This is my last message as President as my term ends with the upcoming annual general meeting and members’ image night. I would like to thank everyone for their support over the last two years and in particular thank the Board members for their advice and support. In addition to the usual duties running an organization, there were several local issues that required me to hit the ground running. One of the things I quickly learned about the Society as I became more involved is the number of dedicated Society members, their knowledge of various nature-related matters and their passion for conservation. It is the reason why the Society is a strong voice for nature in the Saskatoon area. I have learned a lot over the last two years and met many interesting people in the community.
Like most of you, I am looking forward to the end of the colder temperatures and welcome the longer days, but over the winter we have enjoyed participating in the FeederWatch program. This winter we have had a Dark- eyed Junco and pairs of Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers have been hanging out with our resident House Sparrows and Black-capped Chickadees. I have often wondered how these birds survive the extreme temperatures. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “Small birds like chickadees and kinglets can drop their body temperatures by up to 15 degrees F at night with an adaptation called “regulated hypothermia.” This technique enables them to save nearly a quarter of the energy they use each hour”. See Cornell’s website called “Bird Sleuth”, designed as an educational resource for grades K to 12, http://www.birdsleuth.org
For those of us who are avid gardeners, the annual Gardenscape show held March 29-31 at Prairieland Park also marks the end of winter. It is a great opportunity to inform the public about our organization so please consider volunteering for a few hours at our display. Besides helping support the Society, you will save yourself the cost of admission to the event. Once again, Jan Shadick with Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation will be giving a talk on the afternoon of March 30 about “Birds in Real Danger Saskatoon”. See her article in this newsletter for an update about of this local initiative that we are supporting.
I hope to see you at the AGM. Valerie Martz
Saskatoon Nature Society
Connecting People and Nature
Saskatoon Nature Society
Box 448, RPO University
Saskatoon, SK S7N 4J8