History and Timeline

Compiled by OFO Archivist, Diane Henderson, from Minutes and other Archival resources.

1968

August, Jim Richards discussed with Jim Baillie the idea of an Ontario birding journal and an Ontario Ornithological Society.

1982 - Founding Year

15 May: A Steering Committee of Bill Crins, Verne Evans, Ron Ridout, Chip Weseloh met at Point Pelee to initiate preparations for the founding of a new group to be called the Ontario Field Ornithologists.
October: OFO’s journal will be titled Ontario Birds; the membership fee is set at $10, plus, until year end, a founding life membership fee of $50.
13/14 November: First Annual General Meeting is held at Aldershot High School, Burlington; the first OFO Field Trips are held; membership at the end of the weekend: 36 life, 31 annual.

1983

February: First OFO Newsletter, with a Little Gull logo, is edited by Don Fraser.
April: First Ontario Birds issue published, edited by Chip and Linda Weseloh.
14/15 May: First Spring Field Meeting is held at Point Pelee; other field trips follow later in the year.
July: The OFO Constitution is published in the July issue of OFO Newsletter.
22/23 October: Second Annual General Meeting is held at Althouse College, University of Western Ontario.
December: Membership is 421, with 105 life and 316 annual members.

1984

March: OFO receives grant of $1000. from WWF for Great Gray Owl irruption study.
April: "Checklist of Birds of Ontario" in Ontario Birds.
12/13 May: Spring field meeting; 15 members did Birdathon and raised almost $4000.
June: First OFO brochure printed at a cost of $30 for 1000.
27/28 October: Third Annual General Meeting held at the McLaughlin Planetarium, ROM; annual membership fee for 1985 raised to $13.

1985

January: A membership directory is available to members for $2.
February: OFO Newsletter, issue #5, by new editor Geoff Carpentier.
11/12 May: Spring meeting, Point Pelee.
26/27 October: Fourth Annual General Meeting held at Mimico High School; in 1986, Don Fraser will become editor of Ontario Birds.
November: Membership is 478, with 115 life and 363 annual.

1986

31 May/1 June: Spring meeting at Presqu'ile Provincial Park: OFO T-shirts in grey with black/white graphics of three Little Gulls on sale at $10.
October: Membership fee for 1987 will be $17 annual, $340 life; total membership is over 500.
25/26 October: Fifth Annual General Meeting held at Scarborough Civic Centre; first book sale held.
17 December: Letters Patent for Incorporation received.

1987

January: Charitable Status received, effective 1 January; 515 memberships at end of 1986.
5-7 June: Spring meeting at Turkey Point Provincial Park.
24-25 October: Sixth Annual General Meeting held at the School of Agriculture, Niagara Falls.
November: At the Board meeting, it is suggested that “OFO needs to heighten its status so it becomes the provincial authority on ornithology”.

1988

January: Membership is 574, with 111 life and 463 annual.
4/5 June: Spring meeting held at Wye Marsh.
15/16 October: Seventh Annual General Meeting held at the Scarborough Civic Centre.

1989

OFO writing to Ministry of Environment supporting ban on hunting in Point Pelee.
May: Membership fee for 1990 raised to $20 with new category of family at 1½ times single.
June: MNR invites OFO to partner in a 3-year study of wildlife habitat and use of Hudson and James Bays.
28/29 October: Eighth Annual Meeting held at the Scarborough Civic Centre.

1990

May: membership is now 446 including 112 life.
September: OFO Board meets with co-editors of Ornithology in Ontario to discuss publication issues.
20/21 October: Ninth Annual General Meeting held at Erindale College, Mississauga.

1991

February: Bill Crins, Ron Pittaway and Ron Tozer agree to be joint editors of Ontario Birds.
April: Further progress toward publication of Ornithology in Ontario.
May: Spring meetings, held annually since 1983, are cancelled because of declining interest.
19/20 October: Tenth Annual General Meeting held at Erindale College, Mississauga.

1992

February: Huge turnout of over 90 people for the Petroglyph field trip.
June: Over 60 people are present at the Algonquin field trip; membership totals 461 with 108 life and 353 annual.
September: 65-70 naturalist clubs have been sent information about OFO.
17/18 October: Eleventh Annual General Meeting held at Erindale College, Mississauga.
November: Slight change in membership fee: family $25.

