PGNC News and Notes, March 7, 2019

Club Events

1.Annual General Meeting and Gadgets Night, Thursday March 14
2. PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
3. Thursday April 18 Presentation Night
 
1. Annual General Meeting and Gadgets Night, Thursday March 14, 7 to 9 p.m., The Exploration Place
Election of Directors:The Annual General Meeting will be held in the Kordyban Learning Centre at The Exploration Place.New directors are always needed to ensure the Club stays healthy. Think about putting your name forward or nominating someone you believe would be suitable.
Proposed Bylaw Change:At the AGM, members will be asked to approve a change to the Club’s bylaws to remove Section 7 d. which states that a director is ineligible to stand for election after serving as a director for six consecutive years. The six-year limit comes into effect at the 2020 AGM unless the bylaw is removed at this AGM. For information on the reason for the recommended change, as well as a copy of the current bylaws, go to the Events page on the Club blog: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/trips. Then come to the meeting and have your say about the proposed bylaw change!
Gadgets Night:Following the AGM there will be a Gadgets Night where members can show how they observe or record wildlife. This could be a trail cam, videos, photos, or stories of a special encounter or experience. Please email us before March 14 at princegeorgenaturalistsclub@gmail.comto let us know what gadgets you are bringing or what you will be showing on screen. You can bring your videos, photos or slides on a laptop that has an HDMI port so you can connect to the big-screen TV. Or you can bring them on a USB drive to show on an available laptop. This event is presented in partnership with The Exploration Place.
2. PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
 
The membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Costis $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/You can also join the Club or renew your membership at the presentation night at the AGM on March 14.
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine,liabiity insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and invitations to popular events limited to members only.
3. Thursday April 18 Presentation Night, 7 to 9 p.m. at The Exploration Place
Reserve the date and watch for details in the next newsletter.
Club Reports
1. February 21, Birdwatching Tourism on the Otago Peninsula
Diana Kutzner, UNBC Research Manager, presented the highlights of her PhD dissertation research on nature-based tourism on the Otago Peninsula in New Zealand. While the main focus was on tourism, Diana touched on the universal problems of introduced pests and predators including possums, stoats and feral cats, as well as the variety and dynamics of species such as the yellow-eyed penguin, the blue penguin, the albatross and New Zealand sea lions. Here’s a livestream of a Royal Albatross family and their chick, hatched January 24, 2019 at the Royal Albatross Centre in Dunedin on the Otago Peninsula: http://tinyurl.com/y6oz495fThe evening was presented in partnership with The Exploration Place.
2. March 2, PGNC at Seedy Saturday
Seedy Saturday attracted several hundred visitors at its new location in Trinity United Downtown, formerly Knox United. Volunteers at our Club table provided information handouts on Winter Birds, Summer Birds, Feeding Birds at Home, Gardens for Birds, the Hudson’s Bay Wetland, and the 2019 Wednesday Walks. We also provided copies of the Checklist of North-Central BC Birds and of course encouraged visitors to join the PGNC! A big thank-you goes out to all the volunteers who provided information to visitors, and to the bird-lovers and gardeners who helped fine-tune the handouts on Feeding Birds at Home and Gardens for Birds. Feeding Birds at Home is available as a PDF here: Feeding Birds at Home. Gardens for Birds is being expanded by popular demand.
Other News and Events
 
BC Parks Seeks Input on Management of the Ancient Forest
Here’s a link to BC Parks’ page on developing a management plan for the Ancient Forest: http://tinyurl.com/y5wd6dybhttp Public input is invited until March 31.
Eavesdropping on Silence
Nature Conservancy Canada asks: Have you ever stood in the middle of a field or forest and tried to listen to the silence? It’s actually harder than is seems. Check out this link at Nature Conservancy Canada to learn more about an acoustic ecologist who uses sound recordings to confirm what wildlife are present in a natural area, as well as their population densities: http://tinyurl.com/y3njryqe
And here’s a story about Gordon Hempton, an acoustic ecologist, and his experience of the amazing sounds of nature in Grasslands National Park: https://www.canadiangeographic.ca/article/sounds-silence Unlike so much of the US and Canada, this park satisfies Hempton’s benchmark for natural quiet: 15 minutes of daylight without human-caused noise including trains, planes and highways. Hempton argues that the loss of silence in nature is the canary in the coal mine. He sees the preservation of natural quiet as part of a continuum that includes maintaining species diversity and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. It’s a long article but contains much of interest about noise-induced hearing loss and noise pollution in general.
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PGNC News and Notes, February 19, 2019

