May, 2023

Date:             Saturday April 15th, 2023
Time:             9:30 AM
Place:            Sobeys at Elmwood Drive
Guide:           Roger Leblanc


We all know what ducks are. They are one of the most recognizable groups of birds. They are big, colorful (males in particular) and not hard to find. But did you know that in these parts we are fortunate enough to be right in the passing lane of sea duck migration, a natural phenomenon which can be quite impressive? In early spring a lot of sea ducks that have wintered on the coast of the Atlantic will be on the move, following the Northumberland strait up to their northern breeding grounds. En route, they will often stop to feed and rest in large numbers. And this is our chance to observe them at a time when they are dressed in their finest and when their breeding behavior and vocalizations are not only possible but expected. 

To help you take in this natural spectacle, Nature Moncton is offering a sea duck migration outing on April 15th.  Roger Leblanc will be our leader on this quest.  He has been studying the sights and sounds of sea ducks on the Northumberland coast for decades and is always pleased to share that knowledge with others.

So why not join us Saturday April the 15th for a fun outing to the world of migrating sea ducks?  The group will assemble at 9:30 AM in the parking lot of the Elmwood Dr Sobeys in Moncton. If you live nearer the coast, you can also join us around 10:00 am on the south side of the new bridge in Cocagne on route 134. From there we will explore several known hot spots for sea duck migration up to and including Bouctouche. So, if you have always wanted to know more about sea ducks and their habits, this activity is for you. Come join us for a fun learning activity.

Bring a lunch, water and snacks.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.


Nature Moncton May Meeting
May 16, 2023 at 7:00 PM
Rotary Pavilion, Mapleton Park

“Online Photo Identification Guide to the Plants of New Brunswick”

Presenters:  Jim Goltz and Andrea Flemming

A very significant website is under construction that will be dedicated to botany within the Province of New Brunswick.
There are several websites available to help naturalists identify plants, but so far none have been developed specifically to New Brunswick. This is about to change!

Jim Goltz and Andrea Flemming will present the progress to date on the website created by the Fredericton Botanic Garden with support from the Environmental Trust Fund. The multi-year project will cover the vascular plants found native and endemic to New Brunswick. The project will use Hal Hinds' Flora of New Brunswick as a starting point and photos collected from the New Brunswick plant community including Jim Goltz and the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre.  Jim and Andrea will share ways that you can participate in the project as well.

This will be an in-person presentation from Andrea and Jim at the Mapleton Lodge; however, anyone can join in from anywhere via Zoom.

As always, all are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

Winter Bird Life around Northumberland Strait Wharfs
Date: Saturday, January  28th (rain date: January 29th)

Time: 8:30 AM to late afternoon (or as long as folks want to go)

Meeting Place: Behind Burger King at Champlain Mall (8:15 AM)

Driving time to Cap Lumière: About 50 minutes
Guide: Roger Leblanc

In most people’s minds winter, birds and wharfs would not necessarily go together.  But in a seasoned New Brunswick birder’s way of thinking these 3 words totally link together to bring up visions of great observations.  And this winter, greater ice-free conditions on the Northumberland Strait make wharfs, which are logically placed on points jutting out into the water, great look-out spots for sea birds.  Also, sometimes when conditions are right, they can become places where sea birds (and others) might just take cover and be much closer for an observer to watch or take photos.  So always on the look for interesting and timely bird outings for members, Nature Moncton is proposing a tour of the wharfs on Saturday January 28th.  Under the expert lead of Roger Leblanc (who some have called a regular wharf-birding rat) we will explore several wharfs on the Northumberland Strait coast from Cap Lumière to Pointe-du-Chêne.  On this approximately 60 km stretch of coast there are 10 wharfs, demonstrating the importance of the fishing industry in the region.  Of these we will try to visit 5 or 6, depending on what we find and how long we want to go.  At this time of year, sea ducks should be a given, but many other species of sea and land birds are often attracted by the special features of wharfs and their environment.  So pick up your equipment, dress warmly, bring a lunch and lots of enthusiasm and come join us for a fun day of bird watching photography and nature camaraderie on a wharf-hopping adventure along the coast of the Northumberland Strait.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

JANUARY 17, 2023 AT 7:00 PM

Once again, we are asking our members to take the stage and share their most important outdoor experiences.  Have you had an interesting encounter with nature in the past year?  Have you taken some good photos of birds, insects, animals or anything else in the various habitats of New Brunswick? The January Nature Moncton meeting belongs to members like you who would like to share their photos and stories in short 15-minute presentations.  

If you have something you’d like to share, contact Fred Richards at, so he can put you on the schedule.

Let’s start 2023 off the right way – by sharing with one another our positive experiences of the natural world around us!

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

January, 2023

June, 2023

February 21st, 2023 at 7:00 PM

Mapleton Park Rotary Lodge  (speaker will be on screen via Zoom)

“Birder Brain: An overview of the Birder Brain project exploring birding and mental/physical health, with an emphasis on mindful birding.”