1993

January: Membership is about 500.
August: Ontario Birds has first paid advertisement in August issue - Swarovski takes full back cover.
October: Change in membership fee for 1994: $22 for single, $27.50 for family.
16/17 October: Twelfth Annual General Meeting held at Erindale College, Mississauga.
December: Publication of Ornithology in Ontario now set for 1994 launch.

1994

January: Currently 498 members; membership cards will be discontinued.
February: Ornithology in Ontario is published, 1000 copies printed; OFO Newsletter renamed OFO News, now edited by Jean Iron.
April: With input from membership, the Pileated Woodpecker is approved as OFO’s new logo.
June: Ornithology in Ontario sales pass break-even point.
September: 1994 Field Checklist of Birds is available.< br> October: OFO Code of Ethics published in October issue of OFO News.
15/16 October: Thirteenth Annual General Meeting held at Nobleton Community Hall; first Certificate of Appreciation awarded.

1995

April: 601 annual and life memberships, "probably a record high".
September: OFO suggests that Point Pelee Visitor Centre use our Code of Ethics .
14/15 October: Fourteenth Annual General Meeting held at Nobleton Community Hall.
November: OFO participates with TOC/Birder's Journal in a presentation on warblers by Jon Dunn, 290 attend.
December: OFO Board gives go-ahead for an Internet website as recommended by report on benefits, contents, users.

1996

February: first issue of OFO News to use new Pileated Woodpecker head as logo.
July 14: OFO homepage on Internet goes live; much positive feedback from across Canada.
August: Ontario Birds-first use of colour in cover title; an index to the first 15 volumes is in preparation.
19/20 October: Fifteenth Annual General Meeting held at Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Burlington.
November: Total membership now 739.

1997

March: 1997 Field Checklist of Ontario Birds now ready; a copy will be sent free to each member.
April: Distinguished Ornithologist Award for “long standing and unique contributors to ornithology in Ontario” is established; Earl Godfrey will be first recipient.
18/19 October: Sixteenth Annual General Meeting held at Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Burlington.
November: Membership is now 798.

1998

March: Ross James nominated for Distinguished Ornithologist Award for 1998.
June: OFO Board discusses future use of colour in Ontario Birds.
September: New OFO sales items available.
17/18 October: Seventeenth Annual General Meeting held at Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Burlington.
November: Membership over 800; recently launched OFO listserv a great success.

1999

March: 1999 Field Checklist of Ontario Birds at printer.
June: New Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas underway; OFO will play a major role as one of several sponsors.
Website: over 1800 hits in last 2 months.
2/3 October: Eighteenth Annual General Meeting held at Point Pelee.
November: Memberships hit all time high of 910; OFO invited to participate in Americas-wide committee to prepare a shorebird conservation plan.

2000

March: Distinguished Ornithologist Award for 2000 has been presented to Dr. Murray Speirs.
April: Ontario Birds first colour illustrations, in April issue.
16/17 September: Nineteenth Annual General Meeting held at the Kortright Centre.
December: Agreement is in place with Canada Post for Publications Mail rates; memberships now 1001!

2001

February: George Peck nominated for Distinguished Ornithologist Award for 2001; memberships now 1048.
29/30 September: Twentieth Annual General Meeting held at Point Pelee.
November: Website content expanded, with history of OBRC documented; OBRC hopes to computerize its database; Bruce Falls nominated for Distinguished Ornithologist Award for 2002.

2002

January: Now 1061 memberships; new Website about to be launched, www.ofo.ca.
March: OFO Ontario Bird Checklist 2002 published; change in membership fees: annual fee will be $25, family category dropped; new photos being added to website; ONTBIRDS, with 1275 subscribers, “may be largest birding listserv in the world!”.
28-29 September: Twenty-first Annual Convention held at Kingston.

2003

January: Website new photo page a great success.
Ontario Birds page includes image of cover of each colour issue; Bob Curry nominated for Distinguished Ornithologist Award for 2003.
March: Carden Alvar Project: OFO will have a representative on its Management Board; OFO has more volunteers working on the Breeding Bird Atlas than any other organization.
20/21 September: Twenty-second Annual Convention held at Point Pelee.
October: Jim Rising is nominated for Distinguished Ornithologist Award for 2004.

