Nature PEI

December 2023 Nature PEI meeting program — Birds of Cuba

Join Nature PEI for their next monthly meeting on Tuesday, December 5th at 7:30 pm in Charlottetown at the Beaconsfield Carriage House. After a brief but informative meeting and a raffle-break, the Program will begin at 8, and feature guest speakers, The Honourable Diane Griffin and Dr. Kathy Martin. Kathy and Diane will be recounting their birding observations from a recent trip to Cuba.

Cuba is home to over 350 bird species, including 27 endemic species that are found nowhere else in the world. The Bee Hummingbird is one such endemic species. The Bee Hummingbird is considered the smallest bird in the world, measuring just 5 to 6 cm long (2.2 inches) and weighing as much as a dime. Cuba is also a winter home to many species we are familiar with in PEI. For example, most Ospreys from eastern Canada migrate to or through Cuba in the winter. The endangered Piping Plover, which nests on PEI beaches in the summer, is also known to winter in Cuba.

Diane Griffin has served at every level of government, most recently representing PEI in the Senate of Canada from 2016 to 2022. She is also the founding Executive Director of Island Nature Trust and worked for many years as the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Program Manager for PEI. Since January 2023, Diane has served as the Chair of the Health PEI Board.

Kathy Martin is an award-winning ornithologist who has served as President of the American Ornithological Society and the Society of Canadian ornithologists, and served on many national and international committees, including the International Ornithological Committee and the Birds Canada board. She has mentored over 100 undergraduate and graduate-level and Postdoctoral students and authored over 250 scientific publications. Kathy is currently a professor in the Forestry Faculty at the University of British Columbia and a Research Scientist Emeritus with Environment and Climate Change Canada. On PEI, Kathy is a member of the Forestry Commission, and is a board member of the Island Nature Trust and the Glenaladale Heritage Trust.

Diane and Kathy are long-time friends and often travel internationally, observing and photographing wonders of the natural world along the way. Most recently, they travelled to Cuba together.

The meeting starts at 7:30pm at Beaconsfield Carriage House, corner of West and Kent St., in Charlottetown. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend!

photo submitted by Dr. Kathy Martin

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