annual Public Forum, Wednesday 16 March, 7 to 9 p.m.

Parks Canada is holding Jasper National Park’s Annual Public Forum. At the Forum, Parks Canada reports back to the public about the implementation of the Jasper National Park Management Plan. This open house event includes presentations and Q & A sessions with park staff, informative booths, and refreshments. We will send you a formal invitation in February, but please save the date and join us: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre, Jasper, Alberta. For more information contact jasper.superintendent@pc.gc.ca

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 15 Jan, 2016

Club Events
 
1. Annual Club Swan and Eagle Count, 9:00 – 3:00, Sunday, 17 January
Meet at 9:00 am under the central green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign. Bring lunch and snowshoes. Dress warmly.  For more info, email sjkinsey@direct.ca or phone at 250-963-8381. Contribution by passengers to gas costs: $10.00.
 
2. Presentation:  Watershed CSI: Identifying Where Sediment Comes from Using Fingerprinting.  7:00 pm, Thursday, 21 January at The Exploration Place
Alex Koiter, a Professional Agrologist and UNBC PhD candidate, will give a presentation on his current research on soil erosion and water quality.  He will show how naturally occurring soil properties, or fingerprints, can help find out where sediment comes from – it`s like CSI for watersheds!
 
3. Bird Skin Preparation Workshop by Ken Otter, 1:00 pm, Saturday, 23 January, UNBC
Ken Otter will show how bird specimens are prepared for teaching purposes, and give a tour of the bird and mammal collection accumulated over the years. This is an opportunity to bring in any specimens you might have  (remember that it has to be thawed out!).  Don’t worry, though: Ken has 20 to 30 specimens for anyone attending who isn’t bringing their own. 
 
Agenda: 
 1:00:            meet at the Library Entrance to the University (just off the parking lots, first door you would naturally come in).  
1:00 – 1:15: tour of some of the taxidermied specimens en route to the prep lab 
1:20 – 2:00: tour of the prep room and the collection
2:00 – 3:00: pinning birds for freeze drying
3:00 – 3:30: loading specimens into the freeze drier
3:30 – 5:00: for those that don’t need to leave, back to the lab for a demo preparing a larger bird
 
If you are planning to come, please let us know by return email in case there are capacity issues.
 
4. Snowshoe Trip to Livingstone Springs, Sunday, 7 February, 9:00 am start
The annual snowshoe trip to the spring of the Crooked River is a great way to learn more about tracks in the snow, and there’s a chance of seeing otters, dippers, swans, eagles, moose, etc. Meet at Spruceland shopping centre under the big sign for a 9:00 am departure, dress appropriately, and bring lunch and (of course) snowshoes. If you’ve questions, contact Sandra Kinsey at sjkinsey@direct.ca. Contribution by passengers to gas costs: $8.00.
 
Club Notes
 
1. New Membership Year – Dues Due
The new membership year officially started on January 1. Some members have already paid their annual dues ($25 single, $40 family) since October, but most of us now need to do so. The easiest way is to go to the website at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/
and pay by Paypal. You can also join or rejoin at any of the presentation nights.
 
2. Student Memberships (updated)
The Club Executive will be recommending a special student membership rate of $15 for approval at the March 17 Annual General Meeting. If the student membership rate is approved, students will be able to join the Club at any event such as the presentation nights, by showing a current student card.
 
3. Membership Cards
Please pick up 2016 membership cards at any of the Club evening events.
 
4. BC Nature 2016 Fall General Meeting, Coast Inn of the North, Prince George
The draft program for this provincial event, hosted by our Club, is looking terrific; we’ll be proud. Details will be announced soon in the BC Nature magazine, on BC Nature’s website (www.bcnature.ca/) and a new website being created specifically for the event.
 
5. Prince George Christmas Bird Count Results
On December 20, Club members and friends spotted 14,806 birds of 50 species – well above average:  the ten-year average is 45 species.  Irruptive winter birds boosted numbers, including Common Redpolls (3017), Pine Grosbeaks (641), Pine Siskins (276), and White-winged Crossbills (336), though  Bohemian Waxwings remained the most numerous species (4489). There were also high counts of Great Blue Herons (3), Bald Eagles (75), Rock Pigeons (559), Northern Flickers (120), Common Ravens (885), Brewer’s Blackbirds (310) and House Finches (495). 
 
