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Events of interest


Please note: Saskatoon Nature Society web site has a new home at

The web site you are visiting now will be closed down sometime in April of 2019. Update your browser bookmarks as necessary. Thank you.


Bird ID workshop for novice birders
Monday, 18. March 2019, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

This free workshop will focus on the basics of bird identification. It is aimed at novice birders. Bring your field guides and download the free Merlin app onto your smartphone. Everyone is welcome.

Register in advance at as soon as possible. Space is limited.
Location: Room 1130, Health Sciences E wing (same room used for 2019 Saskatoon Nature Society meetings).
Bus connections: many routes go to the nearby University Bus Terminal
Instructor: LeeAnn Latremouille (306-880-9027).


Bird ID workshop series for intermediate birders
Fridays: March 22 - April 12, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

This free series of workshops will focus on using your bird book and birding app to learn to identify common breeding birds found in the Saskatoon Area. Bring your field guides and download the free Merlin app on your smartphone. This series is organized jointly by the Saskatoon Nature Society and the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas staff.

Friday, March 22: Waterbirds, gulls and terns
Friday, March 29: Grouse, Raptors, Shorebirds, Woodpeckers
Friday, April 5: Doves, Flycatchers, Swallows, Warblers and related songbirds
Friday, April 12 Wrens, Thrushes, Sparrows, Blackbirds and related songbirds

Register in advance at as soon as possible. Space is limited.
Location: Room 159, Thorvaldson Building, U of S campus for first 3 dates. Final location TBA.
Bus connections: many routes go to the nearby University Bus Terminal.
Instructors: LeeAnn Latremouille (306-880-9027), Janine McManus, John Patterson and Stan Shadick (306-652-5975).


Birding by Ear Workshops
Fridays, April 26 and May 3, 2019

This indoor workshop series will focus on techniques for learning common bird songs found in the Saskatoon area. It will be particularly useful for volunteers planning to do point counts for the Breeding Bird Atlas Project. Bring your field guides and download the free Merlin app on your smartphone. More information in the April newsletter or the website. Room TBA
Leaders: Lee Ann Latremouille and Janine McManus, John Patterson and Stan Shadick


Breeding Bird Atlas routes in SaskatchewanThe Breeding Bird Survey needs YOU!

The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a volunteer-based program coordinated by the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) in the United States and the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) in Canada. Started in 1966, the BBS is widely recognized as the best source of long-term population trends for almost 550 bird species in North America. BBS results are used in a wide variety of research and conservation work, such as species at risk assessments and bird conservation planning at both regional and national scales. Indeed, BBS results have been instrumental in revealing declines in neotropical migrants, grassland birds, and aerial insectivores.

If you can hear, see, and identify the birds in your area by song and sight, then we need you to start counting… for the birds! If you don't yet know all the birds in your area but are eager to learn, then a BBS mentor may be for you. To find out if you have what it takes to be a BBS volunteer, or to join our BBS mentoring program, please contact Al Smith (alanrandi [at] or Barry Robinson (barry.robinson [at], Saskatchewan's regional Breeding Bird Survey Coordinators, or the National Breeding Bird Survey office ( [at], 613-998-0492).


Call for Nominations to the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Saskatoon Nature Society is elected at the March Annual General Meeting. lf you would like to serve on the board, please contact the pastpresident Marten Stoffel at 306-230-9291 or asio.otus [at]


Earth Hour Saturday, 30. March 2019 at 8:30 p.m.

WWF-Canada calls on people across the country to join others around the world to send a strong global message and show your commitment to the planet. You can switch on your social power by simply switching off your lights. You can learn more and sign up at

The 13th annual Earth Hour takes place at 8:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, March 30. Six continents, over 170 countries, and 24 time zones will be united as a global community, making our voices heard through individual action. Turn off as much power as you can and focus on your commitment to climate action for the rest of this year.


Limited edition Nature Society toques

Don't be left out in the cold! Nature Society toques are coming soon. These heather-grey knit toques feature the Nature Society avocet logo and are guaranteed to make you look stylish while birding this winter. Toques are $25.00 (payable when the toques arrive), but supply is limited. Reserve your limited edition toque today by e-mailing greg.fenty [at] or by phone at (306) 370-8839 before December 15, 2018.


Saskatoon Seedy Saturday
Saturday March 9, 2019 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Station 20 West – 1120 20th Street W

Break your winter dormancy and usher in spring! Join CHEP Good Food Inc. for our 21st Annual Seedy Saturday Seed Exchange and Eco-fair featuring:
- seed swap
- over 25 vendors of natural and local goods
- live music
- children's activities
- gardening workshops
…and much more!

