Presentations

Please contact me for a presentation to your nature club or organization: jean.ironATsympatico.ca or phone: 416-445-9297. See below for a list of presentations.

1. Antarctic Seabirds and Wildlife - NEW

There are no Polar Bears in Antarctica. The southern polar region is different from the Arctic in many ways. Action videos and excellent photos will show specialty seabirds and mammals of Antarctica and the importance of krill. In this presentation we will cross the Drake Passage and explore the Antarctic Peninsula.
 

2. Gulls and Shorebirds: Ashbridges Bay Flood - NEW

The flooding of Woodbine Beach in spring and summer 2017 produced the finest shorebird and gull watching in Toronto in many years with close views and many rarities. Presentation shows superb photos and dynamic videos.
 

3. Arctic Wildlife of Iceland, Greenland and Canada

From 2013 to 2017, I visited Iceland, Greenland and Nunavut in Canada. My presentation will show and contrast the wide diversity of habitats, birdlife, mammals and wildflowers found in these three Arctic regions.

4 Hudson Bay Shorebirds and Tundra Wetlands

In spring 2012, I was a member of a four-person crew at a wilderness camp on the Ontario coast of Hudson Bay surveying breeding shorebirds. Concerns about climate change have prompted the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to initiate this new study of Ontario's tundra. In this presentation, you will see breeding shorebirds and specialty birds of the Hudson Bay coast, as well as mammals, tundra wildflowers at their blooming peak, butterflies, and more.

 

 

5. Gull Watching in Ontario

Gulls are fascinating and challenging. This presentation will help you appreciate the 21 species of gulls in Ontario with tips on identification, plumages, and where and when to see rare gulls.

 

6. James Bay Birds and Natural History

The extensive marshes and mudflats of Ontario's James Bay are of international importance to breeding and migrating shorebirds. In the summers of 2009 through to 2017, I was a member of  a crew surveying the endangered rufa subspecies of the Red Knot and other shorebirds for Canadian Wildlife Service, Royal Ontario Museum, and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. You will also see special birds and wildlife of James Bay. Jean will give identification tips and show what it's like doing bird research in a wilderness camp. My dream is for James Bay to be a shorebird reserve in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

 

7. Northbound Shorebirds Workshop

This workshop covers 28 regularly occurring spring migrant and breeding shorebirds, plus 8 rarer species that migrate through southern Ontario to their Arctic breeding grounds. It is loaded with tips to sharpen identification skills, and you will increase your knowledge of shorebird molts, plumages and aging. In this workshop you will learn to identify shorebirds by jizz or giss - general impression of size and shape. Test your new knowledge by doing interactive shorebird quizzes. Find out the best spots to see shorebirds in spring.

 

 

8. Akimiski Island Natural History

Remote and uninhabited, Akimiski Island is the largest island in James Bay. It is the summer home of the most southerly Polar Bears in the world, and its vast tidal mudflats are of international importance to migrating Arctic shorebirds. In spring and summer 2008, I joined a Ministry of Natural Resources crew counting, aging and studying shorebirds on Akimiski Island, including an isolated population of Marbled Godwits. In this digital presentation you will see Akimiski's birds, mammals and wildflowers, and experience its subarctic wilderness.

 

9. Carden Alvar

The Carden Alvar lies just east of Lake Simcoe along the southern edge of the Canadian Shield. The alvar is a globally rare habitat with an abundance of special birds and plants. This early summer tour explores Cardenís scenic back roads through vast ranchlands where grassland birds, wildflowers and butterflies are abundant. Youíll want to visit the famed Carden Alvar after seeing this informative and entertaining digital presentation which features Prairie Smoke, Indian Paintbrush, Horned Larks, Bobolinks, Eastern Bluebirds, Sedge Wrens and endangered species such as the Loggerhead Shrike which impales its prey.

10 Southbound Shorebirds

From the end of June to freeze-up, southbound migrant shorebirds from the Canadian Arctic stop over in southern Ontario. This digital presentation gives tips to identify and age southbound shorebirds, including how to distinguish Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers. Also, the extensive mudflats of Ontario's James Bay coast are of hemispheric importance to staging and migrating shorebirds. While working with a Ministry of Natural Resources crew studying climate change on Ontario's James Bay coast, my job was to count, age and study the habitat use of shorebirds.

 

 

11. The Northwest Passage, High Arctic Expedition Voyage - Greenland and Nunavut

 

Expedition cruises with Quest Nature Tours to Greenland and Nunavut in Canada pass through towering icebergs and glaciers, cross the Baffin Bay pack ice, give close views of Polar Bears, and find good numbers of Ivory Gulls. Walks on the tundra reveal exquisite arctic wildflowers. My story is about the birds, mammals and wildflowers that make the arctic waters and tundra their home.

 

 

 

About me

Twenty-eight years ago I became fascinated by birds and joined the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO). I was OFO president for 9 years, and a former editor of OFO News, continuing now as assistant editor. My special interests are shorebirds, gulls, bird identification, geese and grassland birds of the Carden Alvar. I have led adventure tours for Quest Nature Tours to many places including Galapagos, Iceland, Peru, Antarctica and High Arctic Canada. I love the Hudson Bay Lowlands of northern Ontario and spend my summers surveying shorebirds around James and Hudson Bays for the Canadian Wildlife Service. My home is in Toronto.