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scott-macdougall-shackletonProfessor Scott MacDougall-Shackleton, Director of Advanced Facility for Avian Research at UWO, gave a presentation on birds and how they respond to changes in weather and daylight, and how they cope with the winter.

 

Some bird behavior is guided and influenced by the length of daylight. This is one of the factors that influences migration. Birds migrate based partially on day length. Hours of daylight let them know it is time to start their spring and fall migrations. Even caged birds display migratory restlessness by fluttering their wings and moving back and forth inside their cages during migration time for their species.

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Join the Thames Talbot Land Trust this weekend for their dedication and official opening of Hawk Cliff Woods! This is a free outdoor event taking place on September the 17th and 18th from 10am-3:30pm. The dedication and official opening takes place on September 18th at 12:30pm. The Celebration is hosted by the St Thomas Field Naturalist Club (STFNC), the Hawk Cliff Banders, and volunteers of Monarch Watch.

Highlights include:

  • Dedication and Official Opening of Hawk Cliff Woods
  • Hawk banding demonstrations by STFNC and Hawk Cliff Banders
  • Monarch Butterfly tagging demonstrations by STFNC and volunteers of Monarch Watch
  • Educational programing by Let’s Talk Science
  • Guided hikes led by Thames Talbot Land Trust
  • Tree climbing with Tree Climbing Canada
  • …and more!
Check out the Thames Talbot Land Trust website for the full schedule.

Make sure to bring a pair of binoculars, a raptor field guide, a folding chair, and a spotting scope! And don’t forget something to drink and snack on!

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If the allure of migrating raptors isn’t quite enough, Hawk Cliff is also a great place to see Monarch butterflies. These insects follow a similar route to the hawks and eagles when they head south for the winter, which means they also pass through the Hawk Cliff area.

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There are 15 species of hummingbirds living north of Mexico but only the Ruby-throated Hummingbird can be seen in Lambton County.

Only three to three-and-half inches long and weighing about as much as a penny, they can flap their wings more than 50 times per second, producing a humming sound. They can fly forwards, backwards or straight up or down and can hover to feed from flowers. They accomplish all this by tilting their wings in much the same way as helicopter rotor blades are tilted to change direction. (more…)

Spring has arrived and many of our flights of fancy have turned to the skies and the colorful migrants which are slowly making their way north through Sarnia. When many people think of spring birding, journeys to the legendary Long Point and Point Pelee often come to mind. Although these places are brilliant for birding, you do not have to travel so far to see the wonders of spring migration. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the city. Canatara Park is a terrific spot to watch birds. (more…)