Admission $2, Children free. Cash only event.


Volunteers needed for upcoming displays

The Saskatoon Nature Society will have our display booth at Gardenscape, March 29-31, 2019 and we will be looking for your help to staff our display and tell people about our wonderful Society. If you are able to volunteer a few hours to help staff our display, please email greg.fenty [at] (or call 306-370-8839).


Calling all Volunteers

Nature Saskatchewan obtains most of its funding from Sask. Culture. One of the factors influencing the success of Nature Saskatchewan's application is the support it and affiliated societies receive from volunteers as evidenced by the number of hours worked. We ask that each member of SNS tally the hours you have volunteered in 2018 and send your totals to Yvonne Cuttle at cuttyg [at] or pass a note with your totals to me or one of the Board members. Once compiled, they will be forwarded to Nature Saskatchewan early in 2019. Thanks to all for your good work on behalf of SNS during 2018, and for the additional time that, I hope, you will be willing to spend on this request. Yvonne Cuttle


Lecture room in Health Sciences buildingSNS monthly meeting to be relocated to a new location

Starting in January, 2019 our monthly meetings will be held in the following lecture theatre: Room 1130, Health Sciences E-wing, at the University of Saskatchewan Campus.

Click on thumbnails to display larger maps for how to access the building and room (red circle). The two closest Campus parking areas are: Lot 1 (across from Place Riel) and the Health Sciences Parkade: (Located beneath Health Sciences Building - Clinic Place Access off Hospital Drive). More information about parking on campus is also available at


Access options for Health Sciences Building


Receive SNS newsletter by e-mail

Please consider switching from a paper copy of the SNS newsletter to an electronic copy. You can create a folder in your email system to save your back issues of the newsletters. You will help us save on paper, stamps, and volunteer time. You will get information more quickly and get pictures in color.

Please contact Claire Bullaro (c.bear [at] with your current email address to switch. Thank you.


Birds In Real Danger, Saskatoon (B.I.R.D.S.)

BIRDS grew out of a communal desire to protect our feathered friends, and became a partnership between the Saskatoon Nature Society, Wild Birds Unlimited, Saskatchewan Light Pollution Abatement Committee, and Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

We are all passionate about birds and recognize the threats to birds from flying into glass structures. Over 699 million birds are killed by glass in North America each year according to the FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program) Canada.

BIRDS has been actively advocating for bird safety since its inception last year. We have a 6 foot banner that attracts attention at community events and encourages conversation and awareness of the problem and possible solutions. It is on display at Beaver Creek when not otherwise in use.

Jan Shadick gave a well-attended presentation about bird collisions at Gardenscape last year. She will give another presentation this year. All partners have attended City meetings and advocated for implementation of birdfriendly building guidelines.

Progress has been positive! The City of Saskatoon, the University, and MVA have taken steps to implement some of the ideas and suggestions from the Director of FLAP (Michael Mesure).
1. The University has added "Dots" to windows on new overhead walkways to reduce bird collisions.
2. MVA has placed "dots" on their windows at Beaver Creek, and has plans to place them on their downtown office building. They have also included a more rigorous assessment of buildings for bird-friendly design during their review process.
3. The City of Saskatoon has begun to develop Bird- Friendly Building Guidelines in accordance with recommendations from FLAP. After consulting with LSWR, FLAP and other partners, they are publishing a Healthy Yards pamphlet with tips for homeowners to help protect birds from collisions with glass. It will be ready for visitors to Gardenscape and will later be distributed as an electric bill insert throughout the city.

Never in our wildest dreams did we believe that we could make such a significant difference in community attitudes within such a short time span.
Jan Shadick


Journals of interest

The Francis Morrsison Library carries a number of print publications that might be of interest to our members. Thanks to Ron Jensen for the following list.

BirdWatching Daily, library no 3 6001 04419 9087 MA published monthly
Birds & Blooms, library no 3 6001 04421 3391 MA published quarterly
AWI (Animal Welfare Institute) Quarterly, library no 3 6001 04423 4066 MA
Canadian Wildlife, library no 3 6001 04423 4033 MA published monthly
Field & Stream, library no 3 600104423 4793 MA published monthly
Plants, Garden Making, inspiring & informing home gardeners, library no 3 6001 04423 9438 MA
The Gardner for the Canadian Climates, library no 3 6001 04423 0398 MA published quarterly
Natural History, library no 3 6001 04423 6335 MA published 10 issues per year
National Geographic, library no 3 6001 04423 4371 MA published monthly
Our Canada, our country, our stories, library no 3 6001 04423 4413 MA published bimonthly
Outdoor Canada West, library no 3 6001 04423 7606 MA
The 2016 Prairie Garden, library no 3 6001 04419 1019 MA published annually
Rodale's Organic Life, published no 3 6001 04420 0778 MA
Tropical Fish Hobbyist, library no 3 6001 04423 9826 MA published bimonthly


Books about nature

EcoFriendly Sask, with input from many including SNS, has compiled a list of books about nature in Saskatchewan. It's a work in progress but a good start. If you have books to suggest, please let them know. Meanwhile, check this out!