2004

January: Memberships now total 1022, with 120 life.
February: Ontario Bird Checklist 2004 mailed with OFO News.
September: OFO one of legal partners in the stewardship team for Carden Alvar property.
2/3 October: Twenty-third Annual Convention held at Oakville; Certificate of Appreciation presented to Jean Iron for twelve years of service to OFO Board, including past nine years as President.
November: Ron Pittaway is nominated for Distinguished Ornithologist Award for 2005.

2005

January: Continuing participation in Carden Alvar Project, Partners in Flight, the Ontario Breeding Birds Atlas, Shorebirds conservation project.
April: index to OFO News has been mounted on Website.
10/11 September: Twenty-fourth Annual Convention held at Point Pelee; largest attendance ever: 205.
Distinguished Ornithologist is Ron Pittaway
December: Website has nearly 2 million hits during 2005; present Ontario Birds editors will be retiring at end of 2006.

2006

January: Ontario Bird Checklist 2006 published.
June: ONTBIRDS has almost 2000 subscribers.
30 September/1 October: Twenty-fifth Annual Convention held at Ottawa.
Distinguished Ornithologist is Ken Abraham
December: Total memberships now 1047, including 113 new members since January; December issue of Ontario Birds is the last to be edited by long-time editors, Bill Crins, Ron Pittaway, and Ron Tozer .

2007 - 25th Anniversary Year

February: There will be 26 field trips for 2007; 25th Anniversary decals will be sent to members.
April: first issue of Ontario Birds under new editors, Glenn Coady, Ross James, and Chip Weseloh.
13/14 October: Twenty-sixth Annual Convention held at Point Pelee; Celebration of 25 years of OFO.
Distinguished Ornithologist is Mike Cadman

2008

4-5 October: Twenty-seventh Annual Convention held at Hamilton.
Distinguished Ornithologist is Harry Lumsden

2009

3-4 October: Twenty-eighth Annual Convention held at Point Pelee.
Distinguished Ornithologist is Ron Tozer

2010

25-26 September: Twenty-ninth Annual Convention held at Long Point.
Distinguished Ornithologist is Erica Dunn and David Hussell

2011

May : Joomla based on-line membership system introduced.
17-18 September : Thirtieth Annual Convention held at Point Pelee.
Distinguished Ornithologist is David Brewer

2012

January: There will be 57 field trips including convention outings
14-16 September : Thirty-first Annual Convention held at Presqu'ile Provincial Park and Prince Edward County
Distinguished Ornithologist is Jim Richards

2013

January: There will be 67 field trips including convention outings
February: Back issues of Newsletter and Ontario Birds added to website.
27-29 September : Thirty-second Annual Convention held at Point Pelee.
Distinguished Ornithologist is Jon McCracken

2014

January: There will be 78 field trips including convention outings
February: New photo section on website managed entirely by Photo editors.
27-29 September : Thirty-third Annual Convention held at Ottawa
Distinguished Ornithologist is Clive Goodwin
November: First Board retreat to discuss OFO direction.
November: First Gull Identification Workshop held in Niagara Falls.

2015

February: New WildApricot membership system comes live on the website

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Photo: Sandra and Frank Horvath

Great Blue Heron
Photo: Carol Horner

Green Heron
Photo: Sam Barone

Green Heron
Photo: Sandra Hawkins

Tricolored Heron
Photo: Barry Cherriere

Tricolored Heron
Photo: Gabriel Lau Kin Jock

Great Blue Heron
Juvenile
Photo: Sam Barone

Downy Woodpecker
Female
Photo: Daniel Cadieux

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Photo: Sam Barone

Downy Woodpecker
Photo: Daniel Cadieux

Hairy Woodpecker
Juvenile
Photo: Frank and Sandra Horvath

Downy Woodpecker
Photo: Mark Peck

Downy Woodpecker
Female
Photo: Sandra and Frank Horvath

Red-headed Woodpecker
Photo: Jody Melanson