Club Events

1. Birdwatching Tourism on the Otago Peninsula, Thursday February 21
2. Dead Birds Collection, Thursday February 21
3. Seedy Saturday, March 2
4. Annual General Meeting and Gadgets Night, Thursday March 14
5. PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
1. Birdwatching Tourism on the Otago Peninsula – Social-ecological System Change and Adaptation, Thursday February 21, 7 to 9 p.m., The Exploration Place
 This presentation by Diana Kutzner will highlight the results of her PhD study into the social-ecological resilience of nature-based tour operations using the case study destination of the Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand. The study area is undergoing significant changes, from increases in tourist traffic to dramatic declines of one of the world’s rarest penguins – the Yellow-Eyed Penguin – in recent years. To learn about the ways in which birdwatching tour operators build resilience to drivers of environmental change, including climatic drivers, qualitative interviews were conducted with local stakeholders of the birdwatching tourism sector including tour operators, conservation organizations, and local government members. This presentation highlights the research findings, including current and possible future challenges as well as opportunities for birdwatching tourism on the Otago Peninsula. This event is presented in partnership with The Exploration Place.
 
2. Dead Birds Collection, Thursday February 21, 6:30 to 7 p.m.
 Ken Otter at UNBC needs dead birds! We can bring our frozen birds to the presentation night between 6:30 and 7 p.m., prior to the start of Diana Kutzner’s presentation at The Exploration Place. Add a label if you know how, when and where the bird died. The bird remains will be carefully stored until they are delivered to Ken on Friday.
 
3. Seedy Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Knox United Church, 1448 – 5th Avenue
The PGNC is participating in Seedy Saturday on March 2. This is a great event for naturalists, gardeners and anyone who loves and appreciates the natural world. See the poster for details.

Seedy Saturday 2019 Poster

4. Annual General Meeting and Gadgets Night, Thursday March 14, 7 to 9 p.m., The Exploration Place
Election of Directors: The Club’s Annual General Meeting will be held in the Kordyban Learning Centre at The Exploration Place.New directors are always needed to ensure the Club stays healthy. Think about putting your name forward or nominating someone you believe would be suitable.
Proposed Bylaw Change: At the AGM, members will be asked to approve a change to the Club’s bylaws to remove Section 7 d. which states that a director is ineligible to stand for election after serving as a director for six consecutive years. The six-year limit comes into effect at the 2020 AGM unless the bylaw is removed before then.
The membership approved this bylaw in 2014 out of concern that the Executive would become the preserve of too many long-serving directors, with no way for new directors to get involved. However, there has been sufficient turnover since 2014 to remove the fear that the board will become “frozen in time” with long-serving directors controlling the Executive. On the contrary, there is a need to retain a few willing directors with longterm experience after the 2020 AGM. Removing this bylaw will permit a mix of long-serving and new directors who will best serve the Club and its membership.
Gadgets Night: Following the AGM there will be a short Gadgets Night where members can show how they observe or record wildlife. This could be a trail cam, videos, photos, or stories of a special encounter or experience. Please email us before March 14 at princegeorgenaturalistsclub@gmail.com to let us know what gadgets you are bringing or what you will be showing on screen. This event is presented in partnership with The Exploration Place.
5. PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
The membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ You can also join the Club or renew your membership at the presentation night on February 21 and at the AGM on March 14.
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liabiity insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and invitations to popular events limited to members only.

PGNC News and Notes, February 8, 2019

Club Events

1. Birdwatching Tourism on the Otago Peninsula, Thursday February 21
2. Seedy Saturday, March 2
3. Annual General Meeting and Gadgets Night, Thursday March 14
4. PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
1. Birdwatching Tourism on the Otago Peninsula – Social-ecological System Change and Adaptation, Thursday February 21, 7 to 9 p.m., The Exploration Place
 
