Miniature Landscapes: Mega-diversity Close Up

Many beautiful photos by Island photographers will provide a more artistic examination of nature in miniature.  You can find an entire ecosystem in a fallen log, crook of a tree, clump of seaweed, tangle of flotsam and jetsam or among lichens and mosses on a rock.  Sometimes there are too many species to identify.  No broad strokes here – this is the detail work.  Look through the close-up lens and get an amazing view of new worlds.  Ron Arvidson and Shirley Gallant will show dozens of tiny vignettes in photos by these terrific Island photographers and naturalists for this nearly-spring presentation.

Confederation Centre Public Library on Wednesday, April 16 at 7 p.m.

Free public event – all are welcome1378131_559618364091787_252972806_n

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April Meeting Postponed To Wednesday

 The April meeting of Nature PEI will be held on Wednesday April 2, at 7:30. Beaconsfield Carriage House. Corner West & Kent St., Charlottetown.

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The Effects of Human Inputs to Island Streams and Estuaries

Dr. Mike van den Heuvel of the Canadian Rivers Institute at UPEI does not have to look far in this Island Province to find something to study. He and his team of students have been dissecting the factors that are increasingly causing our estuaries to become anoxic and our streams choked with sediment, limiting healthy productivity in these ecosystems.  He notes “The aquatic environment on, and surrounding PEI is not improving, it is getting worse. When I think of the “Green Island”, I see mountains of sea lettuce in our estuaries. Damage to our tourism, fisheries and aquaculture industries is happening now, but it can be reversed if the public demands it.”

The effects of unsustainable land use on our streams, estuaries and coastal environment will be discussed in Mike van den Heuvel’s presentation, at the upcoming April meeting of Nature PEI.It takes place on Tuesday, April 1st, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House, corner of West and Kent Streets. Admission to the presentation is free and all are welcome

 Dr. Michael R. van den Heuvel is the Canada Research Chair in Watershed Ecological Integrity at the University of Prince Edward Island. He is an environmental biologist who has worked measuring toxic effects from pulp mills in New Zealand and Canada and oil sands-related aquatic reclamation projects in Alberta. Since moving to Prince Edward Island he has found ideal study sites to track ecological degradation in estuaries. He has been investigating not only the environmental damage caused by excessive nutrients, consequences of erosion on sediment in streams, and the impacts of a variety of contaminants, but also collaborating with  end-users to define how we should monitor environmental health in our ecosystem. 

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Field Trip Planned for Sunday, March 23, 2014

Birding on PEI and NaturePEI are hosting a field trip to look for Woodpeckers, Creepers and early Spring Migrants on Sunday, March 23. Meet at Indigo Parking lot Charlottetown (to car pool) at 8:00 AM or the National Park entrance to the Reeds and Rushes Trail at approximately 8:30. We will also be checking other areas in the park and surroundings. Please dress for the weather and you might want to bring a snack. All ages and levels of experience welcome! 
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Antarctic Adventures: Exploring the Southern Ocean by Tall Ship

In 2012 Fiep de Bie flew to the Falklands Islands to volunteer as crew on the 56 meter, 100 year old square rigger “Europa”, ( joining in the exploration of the Southern Ocean with her shipmates.  Besides re-experiencing tall ships, she was able to hear the roar of the seals on South Georgia and indulge her fascination for birds by meeting up with many Antarctic species including several kinds of penguins, skuas, terns, and also the Wandering Albatross.  “Try imagining about 200,000 pairs of King Penguins at the St. Andrews rookery. I was in awe of the remote wilderness and the wildlife. I had to pinch myself to really understand I was there,” Fiep recalls.

While Fiep volunteered, her camera was working overtime, and she’ll share highlights of her intriguing trip at the upcoming March meeting of Nature PEI. It takes place on Tuesday, March 4th, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House, corner of West and Kent Streets.

Admission to the presentation is free and all are welcome.


Fiep de Bie:  Biographical Notes

Fiep de Bie is a Prince Edward Island resident who first cut her teeth on traditional sailing ships in The Netherlands and earned her Captain’s License to sail them.  Starting in the early- 1990s she gained experience as  deckhand on some Dutch sailing barges, gained her Watch-Keeping Mate certificate and started sailing on Tallship Europa.  During “Tall Ship 2000,” she crewed aboard the Europa in the Trans-Atlantic Cutty Sark Tall Ship Races. 

Fiep is a member of Nature PEI and a graduate of the Holland College wildlife program. She annually volunteers to do the challenging Breeding Bird Survey for Environment Canada, and has also worked conducting bird surveys in some of the more remote Island places. Presently, she is updating a science specimen inventory for the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation. Fiep is President of Island Nature Trust. 

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Great Backyard Bird Count – Sunday Feb. 16 at 8:00 AM

  • In support of the Great Backyard Bird Count we (Birding on PEI and Nature PEI) will be visiting bird feeders and sites around Charlottetown and area. We will meet at the parking lot at Tim Horton’s in Cornwall – Sunday Feb. 16 at 8:00 AM and car pool from there to visit various feeders and locations. In particular we are looking for birds that are not common at our feeders. 

    All Ages Welcome! 

    To report your sightings during the GBBC, Please refer here:

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The Owls of Prince Edward Island

Daytime flyers and night-time hooters are two broad categories of Owls in Prince Edward Island, and of the near dozen species that have been recorded here, most are indeed nocturnal. A mere 60 years ago these birds of prey were submitted for bounty in PEI.  Bird expert Dwaine Oakley knows the owls and will string together more than a few owl facts when he presents “The Owls of Prince Edward Island” at the upcoming February meeting of Nature PEI. It takes place on Tuesday, February 4th, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House, corner of West and Kent Streets.

Dwaine will elaborate on which species are present including the rare visitors, the different owl vocalizations (there is a certain ambiance in a darkened room when owls call), and an array of owl adaptations. The topic of prey and prey cycles is bound to arise.  Dwaine also will recount a few cheery stories of people encountering owls. Those in attendance should be prepared to share their story of unusual chance meetings with owls at the conclusion of the evening.

Admission to the presentation is free and all are welcome.


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