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September 27, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. – Gaia, a Photographic Celebration of Flora and Fauna with Peter Rasberry

Gaia was the Greek earth goddess, or Mother Earth, who in mythology gave birth to the Mountains, Sea and Sky. Gaia is also Dr. James Lovelock’s theory of Earth as a self-sustaining organism. This presentation is a slideshow of flora and fauna celebrating the beauty, complexity and diversity of some of the many species we share the planet with, and their roles in sustaining the balance of life.

June 28, 2022 - Canada’s Rachel Carson: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Mid-Century Songbird Decline with Merilyn Simonds

Through the mid 1900s, amateur ornithologist and nature writer Louise de Kiriline Lawrence tracked the sharp decline in warblers and flycatchers in northern Ontario and linked it to the roadside spraying of toxic chemicals—a decade before Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring sounded the same alarm. Louise emigrated to Canada in 1926, setting up a Red Cross Outpost in Bonfield, Ontario, where she later became nurse-in-charge of the Dionne Quintuplets. Disturbed by the media circus around the infants, she built a log cabin on the Mattawa River and spent the next 50 years studying birdlife and writing almost a hundred articles and six books about species that were diminishing before her eyes.

May 31, 2022 - Ontario Big Year with Geoff Carpentier - Webinar

In 2021 Geoff Carpentier decided to go for an “Ontario Big Year”, a personal quest to see as many bird species as possible in the province over the course of a calendar year. Geoff described the planning & necessary communications, and the dedication required to seek out the rare birds that turned up. Geoff missed a few but was able to find nearly every species he sought out and in the end tallied 343 species, the second highest ever achieved! It was an entertaining account of his year in review.

April 26, 2022 - Wild, Weird and Wacky Weather with David T. Chapman - Webinar

In a country that is so vast and surrounded by large oceans, it is no wonder we have some of the most interesting weather in the world. It offers such a variety all year round because of its terrain, temperature variations and location. Learn about Fallstreak Holes, Superior Mirages and discover how far south the Aurora Borealis can actually be seen. This presentation covers the uniqueness of North America's weather, power and beauty all wrapped up into one great show.

March 22, 2022 - Exploring the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil with Cara Gregory

Cara Gregory gave a heartfelt presentation on March 22 on her travels to the species rich Atlantic Forest Region of southeastern Brazil! She visited a number of reserves in the mountains to the north and south of Rio de Janeiro encountering many animals including capybaras, marmosets, sloths and so many birds. Cara exuded the excitement of each new experience in this once in a lifetime adventure.

February 22, 2022 - Amphibians and Their Larvae with Peter Mills

Frogs and salamanders may be familiar but this presentation will showcase the mysterious egg and larval stages, and the transformation of these under-appreciated animals. Peter is the author/illustrator of the recent publication Metamorphosis: Ontario's Amphibians at All Stages of Development.

January 25, 2022 - AGM and Members Night

Our Annual General Meeting will be followed by several short presentations by club members who will have the opportunity to share some of their photos and experiences on natural subjects.  In addition to local subjects, presentations will take us to some exotic locations from the Arctic to Florida to Africa, covering a range of subjects from bears and birds to insects.

November 23, 2021 -Exploring the Wilds of Southern Haliburton County with Ed Poropat - Webinar

Join intrepid naturalist and educator Ed Poropat as he takes us on a tour of his favorite places to explore near his home in southern Canadian Shield of Haliburton County.  Ed has spent much of his time searching for and documenting insects, reptiles, birds and plants, making many discoveries in this “Land Between”. 

October 26, 2021 - Secret Lives of Spiders with Catherine Scott - Webinar

Spiders are often misunderstood and feared, but there are so many species and so many unusual aspects to their lives.  This presentation will probe into what makes spiders special and explore the life histories of several species.  Dr. Catherine Scott is an arachnologist and behavioural ecologist whose research is focused on the behaviour and communication of black widows and other spiders. A former arachnophobe, she is passionate about trying to shift perceptions about these fascinating creatures.

September 28, 2021 - Moths: Butterflies of the Night with James Kamstra - Webinar

Of the roughly 5300 know species of moths and butterflies in Canada, moths represent 90% of this insect group. Not only are moths diverse, they show spectacular patterns and colours when one takes a closer look. This presentation will explore life histories, how to find moths, the main families and fun facts about them.

James Kamstra is a local ecologist who is familiar with, and has studied many facets of natural history.  Insects are a particular passion.  He started collecting insects more than 50 years ago, but now uses a camera to record his findings.

June 22, 2021 - Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Greenbeltwith Victor Doyle - Webinar

Ontario’s Greenbelt, including the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, plays an integral role in conserving Durham Region’s rich natural heritage and biodiversity. Victor Doyle will provide historical and factual insights into the creation of these plans as they apply to the regional landscape while identifying ongoing challenges and opportunities.