This presentation by Diana Kutzner will highlight the results of her PhD study into the social-ecological resilience of nature-based tour operations using the case study destination of the Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand. The study area is undergoing significant changes, from increases in tourist traffic to dramatic declines of one of the world’s rarest penguins – the Yellow-Eyed Penguin – in recent years.  To learn about the ways in which birdwatching tour operators build resilience to drivers of environmental change, including climatic drivers, qualitative interviews were conducted with local stakeholders of the birdwatching tourism sector including tour operators, conservation organizations, and local government members. This presentation highlights the research findings, including current and possible future challenges as well as opportunities for birdwatching tourism on the Otago Peninsula. This event is presented in partnership with The Exploration Place.
kutzner_naturalistclub
2. Seedy Saturday, March 2,  10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Knox United Church, 1448 – 5th Avenue
The PGNC is participating in Seedy Saturday on March 2 and we need to choose a theme for our information table. Are there any members or supporters who could do a display on foraging or on gathering seeds from wild plants? Have you any other seedy themes you would like to help promote? We would love to hear from you at princegeorgenaturalistsclub@gmail.com by Tuesday February 12, with suggestions for a theme, including details of how you can help pull the display together.
3. Annual General Meeting and Gadgets Night, Thursday March 14, 7 to 9 p.m., The Exploration Place
Election of Directors: The Club’s Annual General Meeting will be held in the Kordyban Learning Centre at The Exploration Place. New directors are always needed to ensure the Club stays healthy. Think about putting your name forward or nominating someone you believe would be suitable.
Proposed Bylaw Change: At the AGM, members will be asked to approve a change to the Club’s bylaws to remove Section 7 d. which states that a director is ineligible to stand for election after serving as a director for six consecutive years. The six-year limit comes into effect at the 2020 AGM unless the bylaw is removed before then.
The membership approved this bylaw in 2014 out of concern that the Executive would become the preserve of too many long-serving directors, with no way for new directors to get involved. However, there has been sufficient turnover since 2014 to remove the fear that the board will become “frozen in time” with long-serving directors controlling the Executive. On the contrary, there is a need to retain a few willing directors with longterm experience after the 2020 AGM. Removing this bylaw will permit a mix of long-serving and new directors who will best serve the Club and its membership.
Gadgets Night: Following the AGM there will be a short “gadgets night” where members can show how they observe or record wildlife. This could be a trail cam, videos, photos, or stories of a special encounter or experience.
4. PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
 
The membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ You can also join the Club or renew your membership at the presentation night on February 21 and at the AGM on March 14.
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liabiity insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and invitations to popular events limited to members only.
Notes
City of Prince George Sanitary Sewer Bylaw Update: Survey available until February 15
 
The City of Prince George is seeking input from local stakeholders including residents as it updates its sanitary sewer bylaw. Why is this important to naturalists? Because we care about water quality including its impact on birds, mammals and other wildlife. We also care about the health of the Fraser River which receives the City’s treated wastewater. If you are wondering about the quality of waste water going into the wastewater treatment plant (aka Mallard Winter Spa) or the Shelley Lagoons (aka Smelly Lagoons /Migratory Birds Stopover), it’s worth reading the background information and doing the related survey. Both are available on the City’s website at: https://tinyurl.com/y7xznsrq  The deadline to complete the survey is Friday February 15.
BC Nature Grizzly and Whale Nature Camp, September 9 to 12 at Telegraph Cove
BC Nature is holding a Grizzly and Whale Nature Camp, September 9 to 12, 2019 at Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island. The PGNC is a chapter of BC Nature, a federation of local natural history groups representing over 50 local nature clubs throughout BC. These events are very popular and often fill up quickly. For more information on schedules, costs and registration, Club members can check out page 19 of the winter 2018 edition of BC Nature magazine. Registration will start promptly at 9 a.m. on Tuesday March 12 by phone call only.
Moose in the City
Local residents have recently been warned to keep their distance from a moose and two calves browsing in the Ginter’s Meadow area. See more moose in the city in this video of a pair of moose browsing outside a home in a Prince George neighbourhood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf-pm2936Uc&t (submitted by Mike Nash)
Jasper National Park Management Plan
Parks Canada has formally launched the first phase of public engagement on management plans for the southern mountain national parks including Jasper. New management plans are due for 2020. Input from the public, stakeholder organizations, Indigenous peoples, local communities and visitors will play an important role through the management planning process. The first engagement phase will cover the scope, or key topics, of the management plan review. The following link provides access to management planning information and feedback tools for Jasper National Park: https://www.letstalkmountainparks.ca/jasper (thanks to Mike Nash for forwarding this information).

