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Researcher Spotlight Series: Michelle Fitzsimmons

By Michelle Fitzsimmons, Memorial University

Posted November 19, 2018

Editor’s Note: In our Research Spotlight Series we shine a light on exciting research in our province. In this post we showcase Michelle Fitzsimmons who recently defended her PhD thesis in the Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology Graduate Program, Memorial University.

 

 

 

 

Researcher Michelle Fitzsimmons.

 

My research focused on investigating the behavioural and physiological responses of Atlantic puffins to changing food resources. I studied puffins in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland and Labrador, which is home to the largest breeding colony of Atlantic puffins in North America. Over a period of four breeding seasons, I conducted two separate food supplementation studies, in which natural prey abundance also fluctuated greatly. Infra-red video cameras and Passive Integrated Transponder tags were used to identify parents and observe provisioning behaviour and parent-chick interactions.

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Bidgood Park Fall Birdwatching

 

Beverly McClenaghan will lead a birding walk with Nature NL through Bidgood Park in the Goulds (St. John’s) on Thursday, October 11th at 5pm. Join experienced birders on an easy and accessible walk through the park’s various wooded and wetland habitats. We’ll hope to see many different species of warblers as they migrate south for the winter.

Meet at the Northwest corner of the park in the gravel parking lot on the left-hand side of Power’s road (from the turnoff on Backline Road). Visit BidgoodPark.com for a map of the park and to learn about its features.

Dress warmly! this event will proceed rain or shine. Bring binoculars if you own them (some will be available to borrow). Please note that washrooms are not available at Bidgood’s Park. The trail is wheelchair accessible.

Saturday October 11, 2018 from 5-7 pm
Meet at Bidgood Park at the west entrance off Power’s Road in the Goulds.

Bidgood’s Park Bird Walk

Explore the colourful and charming birds of Bidgood’s Park (Goulds, NL) with Megan Boucher (local birder and Nature NL boardmember) on Thursday June 15th at 6:30pm. This small natural area donated by the Bidgood family was turned into an accessible park in late 2014 and since then has proven to be an entertaining place for birders as proven by the 85 species documented there.

 

We will meet at the Northwest corner of the park in the gravel parking lot on the left-hand side of Power’s road (from the turnoff on Backline Road). On the park map (https://www.grandconcourse.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Bidgood-Map-2-Oct14.pdf), this is the secondary entrance parking lot, #4 on the map. The walk will last about 2 hours and is accessible to wheelchairs. The walk is open to everyone no matter what birding level. Please bring binoculars and dress appropriately for the weather.

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Winter Gull Workshop 2017

Did you know that Quidi Vidi Lake is internationally known for gull watching? The abundance and diversity of gulls attracts birdwatchers from all over the world.
Nature NL will be hosting a winter gull workshop with bird expert Jared Clarke at Quidi Vidi Lake. Learn to identify the many species of gulls that hang out St. John’s in the winter and spend a fun wintry day at the lake with birdwatchers of all different levels.
Bring binoculars if you have them, if not we will have a few extra pairs to lend.
We will meet at the far end of the Dominion grocery store parking lot (the northeast end of the parking lot, closest to the Lake). The Dominion is at 20 Lake Avenue next to Quidi Vidi Lake. Meet at the bright yellow car (and look for the Nature NL sign). Please dress for the weather. Hope to see you there!
Saturday, February 4, 2017, 10 am, at Quidi Vidi Lake, St. John’s

Upcoming Events

  1. 2018 Holiday social for environmental organizations

    November 29 @ 8:00 pm - 11:30 pm
  2. Cape Spear birdwatching

    December 1 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  3. Kids Bird Count

    January 5, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

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