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Dressed for quest – Kiah Jasper will share his Ontario Big Year this Thursday in Owen Sound.


Kiah Jasper, Ontario's new champion birder, will be the featured guest speaker at the Owen Sound Field Naturalists' (OSFN) monthly indoor meeting Thursday, Feb. 9, starting 7:00 p.m. at the Bayshore Community Centre.

He'll be talking about his quest for the Ontario Big Year record, discussing his accomplishment as well as sharing birding tales and techniques. This popular gathering is also an opportunity to share your recent wildlife and nature sightings.

OSFN and I first became aware of Kiah, when he introduced himself in an email I received in January 2017, as "a 14 year old wildlife photographer from the Bruce." He indicated that he had "enjoyed birding since he was young."

Since that time Kiah has been connected to a community of helpful experts, and has become one himself, leading outings for the Bruce Birding Club.

He's also served as compiler for the Saugeen Shores Christmas Bird Count (CBC), and he recently joined the board of the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) sharing his research and suggestions on tricky ID challenges in essays and articles.

In January 2022 he set out to challenge the Ontario birding Big Year record. Using such apps as eBird and his well-developed communication skills, he documented this journey with updates, complemented by his superb photography, as he chased a new record. Several other competitors were never far behind.

Here is your chance to see and hear Kiah Jasper's story of this monumental accomplishment, first hand, at the Bayshore Community Centre, Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7:00 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to attend in person – admission is free or by donation.


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A flock of birders – Kiah Jasper, left, is part of a dedicated crew. His photos are below.
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OSFN also plans to offer the presentation as a hybrid via Zoom as well. A zoom link is emailed to OSFN club members. Others who are interested may request a Zoom link, in advance, by emailing web@osfn with Kiah in the subject line.

For more details about OSFN (a registered charity) on this event, the Young Naturalists Club, Nature publications, field trips and more, please visit


Les Anderson sends this wonderful photograph from Allenford:


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Les Anderson notes open water in the Sauble River attracts this
resident Bald Eagle to a perch where it can watch for fish.



This just in from the Publications Committee of the OSFN:

The fifth edition of the Vascular Plant List Bruce and Grey is a keystone publication of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists.

If you want to sustain wildlife with native plants, this book will give you all the native plants, shrubs and trees for Bruce and Grey. It is an essential reference for naturalists, botanists, life science inventory specialists, land use planners, resource management agencies, and consultants who are working within Bruce and Grey counties.

The OSFN approached and contracted field ecologist Tyler Miller to digitize and revise the list and over the past two years he has totally updated our 5th Edition. It includes 1611 taxa (species, subspecies and hybrids) for 131 families, including all locally and provincially rare plants found in the counties.

If you have an old copy of the Vascular Plant List, you will definitely want to order this new release available in spiral bound print format, PDF and for the serious botanist, the Vascular Plant List Bruce and Grey: Compendium – a fully annotated digital version with dataset.

All three versions will be available this spring through our website.

We, the Publications Committee of the OSFN, will have a table and sign-up sheet for advance orders at the February 9 meeting.


William Gray shares his photos of Eastern Bluebirds chilling out in Ben Allen at the beginning of the month:

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The Bluewater Association for Lifelong Learning (BALL) still has two more lectures, only on Zoom, in its acclaimed current series Climate Crisis: Perspectives, Insights, and Solutions.

A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergencywith Seth Klein, a columnist for Canada's National Observer and adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University

  • Thursday, Feb. 9, 10:00 a.m.

So Global Warming is Real, Now What Are We Going To Do About It? – with Timothy Dixon, a University of South Florida (USF) professor who studies earthquakes, subsidence, flooding and the Greenland ice sheet; and Jacqueline Dixon, Dean of the USF College of Marine Science from 2011 to 2020, who studies Earth's deep CO2 and water cycles that provide CO2 to the atmosphere

  • Thursday, Feb. 16, 10:00 a.m.

