Convention Summary & Thanks

2023 Convention Highlights

OFO’s 2023 Convention and AGM took place in Peterborough in September, with a Northern edition in Timmins. Here are some highlights:

Thank You!

The 2023 OFO Convention in Peterborough was a great success due to the dedication of an amazing team of volunteers. 

Thank you to the following: Mike Burrell for spearheading the keynote speaker Stu Mackenzie from Birds Canada; Dan Chronowic for wrangling up all the Certificates of Appreciation; Ben Fekete of BJF Music for the audio-visual support and for making our live streaming to the Northeastern Convention a success; Kiah Jasper for introducing and leading the “Bird of the Year” project; Marcie Jacklin for her wonderful video introducing the Distinguished Ornithologist recipient, Bruce Di Labio; Dave Milsom for what I’m sure were endless hours putting together all the trips and finding the volunteer trip leaders; Susan Nagy for such an amazingly successful Silent Auction and for raising the bar for future conventions; Colleen Reilly for helping out wherever and whenever she could; Sarah Rupert for her insight, thoughtfulness, and social media management, as well as for setting up all the table agendas, the Bird Quiz (which everyone had great fun with), the Bird of the Year ballots, and the Bird of the Year image; Jeff Skevington for his ongoing support; Dan Suess for his logistical wizardry at arranging the AV and catering needs and everything in between; Angie Williams for putting together the Northeastern Edition of the convention, and for being able to pivot when things seemed to go off the rails; a special thank you to Barbara Bowman for her wonderful photos. Barbara was so good at blending in with the surroundings that I’m sure people didn’t realize she was our photographer!

Thank you to Doug McRae for introducing Bruce Di Labio, and for sticking to the time frame!

A special shoutout to the catering team at Fresh Urban Plate, Mark Brunet and Lisa McGhie and their staff, for ensuring the food and beverages were fresh and out on time!

Thank you to Chip Weseloh and his team for the work they put into the selection of the 2024 Distinguished Ornithologist.

Dave Milsom, OFO Director

The OFO Convention Northern Edition would like to thank all the participants, and especially the volunteers, who helped make the convention a success. Thank you to the following:

Christa Rigney for researching venues in Timmins and stepping in as needed; Roxane Filion for organizing the trips, picking up the door prizes and giveaways, contacting the media, and handling so many other details that made the Northeastern Edition happen; Ken Williams for graciously handling most of the behind-the-scenes tasks over the weekend; Andrew Davis, Rhonda Donley, Roxane Filion, Mark Joron, Pierre Noel for leading our trips.

We’d also like to thank the City of Timmins, the Mattagami Region Conservation Authority, and Andre Filion for donating items for our welcome packages and door prizes; the Fishbowl Restaurant and the Conseil Scolaire Catholique de District de Grandes Rivieres for the use of their meeting rooms; The Fishbowl and Pick of the Crop Grocery for preparing our meals, which were always on time and delicious!

And a huge thank you to the OFO Board and especially Sue Suess for making our wonderful OFO Convention accessible to birders in the Northeastern corner of our province!

Angie Williams, OFO Director

Birds and More Birds

An impressive 182 species were reported at this year’s conventions held in Peterborough and Timmins. The latter northeastern Ontario group recorded 79 species, including five (Red-necked Grebe, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, American Three-toed Woodpecker, and Evening Grosbeak) not found by those on the 32 scheduled field trips near Peterborough and beyond to areas including Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Port Hope, Cobourg, Presqu’ile Park, Prince Edward County, and Algonquin Park. Those trips noted 177 species.

Several factors appear to have combined to produce the remarkable number of birds seen during the Convention. The weather over the three-day weekend was conducive to an influx of migrants in the south. A warm September had encouraged many species to linger. And as usual, a host of good birders leading and participating on the field trips resulted in some great finds. Notable species included Eared Grebe, King Rail, Red Knot, Wilson’s Phalarope, Forster’s Tern, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Nelson’s Sparrow.

Total species reported for the following groups are shown in parentheses: ducks (20), shorebirds (21), gulls (5), warblers (21) and sparrows (12).

Thanks to all convention organizers, trip leaders and participants in the north and the south.

Ron Tozer (OFO Convention 2023 List Compiler)



The OFO Convention is generously sponsored by