6. Local Leucistic Redpoll!
Liz Hewison didn’t just spot a rare leucistic Redpoll, but managed to film it. See https://youtu.be/DXUg4Wa41Xk . You’ll note that its odd colouring certainly didn’t make it bashful.
 
7. Mackenzie Bird Turns up in Mexico
A Lincoln’s Sparrow banded at Mugaha Marsh has turned up, alive and well, 4,229 kilometres away in southern Mexico. For the story, see http://fwcp.ca/epic-journey-for-sparrow/ .
 
Other Events and Notes
 
1.  Wildlife Symposium: Saturday, 6 February, 2:00 – 4:00, Canfor Theatre, UNBC
The Spruce City Wildlife Association is hosting a symposium on the future of the province’s fish, wildlife and habitat. MLAs and other political leaders will be present, and attendees will be asked their views on ten to fifteen questions. Admission is free. 
 
2. Great Backyard Bird Count 
The next GBBC is being held on the weekend of February 12 – 15. See gbbc.birdcount.org .

3. Forest Practices Board newsletter
Club member Mike Nash has completed his term on the Forest Practices Board, but you can still follow development through the board’s newsletter. The latest edition is at www.bcfpb.ca/reports-publications/newsletters/issue/winter-2015-16/ .

Jumbo Wild at UNBC January 14

Come on out and enjoy a virtual wildlife encounter at UNBC next week! It’s actually about the proposed Jumbo Ski Resort development but come on out and learn more.

Jumbo Wild

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 20 December 2015

Club Events

  1. Club Christmas Bird Count, Sunday, December 20
    If you are wondering about taking part in this weekend’s Count, bear in mind that the main activity is an all-day commitment, concluding with a potluck tally-up in the early evening. You can also take part, though, 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. Contact Cathy Antoniazzi – canton1@telus.net or 250-562-2845 – for more info.
  1. Annual Club Swan and Eagle Count, 9:00 – 3:00, Sunday,
    Spruceland shopping centre sign on top with save on foods sign on bottom

    Meeting Place

    17 January
    Meet at 9:00 am under the central green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign. Bring lunch and snowshoes. Dress warmly.  For more info, email sjkinsey@direct.ca or phone at 250-963-8381.

  1. Presentation:  7:00 pm, Thursday, 21 January at The Exploration Place
    Alex Koiter, a Professional Agrologist and UNBC PhD candidate, will give a presentation on his work: more details to follow.
  1. Bird Skin Preparation Workshop by Ken Otter, morning, Saturday 23 January, UNBC
    Ken will show how bird specimens brought in by members are prepared for teaching purposes, and give a tour of the bird and mammal collection accumulated over the years.  Details on where to meet TBA.
  1. Snowshoe Trip to Livingstone Springs
    The date is being worked on – more details next time.

Notes

  1. Quesnel Chrismas Bird Count, January 3
    Prince George birders are a crucial part of this event — in their absence last year because of snow, the Quesnel count nearly ground to a halt. If you can help, contact Adrian Leather at qabis4@gmail.com: he’ll be delighted to hear from you.
  1. Porcupine Survey
    Porcupines appear to have been in real decline over recent years. You can help to get a handle on this by completing a brief survey by Thomson Rivers University  – see http://han29.typeform.com/to/Dh17rm.
  1. Exploring Prince George / Outdoor Safety & Survival – Christmas offer
    Mike Nash is offering a special Christmas discount for Club members on his books. See http://www3.telus.net/pgoutdoors/christmasoffer for details.
  1. Ever Wondered Why Crows Hold Funerals?
    There are some answers at http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/why-crows-hold-funerals-their-dead 

Clive Keen for
pgnc.wordpress.com
hbwetland.wordpress.com
pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes

Club News

No. 1 Outside Wetland Project Activity Wraps for 2015

A media release summarizing the project to date is attached. Behind-the scenes activities will of course continue, with on-the-ground work starting again in the spring.

