President Julian Sale opened the meeting at 9:55 am with 44 members in attendance. He welcomed today’s presenter, Kyle Horner, and his Kyle’s assistants, Teagan, Jenny and Alexa. Also welcomed was a new guest, Bill Gaines, who has already applied for a membership.
Julian announced that the Club is seeking volunteers for Club committee’s such as the Speakers’ Committee, the House Committee and the Activities Committee that can all use help. Julian thanked Bob Berry who has come forward to volunteer on the House Committee in order to assist with the audio/visual set up required for each meeting.
One further announcement was that Ed Herold has had a slight setback in his health but seems to be recovering nicely.
Activities – Ken Marchant - Valentine’s Dinner is now fully filled by attendees but there may be some opportunity to expand the room. Payment is made at the door of the Symposium Restaurant. - The Anniversary Lunch in April is at a cost of $16 per person. - A tour of the Waterloo International Airport is scheduled for May 19th, 2020.
Coffee Gathering – Andy Curtis - Next Thursday at the Symposium Restaurant and the Airpark Café.
Board Recruitment – Martin Alderwick - Recruitment for the next Board of Directors is now taking place and open for any interested members and we are particularly seeking someone for the position of Vice-President. Additionally we need someone to fill the position of House Committee Chairperson.
Wild Ontario is an environmental education program with a special set of tools - a team of non-releasable birds-of-prey. These once-wild animals have been permanently injured as a result of encounters with people, and can no longer survive in nature. Wild Ontario provides a permanent home for these birds, and an important job too: teaching about nature, and how humans affect it. This presentation will cover Wild Ontario's unique history, current mission, and the philosophy behind their educational programming. Their feathered friends will be on-hand too, so don't forget to bring your camera!
In 1981 the Wild Bird Clinic was created at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College. The clinic treated sick and injured birds for release back to the wild. In 1987 a Turkey Vulture was admitted to the Wild Bird Clinic with a common injury - a broken wing caused by a car collision. Attempts to save the vulture's wing proved unsuccessful and it was amputated, making him non-releasable. In 1990 Dr. Bruce Hunter and clinic volunteers formed the Wild Bird Clinic Education Program to teach the community about human impact on nature, using Socrates the Turkey Vulture to spread the message. Over the next 15 years the program gained new birds and volunteers, and continued to perform outreach in the community.Due to funding constraints, the Wild Bird Clinic was forced to close its doors in 2006. A small team of dedicated volunteers salvaged and revamped the education program, temporarily called Wildlife Education & Environmental Program. In 2010 the program was rebranded and relaunched as Wild Ontario, with a focus entirely on environment, education and outreach. Today Wild Ontario continues to grow, deliver programs, provide experiential learning for volunteers, and pursue Dr. Hunter's original goal of reducing human impact on nature.
Presentation Kyle Horner and associates spoke about and showed four different rescue birds now living in their home at the Wild Ontario sanctuary, part of the University of Guelph. The birds displayed were a Kestrel Falcon, a Broadwing Hawk, a Great Horned Owl and a Deer Falcon. Kyle explained the characteristics of each bird with respect to their flying and hunting prowess.
Following the presentation John Sneyd thanked Kyle Horner and his associates and presented a token of appreciation from the Club to Wild Ontario sanctuary.
Next meeting: Thurs., February 8th, 2020 with Edna Mumford and Ritchie Zelk on their trip to Ethiopia