PGNC News and Notes, January 28, 2019

Club Events

1. Birdwatching Tourism on the Otago Peninsula – Social-ecological System Change and Adaptation, Thursday February 21, 7 to 9 p.m., The Exploration Place
 
This presentation by Diana Kutzner will highlight the results of her PhD study into the social-ecological resilience of nature-based tour operations using the case study destination of the Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand. The study area is undergoing significant changes, from increases in tourist traffic to dramatic declines of one of the world’s rarest penguins – the Yellow-Eyed Penguin – in recent years.  To learn about the ways in which birdwatching tour operators build resilience to drivers of environmental change, including climatic drivers, qualitative interviews were conducted with local stakeholders of the birdwatching tourism sector including tour operators, conservation organizations, and local government members. This presentation highlights the research findings, including current and possible future challenges as well as opportunities for birdwatching tourism on the Otago Peninsula. This event is presented in partnership with The Exploration Place.
kutzner_naturalistclub
2. Seedy Saturday, March 2,  10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Knox United Church, 1448 – 5th Avenue
The PGNC is participating in Seedy Saturday on March 2 and we need to choose a theme for our information table. Are there any members or supporters who could do a display on foraging or on gathering seeds from wild plants? Have you any other seedy themes you would like to help promote? We would love to hear from you at Princegeorgenaturalistsclub@gmail.com by Tuesday February 12, with suggestions for a theme, including details of how you can help pull the display together.

Club Reports

 
1. January 13, Annual Swan and Eagle Count
The official Naturalists Club outing on Sunday, Jan 13, 2019, checked out the Crooked River for swans and eagles. Unfortunately, the 200 Road was not ploughed so we weren’t able to snowshoe to a couple of favourite spots. Nevertheless, we tallied 29 Trumpeter Swans, of which only three were immature. This is a good number for the past 20 years or so. We don’t get as many swans as we used to, probably due to our warmer winters. The swans can stay farther north. We saw 4 adult Bald Eagles. The weather was very pleasant and the sun shone quite often. Thank you to Angie, Emily, David W, Bev, Victoria, Andrea and Jake for participating.

Twelve members and non-members checked out the Prince George area (including the Heather Road landfill), Vanderhoof, Ft. St. James, Fraser and Francois Lakes, and the Upper Nechako, Stellaquo and Nautley Rivers for a tally of 194 adult and 45 immature Trumpeter Swans, and 81 Bald Eagles. (Report by Sandra Kinsey)
2. January 17, Life in Subirdia: Mountain Chickadees in Urban Environments
An overflow audience enjoyed Ken Otter’s presentation on how mountain chickadees survive and adapt in urban environments. The research was conducted in the Okanagan with collaborators at Thompson Rivers University. As a naturalist and a gardener, I was intrigued to learn that urban landscapes are not conducive to providing the caterpillers and insects required to feed young chickadees, due to spacing between trees and shrubs. The best thing we can do to support chickadees and other bird life is to grow native species and plant shrubs and hedges which harbour the native insects that birds feed on. This event was presented in partnership with The Exploration Place. (Report by Anne Hogan)
3. PGNC Memberships
 
The membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ You can also join the Club or renew your membership at the presentation night on February 21.
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liabiity insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and invitations to popular events limited to members only.
4. BC Nature Grizzly and Whale Nature Camp, September 9 to 12 at Telegraph Cove
The PGNC is a chapter of BC Nature, a federation of local natural history groups representing over 50 local nature clubs throughout BC. BC Nature is holding a Grizzly and Whale Nature Camp, September 9 to 12, 2019 at Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island. These events are very popular and often fill up quickly. For more information on schedules, costs and registration, see page 19 of the winter 2018 edition of BC Nature magazine. Registration will start promptly at 9 a.m. on Tuesday March 12 by phone call only.

Notes

1. Raising Chicks in the Big City, Friday February 1, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., UNBC Room 8-164
Raising Chicks in the Big City: How colony size limits provisioning rates and reproductive success for an Arctic seabird. Presenter is Allison Patterson, PhD candidate, McGill University. For detailed information go to the UNBC Events page at: https://tinyurl.com/ydxxgwhj
2. RASC Observatory Open House, Friday February 1, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 7365 Tedford Road.
 
