Simcoe County Bird and Nature Board. POSTS MUST INCLUDE FULL NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS OR THEY WILL BE DELETED FROM THE BOARD. Banners at top of page cannot be blocked but are not part of the page. BOB BOWLES
MPFN Meeting Apr. 18


Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists
Thurs. Apr. 18, 2019 7:30 PM Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre
MPFN Members FREE; Non-members and guests are asked to consider making a $5 donation
Our Guest Speaker
Peter Thoem
The Owl Foundation - A Fly-by-Night Organization?

Peter Thoem has been a naturalist all his life. Since retirement in 2010 he has dedicated his time to projects related to wildlife and natural areas. He volunteers on numerous projects at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, including spearheading a multi-year bird population study. He has volunteered many hours and days at four bird observatories (Long Point, Bruce Peninsula, Ruthven Park and Chokpak, Kazakhstan). In late 2016 he took on the role of speaker ambassador for The Owl Foundation of Vineland.
Peter's presentation will look at the Owl Foundation and its work rescuing and rehabilitating injured and orphaned owls. It started in the late '60s with Kay McKeever rescuing almost any injured or orphaned animal. Eventually she and husband Larry developed a focus on owls and other raptors. Now, fifty years late, the Owl Foundation with its three full-time staff receives and treats more than a hundred owls a year. The presentation looks at the mishaps (mostly man-made) that befall owls, the treatment and care they receive at the Owl Foundation, the foundation's successes and some losses. It looks at what was learned from the big Snowy Owl irruption in the Polar Vortex winter (2013/14) and the Great Gray Owl irruption of 2004. It includes many great photos of owls both while receiving treatment and unrestricted birds in the wild.

As MPFN members know, our club has been a long time supporter of the Owl Foundation. Every year the proceeds of our "Holly and Mistletoe" mystery Xmas gift auction, held in conjunction with our Audubon Christmas Bird Count, go to support the
work of the Foundation. As near as we can tell from club records this started with the proceeds of the 1996 Xmas auction ($101.00) and has continued without a break for 22 years. (This year our annual donation climbed to $401.00. Those mystery gifts must be getting better and better!)

This month's presentation will be especially timely and poignant due to the passing of The Owl Foundation's founder Kay McKeever on Apr. 4, 2019, age 94. Many of our members who were able to tour the Foundation's property had the honour and privelege of meeting Kay and her live-in Great Grey Owl companion Big Bird.

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