For the birds?

For the birds?
St. Francis Valley Naturalists’ Club members recently enjoyed a walk at Heather Ross’ farm in Birchton (Photo : Courtesy)

Local Naturalists’ Club VP talks birdwatching, club activities

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

Are you wowed by warblers and eager to see eagles? In a June 4 interview with The Record, Gary McCormick, vice president of the St. Francis Valley Naturalists’ Club (SFVNC), shared on the rich history, vibrant activities, and the thriving birdwatching community of the local club.

The SFVNC, established in the 1950s, has long been a beacon for nature enthusiasts in the region.

“Our club is dedicated to educating the public about all things nature and our role in it,” McCormick explained. The club’s mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world through education, conservation, and hands-on experience. McCormick has served as vice president for several years after a seven-year term as president, underscoring his deep commitment to the club.

Birdwatching is a cornerstone of the club’s activities, attracting a diverse group of enthusiasts ranging from amateur ornithologists to casual nature lovers. The club organizes regular field outings, primarily within the Sherbrooke area, but occasionally ventures further afield. Popular birdwatching spots include Burbank Pond near Danville, the Johnville Bog, and the marsh at Atto-Beaver Park.

“Spring is by far the best time for birdwatching,” McCormick explained, highlighting the increased variety of birds during this season.

“Birds are not only returning to nest and breed in the area but also passing through on their way further north, as far as the Arctic.” The early spring season, with its less dense foliage, provides optimal conditions for spotting birds.

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