The evening’s talk will be “History of the Hubble Space Telescope” given by special guest Chris Gainor, PhD at 7:30 p.m. with astronomical viewing between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (weather permitting). Dress warmly. Suggested donation of $2/person or $5/family. Please angle park in the newly expanded parking lots.
 
3.  “Ellesmere Light” Expedition, Sunday February 10, 7 p.m., CNC Lecture Theatre 1-306
Come on an adventure across Ellesmere Island with veteran Arctic traveller John Dunn as he makes a 50-day summer crossing of Canada’s northernmost island. Tickets are $15 at eventbrite and at the door. The attached poster provides more information. Thanks to Dave Read for drawing this to our attention. Dave notes that this presentation will be of interest to those who enjoy photography of self-propelled activities in remote places and natural surroundings.
John Dunn PG-11.jpeg

PGNC News and Notes, January 13, 2019

Club Events

Life in Subirdia: Mountain Chickadees in Urban Environments, Thursday January 17, 7 to 9 p.m., The Exploration Place
 
Presenter Ken Otter is a Professor in the Ecosystem Science Management Program at UNBC. Since the early 90s, Ken has been conducting research on chickadees and titmice, both in Canada and Europe. Most of this work has centered on reproductive behaviour and signalling, but this focus shifted a bit when Ken arrived at UNBC as he became interested in how settlement of birds in different habitats could affect their natural history. His initial work in this field looked at the effects on individual condition and reproductive success of black-capped chickadees settling in young vs mature forests, but over the last 10 years, he has begun looking at how chickadees perceive and respond to the challenges of expanding urbanization. This talk will introduce an unexpected twist to the tale. It focuses on work Ken is doing with collaborators at Thompson Rivers University on mountain chickadees settling in urban landscapes. Defying predictions, mountain chickadees – relative habitat specialists – show indicators that urban lifestyles seem to suit them. The talk will focus around what benefits mountain chickadees seem to gain from urban breeding, and what challenges they may still face. This event is presented in partnership with The Exploration Place. (Clive Keen photo).
moch2

Club Reports

 
PGNC Memberships
 
The membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ You can also join the Club or renew your membership at the presentation night on January 17.
Membership benefit: Members get 10% off all purchases of bird seed at Spruce Capital Feeds – an important consideration for feeding birds during the winter months.
New PGNC Director
We are pleased to welcome Blaire Smith to the PGNC Executive! Blaire is currently a student at UNBC, working on a BSc in Wildlife and Fisheries. Her previous experience includes working as a fisheries technician with FLNRO; recovery of Northern Leopard Frogs; and invasive plant management on ungulate winter range. Blaire previously was a member of the Rocky Mountain Naturalist Club and is looking forward to getting more involved with the PGNC. The Executive appointed Blaire in November to fill one of four vacancies established at last year’s Annual General Meeting.
 
Prince George Naturalists Club Discussion Group
 
The Club Discussion Group on Facebook is a great location for group members to post notices of events and sightings of interest to naturalists. Anyone can apply for membership and join the conversation.
 

Notes

 
1. Landslide Research at the Geological Survey of Canada, Friday January 18, 3:30 p.m. UNBC Room 8-164
 
Dr. Andree Blais-Stevens, Project Leader, Landslides and Marine Geohazards, Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. Dr. Blais-Stevens will briefly introduce the Public Safety Hazards program and its research activities across Canada. The main role of a research scientist at the GSC is to provide baseline geoscience information to various jurisdictions, stakeholders, and decision-makers. She will discuss her landslide research in areas of British Columbia and Yukon. Examples of landslide susceptibility maps will be presented from the Sea to Sky Corridor, Douglas Channel, and Yukon-Alaska Highway. The Sutherland River and Khyex River landslides in northwestern BC will also be presented. Finally, she will touch on the results of regularly updating the map of historical landslides that have caused fatalities in Canada since 1771.
2. RASC Observatory Open House, Friday February 1, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 7365 Tedford Road.
 
The evening’s talk will be “History of the Hubble Space Telescope” given by special guest Chris Gainor, Ph.D. at 7:30 p.m. with astronomical viewing between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (weather permitting). Dress warmly. Suggested donation of $2/person or $5/family. Please angle park in the newly expanded parking lots.
 
