Upcoming Zoom Presentations. – topics, dates, presenters & details.


Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Presenter: Tom Plath

My love for natural history began early and by my teens had participated on numerous bird inventory projects. Sharing my passion with others, I was given the VNHS (Nature Vancouver) Garibaldi Award for outstanding service in 1993. Following a Diploma in Renewable Resources, I worked for BC Environment as a Non-game Wildlife Specialist for the Lower Mainland Region from 1992 to 2003. I reviewed development proposals and impacts to Species at Risk; collected population and habitat data on designated species; developed and administered funding proposals; and designed and implemented research projects. Following lay-off (down-sized) I started consulting in 2003. Since then, I’ve has worked on numerous wildlife-related projects in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the Yukon; and on a variety of taxon including Species at Risk, terrestrial mollusks, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, seabirds, raptors, owls, songbirds, small mammals and marine mammals.
I enjoy passing my knowledge to others and have led over 150 bird watching field trips both locally and abroad for many natural history groups; organized and conducted ornithology workshops for non-government and government agencies; and taught courses on identification, biology and behavior of birds at Capilano College, for the Vancouver School Board and Vancouver Community College. In 2010 I created Satipo Tours and now organize and lead birding tours worldwide.

The southern Africa country of Namibia has several outstanding birding areas holding one endemic, about 20 near-endemics and many bird species hard to see elsewhere. This sparsely populated, dry country also boasts one of Africa’s premier game viewing areas – Etosha National Park where springs and man-made water holes attract hordes of animals during the dry season. We visit the country’s finest bird and wildlife viewing sites starting at the escarpment forest of the Waterberg Plateau, riparian and floodplain habitats of the Caprivi Strip, westward to the “Rolls Royce” of Africa’s parks – Etosha, ending at the coastal shorebird-rich Walvis Bay area.

Two-banded Sandgrouse.
Photo: Tom Plath

Photo: Tom Plath


Previous presentations:

September 15, 2021
Botswana/Okavango Delta

Presenter: Kevin Neill

From a very young age I’ve been kind of obsessed with most aspects of nature and wildlife. My day job is in finance, but this biologist/photographer wannabe simply does that so I can go birding in interesting locales. In October of 2012, my botanist-leaning wife Kala and I travelled to South Africa and Botswana to experience a full-on wildlife extravaganza. It did not disappoint.

This presentation consists mostly of our time spent in the Okavango Delta in the northwest corner of Botswana, and to a much lesser extent in and around Cape Town. Camping in the national parks of the Delta in 40C+ heat was both rustic and somewhat uncomfortable at times, but completely and absolutely worth it given the number of birds, mammals, and reptiles we got to experience in a sometimes frighteningly up close and personal way.

Hoopoe. Photo: Kevin Neill


October 20, 2021

Presenter: Lee Harding

Lee E. Harding has a BSc in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University (California) and a PhD in Wildlife Toxicology from Gifu University (Japan). He consulted in wildlife ecology in the Arctic for five years, was an Environment Canada biologist and program manager for 20 and, after taking early retirement from the Canadian Wildlife Service, was an environmental consultant for another20 years. Dr. Harding is a Registered Professional Biologist in British Columbia, Canada and a member (retired) of the College of Applied Biology (B.C.), the American Society of Mammalogists and the British Columbia Field Ornithologists. His recent publications have included articles in Birds of British Columbia (papers on red-winged blackbirds, sandhill cranes and soras) and British Columbia Birding (articles on birding in China and Oregon).

Lee and his brother, Jeff Harding, spent a month in Argentina in 2015. They flew to Buenos Aires, spent a few days in a local nature reserve, drove north, passing through Entre Rios, Corrientes and Missiones provinces to the massive Iquazú waterfalls on the border with Brazil, in deep gallery rainforest. They then drove southwest to Ibará, the second largest wetland in the world after the Pantonal in Brazil. Continuing west, they crossed the dry Chaco, an arid region of dry scrub. Veering north, they reached the foothills of the Andes in Jujuy Province, spending a few days in a cloud forest at about 3,000 m elevation. Further west, they entered the Andes, passed the village of Purmamarca and climbed switchbacks up to near the Chilean and Bolivian borders to the Atacama Desert at about 3,500 m before their car’s radiator boiled over. Turning south, they climbed to another cloud forest to see the Rufous-throated dippers. Continuing south, they stopped at Salta, the capital of Salta Province, before again turning up into the Andes for high desert birding in Tucuman Province. Then they began a long, straight drive south, passing through Cordoba, La Pampa and Rio Negro Provinces—a country filled with wetlands, lakes and savannas— to reach the Valdez Peninsula, on the Atlantic coast in Chabut Province, Patagonia. On return to Buenos Aires, they took a coastal route, visiting the mouth of the Rio Negro and Bahía Blanca and an interior mountain range, the Sierra de la Ventana, in Buenos Aires Province. They counted 361 bird species.

Spectacled Tyrant. Photo: Lee Harding


November 17, 2021
Williamson’s Sapsuckers: Endangered for now, but where to next?

Presenter: Les Gyug

Les is a biologist who has lived and worked in the southern interior of BC since 1981, running his own business, Okanagan Wildlife Consulting, since 1991. While over the years he has worked with many wildlife species, Williamson’s Sapsucker has been a recurring theme since 1995. While an interesting bird in its own right, its assessment in 2005 as Endangered in Canada added impetus to the research, which continues to this day.

Les will take a look back at what we’ve done, how much we know now that we didn’t know before, some interesting sapsucker behaviour, and where the species is likely to end up next given conservation efforts and climate change.

Photo: Les Gyug,