No. 2 Naturalists Club Facebook Discussion Group
A new discussion group for naturalists is now available on Facebook. Just look for Prince George Naturalists Club Discussion. Everyone with an interest in nature is invited to join this group to ask questions and post information.

Club Notes

  1. Passing of Iris Peters

The Celebration of Life for Iris Peters was held at the Hart Crown Banquet Hall on October 9. Iris was past President of the Prince George Naturalists Club, and hosted the Practice Christmas Bird Count and June Barbeque for years. Sandra Hepburn spoke at the celebration on behalf of the Club.

  1. Prince George Naturalists Club blog: https://pgnc.wordpress.com

Blog readers who have signed up for an email subscription sometimes express concern that they don’t receive an important notice until a week after the notice is posted on the blog. The problem is easily fixed. Email subscribers can sign in to their WordPress account, go to Profile, then Notifications, and change the Subscription Delivery setting from Weekly delivery to either Daily or Instant delivery. 

3. Bear Watch!
Bears are hyperphagic (ravenously hungry) at this time of year, so make sure you don’t have anything edible tempting them to be where they shouldn’t. The guy below was tempted one night by bird feeders, which are much better kept indoors now, at least at night.

Bear2

 

 

Media Release Nov2015 1.2MB

Ancient Forest Feedback Meeting, October 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Provincial government is holding meetings over the next two weeks to get feedback on preserving the Ancient Forest and its unique ecosystems. The Prince George meeting is Thursday October 8, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lheidli T’enneh band office, 1041 Whenun Road.

The next Prince George Meeting is Thursday, October 15th at the Prince George Civic Centre 7-9 pm.

Everyone interested in preserving this remarkable site is encouraged to attend. The Caledonia Ramblers are leading the efforts to protect the Ancient Forest. For more details see the attached media release.

Ancient Forest News Release – Public Consultation

PG Naturalists Club Events and News, 6 October 2015

Club  Events

1. Team Presentation on the Galapagos Islands, Thursday, October 15, 7:00 pm, The Exploration Place
Nineteen Prince Georgians visited the magic islands in August, and a team of them will share their experiences of this paradise for naturalists. Below: one of the many weird denizens of Galapagos seen during the visit: a marine iguana.  

 Marine-Ig copy

2. Presentation on Wildlife Photography, Thursday, November 19, 7:00 pm, The Exploration Place
At the Club’s Show and Tell on May 21, Jeff Dyck gave a tantalizing view of the equipment he uses for wildlife photography. He will  return to give a full presentation on wildlife photography, which promises to be richly illustrated.

Club News

1. Major Wetland funding received from Fortis BC
Fortis BC is to provide $15,000 towards the cost of an observational overlook on the Heritage Trail, on the south side of the lake west of Queensway. Councillor Jillian Merrick nominated the Club for the grant, which was announced at the UBCM convention in Vancouver.
The overlook will be the fourth observation feature being added around the wetland. The first two were decks on the south and north sides of the channel, east of Queensway. The third feature, now pending construction, is a heightened deck on the north side of the lake, offering, like the Fortis BC overlook, a view of the entire lake. Just two major features now remain to be financed: a ramp allowing universal access to the channel loop, and a footbridge and boardwalk between the south and north sides of the lake, which will complete the 2.4 kilometre interpretive circuit. Habitat restoration and enhancement will be ongoing, but the Fortis BC grant gives a reasonable expectation that the substantive project will be complete in 2017.

2. BC Nature Request
Our parent organization has asked us to forward their request to help in the fight against the Gateway project. This can be found at:
www.bcnature.ca/join-us-in-the-fight-for-nature-and-help-us-protect-the-bc-coast/

3. Saving Rosebud Mountain
The big fir seen during the Club’s visit to Rosebud Mountain is now on the big tree registry and is the biggest recorded Interior Douglas Fir in the Prince George area. A revised video by James Steidle on Rosebud is now available at https://vimeo.com/123641372.