3. “Ellesmere Light” Expedition, Sunday February 10, 7 p.m., CNC Lecture Theatre 1-306
Come on an adventure across Ellesmere Island with veteran Arctic traveller John Dunn as he makes a 50-day summer crossing of Canada’s northernmost island. Tickets are $15 at eventbrite and at the door. The attached poster provides more information. Thanks to Dave Read for drawing this to our attention. Dave notes that this presentation will be of interest to those who enjoy photography of self-propelled activities in remote places and natural surroundings.

john dunn pg-11

PGNC News and Notes, January 1, 2019

Club Events

1. Swan and Eagle Count Field Trip, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday January 13
The annual Swan and Eagle Count is largely carried out by car, and walks are fairly short. As a result, this event always goes ahead whatever the temperature. Meet for a 9 a.m. 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. Gas share cost is $10. For more info, email sjkinsey@direct.caor phone at 250-963-8381.
2. Life in Subirdia: Mountain Chickadees in Urban Environments, 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday January 17, The Exploration Place
Presenter Ken Otter is a Professor in the Ecosystem Science Management Program at UNBC. Since the early 90s, Ken has been conducting research on chickadees and titmice, both in Canada and Europe. Most of this work has centered on reproductive behaviour and signalling, but this focus shifted a bit when Ken arrived at UNBC as he became interested in how settlement of birds in different habitats could affect their natural history. His initial work in this field looked at the effects on individual condition and reproductive success of black-capped chickadees settling in young vs mature forests, but over the last 10 years, he has begun looking at how chickadees perceive and respond to the challenges of expanding urbanization. This talk will introduce an unexpected twist to the tale. It focuses on work Ken is doing with collaborators at Thompson Rivers University on mountain chickadees settling in urban landscapes. Defying predictions, mountain chickadees –relative habitat specialists – show indicators that urban lifestyles seem to suit them. The talk will focus around what benefits mountain chickadees seem to gain from urban breeding, and what challenges they may still face. This event is presentated in partnership with The Exploration Place.

Club Reports

1. December 16, Christmas Bird Count(report by Cathy Antioniazzi, PG CBC Compiler)
Thank you to everyone who took part on the count on Sunday! Despite quite a few sick calls, circle coverage was good.
We found 48 species and 12,964 birds this year which is a bit above average. I looked back and the average for the last ten years is 46 species (range from 41-55) and 10,000 birds (range from 6900-14,800). The numbers this year are a bit misleading though. The total includes over 8,000 Bohemian Waxwings! Many of the feeder watchers and counters indicated that it was “very slow” and that there weren’t many birds around. In fact, the total for most species was down from last year. It is hard to know if weather was a factor. It might have been too good—not much snow, temps above freezing, not much wind, lots of natural food around so the birds weren’t concentrated at feeders?
There were a few highlights! An American Wigeon was spotted amid the Mallards for a second count record. I wonder if it is the same bird that wintered last year. 102 Bald Eagles were at the landfill! 134 Bald Eagles were found which is an all time high. Eurasian Collared-Dove numbers continue to increase—36 were seen for an all time high count. A Gyrfalcon was photographed on Gunn Road. Likely a result of the paltry amount of snow, there were quite a few hawks around—2 Northern Harriers, 2 Red-tailed Hawks and 4 Rough-legged Hawks. A Northern Hawk Owl and a Barred Owl were good finds.One of the Blue Jays that has been frequenting a feeder on Old Summit Lake Road got counted (there have been up to three seen—wonder if they bred?) 
There were two real surprises. A warbler was seen briefly and photographed in College Heights. Unfortunately no one could get a clear enough view to identify it and the photos are dark. I am still hopeful that it will be identified. Yellow-rumped Warblers have been seen in December before, but this bird appeared to be more yellow. Last but definitely not least, a Brown-headed Cowbird was also reported. I don’t have any details yet, but it would be a first count record.
What isn’t found on a CBC is often more interesting than what is found. There were NO Pine or Evening Grosbeaks this year and, despite the large cone crop, only one White-winged Crossbill was seen and no Red Crossbills.
The only count week bird that I have heard about was a Short-eared Owl that Sandy and Laird saw at the airport. Please let me know if you saw any birds during count week (December 13 to 19) that weren’t found on Sunday.
I’ve highlighted the birds on the table (see PDF) that have been seen fewer than ten times on the CBC.
2. PGNC Memberships
The membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Costis $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/You can also join the Club or renew memberships at the presentation night on January 17.