Presenter: Kelly-Sue O’Connor


Originally from Riverview, NB, Kelly-Sue has been a birder for 16 years now. She has been very involved in citizen science during that time starting with several Christmas Bird Counts a year, volunteering for nature organizations, fundraising and sitting on boards like the Toronto Ornithological Club, Friends of Sam Smith Park, and Bird Friendly Cities, and leading bird walks for Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Kelly-Sue found birding as a way to practice self-care, grounding, meditation and mindfulness. Diagnosed with C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Syndrome), ADHD (attention deficit disorder), and other health issues experienced by many, she was inspired to share her love of birding and its healing benefits with others. This presentation will include an overview of the project, a short documentary (one of the Birder Brain episodes), some of Kelly-Sue’s favourite mindful birding experiences and tips on how to use birding to improve your own mental and physical health.

You can learn more about birder brain on the website:  The social media links are available there. Kelly-Sue looks forward to sharing her personal experiences and the story of other birders with Nature Moncton members.

This presentation will be given via Zoom, but there will be a meeting as usual at the Rotary Pavilion.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.


Date:  Saturday February 11th, 2023 (rain date: Sunday February 12th)
Meeting Place:  The Moncton Coliseum parking lot
Time:  8:30 AM

 Sometimes the most exciting winter birds can be found taking advantage of good feeder yards.  Birds such as Northern Cardinals, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and White-breasted Nuthatches frequent the feeders of a lucky few, not to mention the occasional visit from a hungry hawk.
This year, we are eager to announce that Nature Moncton’s bird feeder tour will take place for the first time since before the pandemic on Saturday February 11th.  Participants are asked to meet at 8:30 AM at the northeast corner of the coliseum parking lot to arrange car-pooling if desired.  The first stop will be the Renton’s in Stilesville (1460 Gorge Rd) to see the many birds in their well-stocked feeder yard while socializing over a delicious pancake, maple syrup and bean breakfast.  Participants are asked to contribute some goodies.  Cooked sausages are one suggestion.   After leaving the Renton’s, the group will travel to various feeder yards in both Riverview and Moncton to finally end up at Nelson Poirier’s (at 85 Mount Royal Blvd) later in the afternoon for further socializing and a lasagna treat.  
Come and enjoy a day with fellow birding enthusiasts along with the excitement of seeing what turns up at the visited feeders. 

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

JUNE 20, 2023, AT 6:30 PM



Our June meeting will be the social event of the year to celebrate a successful fall/winter/spring of meetings and activities.  Members and non-members are all invited to the Rotary Pavilion at Mapleton Park where we will serve some delicious beef and veggie hamburgers and enjoy a picnic outdoors.  All food will be provided as a thank you from the executive for all your help and participation which has made our club so successful.

After we feast on hamburgers, we’ll go inside and watch some slides of photos taken by participants of the Hillsborough warbler excursion held on May 20th and guided by Gordon Rattray.  So if you were present on that outing, choose your best 10 photos and bring them on a USB stick.  Many birds, plants and insects were observed that day and this will be a chance to look back on it all and share some great photos with others.  Photos of the group are also welcome as we had a couple of very special visitors (Dale Gaskin and David Christie) join us that day.

Hope to see you all there.  All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

Presenter and Guide:  Roger Leblanc
Workshop Date (online via Zoom): April 19, 2023, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Outing:  On the first good night after the workshop.  Conditions need to be perfect!
Cost: $10

Among all the bird species that can be observed at different times of the year in New Brunswick, one of the most intriguing but also alluring groups has to be owls. Why? One answer to that question is that their usual nocturnal habits make them difficult to find and, therefore, to observe and understand. And that is precisely why Nature Moncton has thought of offering a Zoom information workshop accompanied by an outing to help you discover the secrets of these usually very discreet nocturnal raptors. Under the guidance of experienced ornithologist Roger Leblanc (also a member of Nature Moncton), the workshop will review the 12 species of owls that have been accepted as having been present in the province in the past.  Emphasis will be placed on the 8 species that you have a reasonable chance of observing at one time or another with information on sound, field marks, habits and habitats that together should help you when you go out looking for them.

Around the time of the workshop, Roger will check the weather forecasts and choose the best night for the outing.  On that night (likely one to three days after the workshop), we will go into the field with Roger as our guide to try our luck to see (but more likely to hear) one or more of these mysterious nocturnal raptors.  Roger has scouted out a couple of spots around Notre Dame where the 3 species of “possible” owls (Northern Saw-whet, Barred and Great Horned) are present and hopefully will show.

