Thursday, May 21, 2020

SATURDAY'S BIRD CELEBRATION PROGRAMME - 5.30 A.M. TO 8.30 P.M.


Here is the link to participate in the bird celebration on Saturday ...



5:45AM
Live Dawn Chorus at Sam Smith Park

Kelly-Sue O’Connor
FOSS Committee
8:00AM
Welcome from FOSS (Friends of Sam Smith Park)

Brian Keaveney
President of FOSS
8:30AM
Kid’s Activities and Craft Ideas

FOSS
9:00AM
Live Great Canandian Birdathon for Bird Canada – Toronto Ornithological Club

Justin Peter
President of the Toronto Ornithological Club
10:00AM
A Coffee Primer for Birds & People

Birds & Beans
10:30 AM
Nests & Eggs
Emily Rondel
Community Learning Coordinator for Toronto Regional Conservation Authority and Vice President of the Toronto Ornithological Club

11:00AM
Photography Slideshow

Nancy Barrett
FOSS Committee

11:30AM
Recommended Bird Related Reading

FOSS
12:00PM
Lakeshore Grounds:  Indigenous history and the Carrying Place Trail
Introduction to the Construction of the Park from Landfill
Introduction to Colonel Sam Smith Park- The first settler owner of the land and for whom the park is named.
Introduction to the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital on the grounds (including the power house and cricket pitch)

Nadine Finlay                                     Assistant Curator, Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre


12:30AM
FLAP- Fatal Light Awareness Program
Hitting The Streets with FLAP

FLAP
1:00PM
Birds Canada Materials for Kids

Birds Canada
1:30PM
Tour of the Swallow Field

Terry Smith
FOSS Committee

2:00PM
Shorebird Migration including Whimbrels
Mark Peck
Technician Ornithology Department at the Royal Ontario Museum and Manager of the SHAD Gallery of Biodiversity

2:30PM
Photography Slideshow         
Irene Cholewka
FOSS Committee

3:00PM
Wild Ontario- Stronger, Faster, Stealthier- Ontario’s Remarkable Raptors

Kyle Horner
Education Coordinator for Wild Ontario
3:30PM
All About Birds Postings-Learn about different birds in our park!

FOSS
4:00PM
Sketching Mallard Ducks Tutorial, How to Draw a Feather
Alan Li
LUNA Toronto – The Leagues of Urban Nature Artists

5:00PM
Recommended Bird Related Movies and Documentaries

FOSS
5:30PM
FLAP- Fatal Light Awareness Program
Canada Annual Migratory Bird Layout at The Royal Ontario Museum

FLAP
6:00PM
Toronto Bird Celebration Links

FOSS
8:15PM
Live Dusk Chorus
Kelly-Sue O’Connor
FOSS Committee


Monday, May 18, 2020

SATURDAY, MAY 23RD - FRIENDS OF SAM SMITH PARK ALL DAY ONLINE AND LIVE BIRD CELEBRATION


SATURDAY, MAY 23RD AT 5:30 AM – 7 PM

Friends of Sam Smith Park All Day Bird Celebration online and live on our Facebook page!

Join us as we celebrate the birds in our park online! We will have special speakers, trivia, children’s activities to try at home, photo slideshows, a tour of our famous swallow field and more!

More info to come .....

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

SUMMARY: MINUTES FOSS STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING - APRIL 27TH, 2020

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting
April 27th, 2020
7:00, Via Zoom Video Conferencing


  • NATURE’S SANCTUARY PHOTO EXHIBIT: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the exhibit is tentatively re-scheduled for 2021. A new date (when confirmed) will be posted on the FOSS blog and Facebook sites. Save your photos until then. 
  • FACEBOOK POSTINGS OF COL. SAM PARK’S BIRD SIGHTINGS: Many FOSS Facebook followers have expressed concern about crowded conditions at Col. Sam. Many believe that posting bird sightings serves to encourage ever more visitors. Some visitors are apparently not practising “social distancing”. To alleviate such problems, FOSS encourages birders to post only their back yard counts.
  • BEAVER-CUT TREES: Beavers have cut down several larger trees in Col. Sam. FOSS has learned that the city’s plans to place mesh around the trees have been tentatively delayed until fall 2020. FOSS plans to inquire if this task could be completed by volunteers before then.
  • LONG BRANCH TREE FESTIVAL: Tentatively scheduled for Sunday, September 20. Check the blog for updates.
  • NEW TORONTO HOLIDAY MARKET: FOSS has been asked to participate again in December 2020 (COVID-19 dependent). FOSS hopes to expand the activities on offer. Adults particularly enjoyed making Christmas “swags”. FOSS plans to make them available in 2020.
  • ON-GOING CONCERNS:
  • DRUG/GARBAGE/TREE PLATFORM PROBLEMS AT COL. SAM: Discarded drug paraphernalia and litter are on-going detriments in the park, particularly in the North Creek area. Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

Friday, May 1, 2020

TREE SWALLOW NEST BOX "EVICTIONS" OF HOUSE SPARROWS



You may have noticed the FOSS Tree Swallow crew tossing out nesting material from some boxes in the last week or so. As well as having kept the entrance holes covered until the swallows arrived this spring, we have also been evicting House Sparrows from boxes in order to deter them from taking over. Our efforts have produced some success ... there are more swallows than ever this year in the field.
 
House Sparrows are extremely determined and aggressive. They will kill adult swallows and nestlings in the boxes and even build their own nest on top of the dead birds!

Although the images posted here of dead swallows we have recently found are difficult to look at, they do illustrate how ruthless sparrows can be and why we need to continue with the "evictions".

House Sparrows are an "exotic", non-native, invasive species and as such are not protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Nestbox monitors are allowed to remove their nests,
particularly when they compete with protected birds like the Tree Swallow.