From 1988-2017 Victor was at the epicenter of designing and implementing provincial plans in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Best known as the “architect” of the Greenbelt, he was also instrumental in developing the Oak Ridge Moraine Conservation Plan, Growth Plan and Lake Simcoe Protection Plan

May 25, 2021 - Bats, the Canadian Bat Box Project, and White-nose Syndrome with Karen Vanderwolf - Webinar

Bats are amazing! But these animals, so critical to our environment and economy, are declining in Canada and abroad. Join bat expert, Karen Vanderwolf from Trent University who will teach us about the wonders of bats, and how their survival is threatened by a deadly fungal disease, White-nose Syndrome. Karen will also explain how the Canadian Bat Box Program is working to conserve bats so our night skies will remain full of these fascinating flying mammals.

April 27, 2021 - Wild Algonquin with Michael Runtz - Webinar

Michael’s association with Algonquin spans nearly 50 years. He has explored the far corners of this famous park and has interacted with, and intimately photographed many of the wild species found there.  He hosted the international television series Wild by Nature, authored and illustrated 14 natural history books including Algonquin Wild.  In addition, Michael has written more than 1,100 natural history articles for newspapers and magazines. When not roaming the wilds, Michael teaches Natural History and Ornithology courses at Carleton University.

March 23rd, 2021 – Life in the Desert by Mark Dorriesfield - Webinar

Deserts may be harsh, dry, unforgiving places, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to find there! From giant cacti to Joshua Trees, thrashers to roadrunners, rattlesnakes to Gila Monsters, these environments are home to some amazing plants and animals adapted to thrive under these difficult conditions.  Mark will take us through three of North America’s four major deserts, the Great Basin, Mojave, and Sonoran, describing the different habitats and the wildlife found within them. Mark is a biologist who has conducted avian fieldwork throughout North America over the past 9 years. He is particularly fond of the American Southwest, having spent 5 of those seasons working and exploring Nevada and Arizona.

February 23rd, 2021 - The Cross Canada Adventure of Sonya and Sean - Webinar 

Sean and Sonya are passionate about nature, birding and exploring new places. In June 2019 they left their jobs, sold their house, and began walking The Great Trail of Canada from Cape Spear, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia. They will continue the journey north by canoe from Edmonton, Alberta to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. They are not just looking for adventure – they are walking and paddling to connect families and youth to nature through birding and to raise awareness of the importance of the boreal forest. This journey is about connections – people to people, people to nature, past to present, and coast to coast to coast. To learn how their adventure is unfolding, join NDN for a webinar presentation at 7:00 p.m. on February 23!

January 26th, 2021 - Delightful Dozen - Annual General Meeting (AGM) - Virtual

The AGM will be a members night where we are looking for mini presentations which we are calling “Delightful Dozen”.  Interested members are encouraged to pick out 12 photo images on a natural history theme of their choice.  It could be birds in your backyard, spring wildflowers, a trip to an exotic destination, whatever you like.  Presentations, and the AGM will be delivered using Zoom.

November 24, 2020- Asian Carp with Andrew Reeves  - Webinar

Four species of Carp native to Asia have been introduced into the southeastern U.S. and are wreaking havoc as they overwhelm and alter aquatic ecosystems.  They are likely to invade southern Ontario in the next few years thereby changing our waterways forever.  Andrew will tell the story of these fish, how they got here and what it means. Andrew Reeves is an author and geographer who has recently published "Overrun: Dispatches from the Asian Carp Crisis", a bestseller which examines the history and impact of the four carp species in North America.

September 22nd, 2020 - Bats with Dr. Christina Davy – Webinar

Bats have been long misunderstood and even feared, but research in recent decades has provided much insight into their mysterious lives and their role in the ecosystem. Bat populations have suffered significant population declines from White Nose Syndrome and from wind turbines. Christina will present on issues around bat conservation. Dr. Davy is a research scientist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and is also an adjunct professor at Trent University. Her varied research has involved genetic and behavioural responses of small and declining wildlife populations to environmental changes.  

June 23rd, 2020 - 20 Years of Butterfly Counts with James Kamstra - Webinar

Butterfly counts involve groups of dedicated volunteers who spend an entire day in the field to seek out and count all the butterflies they encounter. After 20 consecutive years of these counts, much data has been assembled and some trends in butterfly populations have become apparent. James will highlight the observed changes in some species and describe how the counts have given us greater understanding of the local butterfly fauna.  James Kamstra is an ecologist who has coordinated two butterfly counts in Durham for the past 20 years. He is the Ontario Regional editor who compiles all of the provincial counts for the North American Butterfly Association.  

2019 Talks

2018 Talks

Event Archives - 2019


January - Members Night - Various NDN members

February - Flora and Fauna of Goodwood Tract - Gavin Miller (TRCA)

March - Baffin Island Backpacking Trip - Jay and Bev Thibert

April - Mushrooms of Ontario - Patricia Burchell

May - Five-lined Skink Ecology - Josh Feltham

June – Cattail Research - Sarah Pieper

September - Uganda and Tanzania - Geoff Carpentier 

October – The Wonder of Wetlands - Cara Gregory

November - Lynx and Bobcat in Ontario - Dr. Jeff Bowman 

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