The cost for the workshop and outing is $10 and can be paid to Roger on the night of the outing.  Please register  if you plan on attending the online workshop and to receive the Zoom link.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

April, 2023

Date:  May 20, 2023
Time:  9:00 AM
Place: Kiwanis parking lot on Mill St., Hillsborough
Guide:  Gordon Rattray


In late spring each year we have the movement of many birds returning to their nesting regions, both local nesters and those that just pass through on their journey farther north.  The warblers are one such group that either pass through or nest in our area.  These little birds are very colorful and very vocal as they stop for a rest and feeding, and in late May we can often locate many of the warbler species in the Hillsborough area.  On May 20, Nature Moncton will host a hike for members, and anyone interested in observing warblers.  The warblers are most active as the morning warms and the insects take flight, so this makes 9:00 a good starting time.  The hike will be on an abandoned rail line, flat but the rails are still in place, so a little bit of difficulty.  The rail hike is only 200 meters up and then we will double back.  Also in the same location are the prepared trails of the Hillsborough Water Park, a walk on a gravel surface of 2 kms.  For those wishing for a little more birding we will do this trail after lunch.
As a bonus, those of you who take photos of warblers on this trip will be invited to share (if you’d like) your best shots at the June Nature Moncton membership meeting to be held on June 20th at 7:00 PM.
So if you’d like to see some warblers and learn more about their appearance and songs, join us for this warbler walk in an area where warblers of many species should be active.

**Bring snacks and lunch, and bring binoculars if you have them.  If not, we may have a couple of extra binoculars that we can lend out for the day.  Wear sturdy footwear (for hiking) and dress appropriately for the weather.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

Nature Moncton March Meeting
March 21, 2023, at 7:00 PM
Mapleton Rotary Lodge
Presenter: Kelsey Wilson, Executive Director, PWA
“Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance update”

The Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance has a wide variety of current and past projects. Generally, these fit into 4 general categories: scientific monitoring, habitat improvement, environmental assessment, and education & outreach. Together, these themes provide a rounded approach to restoring and protecting the ecological services of the water systems that flow into Shepody Bay through science-based research, action, and public outreach.

This year the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance is celebrating 25 years of incorporation, and 26 since its inception. To celebrate, the PWA is ramping up in some key areas to increase its impact and improve environmental monitoring, health, and education in our watershed. The organization has launched new branding, communications strategies, and a new website that better highlights their work and includes interactive features to learn more about the PWA’s work, the watershed, and some key aspects of environmental management in the region. The PWA has also moved to a new location that increases its capacity and the types of activities it can pursue, while also taking on some new projects to revitalize its work and increase impact. At the same time, the organization continues to pursue its long-standing projects in green infrastructure, water quality monitoring and restoring fish passage for species such as the endangered iBoF Salmon. PWA Executive Director Kelsey Wilson will share updates on these projects -- comprising some results from their 2022 field season -- and give us a glimpse of what is coming to launch the organization into its next 25 years, including ways to get involved in hands-on projects that improve the health of our local waterways.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

Tree Planting Event: Saturday, May 27 (Probable date)

by Fundy Biosphere Region and Nature Moncton
Main St. Moncton
Duration: 4 hr

Nature Moncton and the staff from the Fundy Biosphere Region will be planting trees on the Moncton Riverfront on Saturday May 27th (probable date) starting at 10 am and most likely finishing at 2 pm. We'd love to have you come and help!

🌳What to bring/wear:
* weather appropriate clothing
* sturdy footwear
* work gloves
* packed lunch and water bottle
* shovel (there are a few to lend as well)
* consider if you need sunscreen too

🌳Meeting place: Parking lot on the Moncton side next to the traffic circle near the new bridge to Riverview.

🌳Trees to be planted: white pine, red pine, white spruce, black cherry and red maple.

March, 2023

February, 2023

Nature Moncton April Meeting

April 18, 2023, at 7:00 PM
Mapleton Rotary lodge

How colonial history has changed breeding patterns of the Acadian Nelson’s Sparrow
Presented by Kiirsti Owen, PhD student at the University of New Brunswick (with Joe Nocera) and Acadia University (with Mark Mallory)

The Acadian Nelson’s Sparrow (Ammospiza nelson subvirgata) breeds in salt marshes from northern Massachusetts to New Brunswick and eastern Quebec. In Atlantic Canada, these birds also successfully breed in dyked agricultural lands (“dykelands”) originally created by Acadian settlers in the 1600s. Little is known about how or why these secretive birds use dykelands. Kiirsti will be discussing how she is attempting to fill this knowledge gap. In 2021 and 2022, Kiirsti attached radio tags to 76 adult Nelson’s Sparrows in southeastern NB. Kiirsti and her team tracked birds’ movements using handheld radio telemetry in saltmarsh and dykeland habitats from June to August in both years. From these data, she is looking at home range sizes and distribution in natural vs. human-made habitats. With rising sea levels and ongoing habitat alteration, it is important to understand how populations use natural and human-made habitats to carry out important life stages. Future research will focus on discovering why some Nelson’s Sparrows choose to use mainly dykeland habitats during the breeding season. Kiirsti will also present some of the interesting observations that her team witnessed while tracking Nelson’s Sparrows, and some of the basic natural history questions that scientists can answer using radio telemetry.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.