For full details on these engaging presentations visit here.


When the snow began to return in late January I was able to find enough to ski some wilderness areas where I observed beaver, lots of crows, a few ravens, hawks, and woodpeckers, including one pileated.

Now that we are into February, I am confident that we will see plenty of sunshine, with clear skies, higher than usual barometric pressure, and temperatures often cooler than last month. This is the February weather pattern I began to notice here about four decades ago.


Jody Johnson Pettit, coordinator of OSFN's Young Naturalists Club shares this report:

The snow was deep, and the wind was cold, but 15 members of the Owen Sound Young Naturalists Club, along with their parents, were troopers to search for fossils on Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Fossil Glen Nature Reserve in Goergian Bluffs.

Several in the group wore snowshoes to help blaze the trail. It was also an opportunity for a few of the children to try out snowshoes for the first time. The group spotted red squirrel tracks in the snow, rock formations, and halysite fossils.

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Young Naturalists on a trek for fossils in Georgian Bluffs, above, photographed by
Jody Johnson Pettit. Below, the middle panel shows fossil records of chain coral, or halysites.
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A message from Jim Penner of the Bruce Grey Woodland Association:

Mark Your Calendars: The 2023 Woodlot Conference will return to an in-person format.

The date is Saturday Mar. 25, at the Elmwood Community Centre.

The following is the tentative Agenda:

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.
     Opening remarks and administration
9:40 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.
     Willet’s Woods Rehabilitation - John Willet - LindsayTownship
10:25 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.
     Moths – Brian Robins – OS Field Naturalist
11:10 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.
     Forest Health – MNRF or CFIA specialist
11:55 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.
12:05 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
     Lunch and view exhibits
1:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.
     Award of Merit Presentation – Bruce Grey Woodlands Association
1:20 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
     Grading Standing Timber – Joe Allen
2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
     Why Your Neighbour Gets More For Their Woodlot – Terry Schwann
3:00 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.
     Evaluation and details of Sunday tour

Registration fees are $30 if you pre-register or $40 at the door.

To pre-register please email your name and email address to: [email protected]. If you are registering other attendees please provide their info as well.


Carol L. Edwards-Harrison contributes this classic cardinal look-at-me don't-look-at-me routine:


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Carol L. Edwards-Harrison shares a classic cardinal pose, complete with cedars and snow.



Zane Profile PicCongratulations are in order for another young Bruce County birder!

Over the past couple of years I occasionally heard the name Zane Shantz, in local birding circumstances, and one day recently I met him, with his binoculars and camera, on the trail near Ben Allen.

When I opened up my Birds Canada 2023 Calendar, seeing in each month specially selected photos sent by their supporters, it was a pleasant surprise indeed to see Zane Shantz, 16, listed with the April photo.

"Black-billed Cuckoos are very secretive birds, and are quite challenging to photograph," Zane comments.

"Over the years I have failed to get the perfect shot of one, but at last during spring migration of 2022, I succeeded! The bird was hardly aware of my presence, and just sat comfortably on this branch in my backyard for a few seconds, allowing me to capture this photo!"


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Patience and persistence prefaced perfection as Zane Shantz nailed an opportunity to record
a fleeting moment of rest for a migratory black-billed cuckoo near Miller Lake last spring.



To close, a Nature quote from Robert Graves, the prolific English poet and author, from his early 1929 memoir Goodbye to All That, about the hills above Harlech, in north Wales.

Graves Goodbye 

This country (and I know no country like it) seemed to be independent of formal nature. One hardly noticed the passage of the seasons there; the wind always blew across the stunted grass, the black streams ran cold and clear, over black stones.
The mountain sheep were wild and free ... and, when in repose easily mistaken for the lichen-covered granite boulders strewn everywhere.
We saw hardly any birds, bar an occasional buzzard, and curlews wheeling in the distance.


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Harlech from The Golf Links by George Davison, 1913



- by John Dickson, OFSN





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