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Local birder sharing species-rich Ecuadorian memories Thursday

Don Downer will take Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists' members on colourful birding journey with the sights of Ecuador, which is home to close to 1,700 species of birds
Don Downer recently visited Ecuador, which is home to close to 1,700 species of birds.

Mainland Ecuador is a very small country - only half the size of Saskatchewan.

But it has 1,656 species of birds! Saskatchewan, by comparison, has about 437. Only Columbia has more species (1958), but it is a much larger country.

On Thursday evening at the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, Midland Penetanguishene Field Naturalists member Don Downer, along with his wife Adrienne Perry, birded on both sides of the Andes mountains in Ecuador for 10 days in early July 2022 and saw 330 bird species of which 255 were "Lifers" (a personal record of each new species as it is observed).

Downer’s presentation of their trip will cover the best of these birds that they were fortunate enough to see and photograph. Last year, club members were thoroughly entertained and enlightened by Downer’s photos from the Galapagos Islands (also part of Ecuador).

There's no cost for club members to participate in Thursday's meeting that gets underway at 7:30 p.m. Guests are welcome, but are asked to make a $5 donation.

This will also be the club's last in-person regular meeting for the fall. In December, they’ll have their traditional Christmas Bird Count Wrap up/Christmas Party on the 16th at the Wye Marsh.

In the winter, they’ll meet virtually on Zoom on the third Thursday of the month before reconvening in-person get-togethers in April at the Wye Marsh.

Membership fees to join the club are $45 for a family, $25 for adults and those under 30 free.

The Midland Penetanguishene Field Naturalists (MPFN), meanwhile, is one of the oldest affiliates of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists. The objective of the club is to promote public awareness of natural history, conservation and the environment. They have meetings once a month, normally at the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centres, and plan a number of outings throughout the year.

For more information about the club and/or Thursday’s meeting, click here or email the club at [email protected].


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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country‚Äôs most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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