News & Informative updates about the MPFN, the Environment and Local Nature Stories

Important News!

Our Mission

To study and
appreciate nature.
To protect and preserve wildlife
and the environment.
To stimulate public interest in,
and promote protection
and preservation of nature.

Who we are

The Midland Penetanguishene Field Naturalists Club (MPFNC) 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. We feature lectures by expert naturalists on a range of fascinating topics at our monthly meetings. We also schedule  outings (field trips) and nature study.

We meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month, 7:30 PM at the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre No meeting in December, July or August.  Our June meeting is held at Tiny Marsh.

For a printable schedule of meetings & events click: 2022 Bookmark_Brochure 001

The MPFNC is involved in many projects in the area including the Christmas Bird Count as well as environmental and wildlife surveys, the Tiny Marsh BioBlitz and the Sweet Water Harvest at the Wye Marsh. The club also supports the Owl Foundation at the Christmas Bird Count Potluck Wrap-up at the Wye Marsh. This year we raised $440 for the Owl Foundation of Vineland through our famous Mystery Gift Not-So-Silent Auction.

Red-shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus, Tiny Township, Ontario, Canada, Mar. 28, 2023Hawk Roosting by Ted HughesI sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.Inaction, no falsifying dreamBetween my hooked head and hooked feet:Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.The convenience of the high trees!The air's buoyancy and the sun's rayAre of advantage to me;And the earth's face upward for my inspection.My feet are locked upon the rough bark.It took the whole of CreationTo produce my foot, my each feather:Now I hold Creation in my footOr fly up, and revolve it all slowly -I kill where I please because it is all mine.There is no sophistry in my body:My manners are tearing off heads -The allotment of death.For the one path of my flight is directThrough the bones of the living.No arguments assert my right:The sun is behind me.Nothing has changed since I began.My eye has permitted no change.I am going to keep things like this.Buteo Review from the Stillman Nature Centre in Barrington Illinois:As the scientific names indicate, red-tails and redshouldered hawks belong to the genus Buteo. Buteos can be told by their expansive wings and fan-shaped tail.Red-tails are a very adaptable species that hunts rabbits and micein open habitats. The omnipresent redtail perched by the roadside lead many to think that all buteos are open-country hunters, leaving the forests to the accipiters.Accipiters include the sharp-shinned (Accipiter striatus) and Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii) which you might see hunting the birds at your backyard feeder. In contrast to buteos, accipiters have short, rounded wings and a long, rudder-like tail (see illustration). The accipiters' body design facilitates adept aerial maneuvers required by their avian prey and wooded habitat.As you probably know, it is never that simple in nature. Not all buteos are found in open spaces. In fact, both the broad-winged and red-shouldered hawks are forest dwelling buteos.They keep competition to a minimum by dividing the forest habitat. Broad-wings prefer upland parcels while redshouldered hawks hunt mice and chipmunks along moist stream bottoms and wooded swamps, similar to my old dog-walking terrain.Given its preference for forests, it is not surprising that the red-shouldered hawk has some accipiter qualities. Compared to other buteos, for example, it has a longer tail and more rounded wing-tips. Also, its flight action often involves fast, accipiter-like flapping.When I spotted the hawk making the call near Ridge Road, it was not the wing-tips I noticed. What caught my eye, as the bird sailed overhead, was the robin-red chest, the black tail with narrow white bands, and the "windows" (crescent-shaped translucent patches)located just inside each of the wing-tips.Now that I've had a chance to work with a red-shouldered up close and personal,I have to say that I don't think there is a better looking hawk anywhere in Illinois. Of course, red-shouldered hawks can be found outside of the Landof Lincoln. In fact, there are four subspecies of red-shouldered hawks that range from Maine to Florida, west to east Texas, and north to central Minnesota. A fifth isolated subspecies can be found along the Pacific Coast from southern Oregon down to Baja.Not only do the subspecies, as you might expect, vary in color but also in their tolerance of habitat alteration. Encroaching civilization has not deterred the California subspecies. It can be seen from freeways nesting in exotic trees like eucalyptus. Elsewhere in the country, this has not been so.During most of the last two centuries, red-shouldered hawks apparently diminished from the eastern U.S. due to extensive logging. When I found that nest in 1983, it was on our state's endangered species list. The good news is that twenty years later, it was taken off the list. Luckily, once-farmed lands are reverting to forest.However, a cautionary note is still in order. Even if a forest is merely thinned, it will no longer be attractive to a redshouldered hawk. The less particular and more common red-tailed hawk will move in. Red-shouldered hawks prefer large tracts of woodland where, for the most part, the crowns of adjacent trees touch one another. ... See MoreSee Less
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Box 393, Midland ON L4R 4L1

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