Notes

1. Beyond the Ecosystem Tipping Point: forestry, climate change and biodiversity. What can we do? 3:30 p.m., Friday January 11, UNBC Room 8-164
Speaker is Frank Doyle, Wildlife Dynamics, Smithers.
2. Introduction to Astronomy, 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday January 12, Prince George Astronomical Society, 7365 Tedford Road
Learn how telescopes work and actually use them. Learn what’s in the night sky. Learn how to observe. For more information, call 250-964-3600 or see the Society’s Facebook page.

PGNC News and Notes, November 28, 2018

Club Events

Christmas Bird CountSunday  December 16, 2018
This year marks the 51st Prince George Christmas Bird Count. The PG Naturalists Club held the first one in 1968! The main activity is an all-day commitment working with a field team to count birds in specific areas, concluding with a potluck tally-up in the early evening. You can also take part by keeping a count of your feeder and yard birds, as long as you live within the Prince George count circle. For details see:  http://www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/cbc/maps/BCPG.pdf. If you would like to participate, contact Cathy Antoniazzi  (PG CBC Compiler) by email at canton1@telus.net by Sunday December 9.
 

Club Reports

 
1. The Pacific Marten on Haida Gwaii, Thursday November 15
A capacity audience in the Kordyban Learning Centre enjoyed David Breault’s presentation on his research on Pacific Marten on Haida Gwaii. David included considerable context on the culture of Haida Gwaii as well as marten biology and eating habits. We learned that they are dietary generalists and will eat just about anything, including birds eggs, which could pose a threat to bird populations if the marten population expands. The event was presented in partnership with The Exploration Place.
 
2. Caribou Viewing Field Trip, Saturday November 17
The group of 15 Club members traveled to Kennedy Siding, just past Mackenzie, to learn about the woodland caribou from three local biologists. The attendees were treated to an up-close and personal look at roughly 20 caribou feeding and playing in the snow. Wildlife ecologist, Dale Seip, taught the group about the population recovery program and habitat ecology of the caribou herds in the area. Doug Heard, the wildlife biologist involved with the supplemental feeding and monitoring program, spoke about the individual animals identified from photo analysis, as well as the winter feeding habits. Mike Klaczek, a local wildlife biologist who studies the caribou’s movements, spoke about the GPS monitoring taking place, and what it tells us about seasonal movements and patterns in wolf predation.
3. Join the PGNC or Renew Your Membership
The membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. First-time members who join now are paid-up to December 31, 2019. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. 

Notes

 
Wednesday December 5, Bears, Bylaws and Bungee Cords, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Prince George Public Library, Keith Gordon Room
From Northern Bear Awareness Society: Join us for a presentation and open discussion forum focused on the bears and garbage issue in Prince George. After we give an overview of the current situation and factors involved, we invite you to share your ideas for practical solutions. Everything from securing cans with bungee cords, to encouraging the City to develop and enforce stricter garbage bylaws will be addressed. Following the presentation and discussion, we will hold our Annual General Meeting at 8:00. If you are passionate about bears and would like to put that passion to use proactively, please consider joining our board of directors.
 
Wednesday December 5, Free Solo, 7 p.m. Famous Players 6 Cinemas in Prince George (submitted by Mike Nash)
The movie Free Solo is playing in Prince George on Wednesday December 5 at 7 p.m. at the Famous Players 6 Cinemas in Prince George. Sponsored by the Prince George Section of the Alpine Club of Canada, tickets are $19 each and are only available through Eventbrite at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/free-solo-film-screening-tickets-51597184568 Judy and I saw this remarkable film at a sold out screening at the Lux Theatre in Banff just before this year’s Mountain Book Festival, and I highly recommend it. Both a stunning athletic achievement and a strong human story, you could have heard a pin drop in the crowded theatre as tension built.
About the film: From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi (“MERU”) and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin comes National Geographic Documentary Film’s FREE SOLO, a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of the free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock … the 3,000ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park … without a rope. Celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, Honnold’s climb set the ultimate standard: perfection or death. Succeeding in this challenge, Honnold enters his story in the annals of human achievement. FREE SOLO is both an edge-of-your seat thriller and an inspiring portrait of an athlete who exceeded our current understanding of human physical and mental potential. The result is a triumph of the human spirit.