PAD option for donations to SNS

You now have the option of supporting the work of the Saskatoon Nature Society through either a onetime donation or an ongoing monthly contribution using the pre-authorized debit (PAD) system. To use the PAD system, you simply sign an authorization form indicating the amount you wish to donate regularly from your bank chequing account, and attach a cheque marked "VOID" to provide your account information. An official receipt for income tax purposes will be issued in January of each year.

The Membership/donation page of the Newsletter has been changed to include the PAD option. The PAD authorization form will be available at the membership desk at each monthly meeting, or it can be mailed to you by our Treasurer, or you can download the membership form here (pdf document). Your financial support is greatly appreciated!


3rd edition of the Nature Viewing Sites is here!

Saskatoon Nature Society will launch its new publication, "A Guide to Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon" (3rd edition) on Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Nature ZViewing Sites - 3rd editionEnjoy the beauty of nature close to home! The Saskatoon Nature Society invites you to explore 36 hot-spots for finding wild plants, birds, animals and other creatures in parks and natural areas in and around our prairie city. Members Donna Bruce, Joan Feather and Anna Leighton, with the help of many others who know and love these places, explain how to find them and what natural wonders await you in all seasons.

This third and much expanded edition of the Society's popular Guide features clear directions and maps, GPS coordinates, full-colour photographs of landscapes and species, and fascinating nature facts that may surprise you. Whether you are a long-time resident or a newcomer, looking for an outdoor break from work or a good place for a stroll, this Guide is for you.

For more information please e-mail Joan Feather ( jfeather [at] )


SNS on Facebook

Our Facebook page needs material. Members are encouraged to upload photos or other media directly through the SNS page, or alternatively to submit files and any descriptive information to Members with active Facebook accounts can access and promote our page by liking us and sharing our page with others on Facebook.



What is eBird? A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution. It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence.

How does it work?

A birder simply enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard during the outing. The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network of eBird users. eBird then shares these observations with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists. In time these data will become the foundation for a better understanding of bird distribution across the western hemisphere and beyond.

Birders wishing to contribute and record their sightings can register as a new user at the website


Web resource - A Beginner's Guide to Bird Watching

Thanks to Frannie Davis, a Science Student Teacher from Seattle, we learned about a great web resource for people wishing to learn more about the art of bird watching: A Beginner's Guide to Bird Watching for Couch Potatoes. Check it out.


SNS members' discount

With a new membership or a renewal, you will receive the SNS membership card. By showing the card, SNS members can receive a discount at:

  • Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop (330A-2600 8th Street E)
    Offers members a 10% discount on regularly priced books, bird seed, feeders and bird houses.
  • Don's Photo (1902 8th St. E)
    Discount on photo-finishing and certain other items in the store.
  • Members can also get a 10% discount at Early's Farm and Garden Centre (2615 Lorne Ave and 502A-51st Street East) on all regularly priced wild bird feeding products, bird houses, books, etc.


Bird surveys of the Northeast Swale and Chief Whitecap Park

The Saskatoon Nature Society is seeking volunteers to record observations of birds, plants and wildlife in the NE Swale (north of Sutherland) and Chief Whitecap Park (south of the Exhibition Park). The MVA has requested this data from us to support their work in these areas. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Stan Shadick by email to stan.shadick [at] or by phone 652-5975 to receive more details about these 2 projects.

You can download instruction packages and survey forms here (documents will open in a new window):

Link to Northeast Swale Survey PackageNortheast Swale Survey Package (Adobe pdf, 1.4 MB)
Link to NE Swale Wildlife Survey FormForm - Northeast Swale Wildlife Survey (Adobe pdf, 45 kb)

Link to Chief Whitecap Park Survey PackageChief Whitecap Park Survey Package (Adobe pdf, 4.5 MB)
Link to Chief Whitecap Park Wildlife Survey FormForm - Chief Whitecap Park Wildlife Survey (Adobe pdf, 52 kb)

Last updated: 8 March, 2019