Indoor Lectures

Thunder Bay Field Naturalists meet on the fourth Monday of September, October, November, January, March and April at Lunan Hall, St. Paul's United Church, 349 Waverley Street, Thunder Bay. Take the sidewalk to the left of the main church entrance.

Please note that meetings begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. so that we will finish early enough to have time to socialize over tea and coffee after the presentation.

Non-members are welcome.  A small donation at the door to help defray hall rental costs is always appreciated.

If you have a particular topic you would like to see presented or know of someone with a presentation that would be of interest to our club, please bring this to the attention of the gdracey(at)tbaytel(dot)netprograms organizer. Thank you!




Monday, October 28, 2019

Ecological Perspective on the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists Area of Interest

This special evening will focus on the Territorial District of Thunder Bay which is the stated area of interest of the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists and which spans a vast and diverse area of land and water from the north shore of Lake Superior to the Albany River, and from Pukaskwa to Quetico. Gerry Racey will start with a description and discussion of what drives the ecology of this landscape and what makes it special and different from all other areas in Ontario.  This perspective will go from global to local and address climate (and climate change), the geology, soils, forests and natural processes such as fire that shape our landscape and support the flora and fauna. 

Later in the evening, the four members that represent TBFN on Local Citizens Committees: Peter Nicholas (Lakehead Forest); Mac Squires (Dog River Mattawin Forest); Rob Foster (Black Spruce Forest) and Gerry Racey (Armstrong Forest) will provide a brief overview of resource management issues being discussed among land managers and their perspective on those issues. Effective TBFN participation on these groups requires the representatives to collectively reflect the interests of the club. This part of the evening is an open invitation for an ongoing dialogue between all members and those that represent them on the Local Citizen Committees.       

Throughout the evening, we encourage membership to share their thoughts, concerns and interests about this land and how the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists engage in the enjoyment and management of this landscape and its inhabitants. We would also love to hear whether there is an interest in visiting and experiencing some of the more far-flung features within our Area of Interest. 


Monday, November 25, 2019

Bird Trends in the Thunder Bay Area

Join with us to learn about and celebrate three projects related to bird monitoring and conservation in the Lakehead.  Thunder Bay Field Naturalists have supported over the years Project Peregrine, the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory and the Christmas Bird Count. This support has come in terms of financial support and countless volunteer hours.  Brian Ratcliff will describe the background and achievements of Project Peregrine, which has achieved its objective of helping bring Peregrine falcons back from the brink. Al Harris will highlight the achievements of the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory, and especially the trends detected from this significant monitoring effort that is contributing to a broad understanding of local and regional trends in migratory and resident bird population health. Finally, as we approach the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) season, Bill Greaves and Nick Escott will share the longer-term trends revealed in the local and regional CBC data and some of the highlights from this long-running citizen science project. You will hear about plans for this year and how you may get involved.


Monday, January 27, 2020

Annual General Meeting and Members Slide Night

The TBFN Annual General Meeting will start the evening. This meeting will have a brief financial report and an election of officers for the Board of Directors from a proposed slate of candidates. An agenda for the meeting will be distributed to members in advance of the meeting.

Following the annual business meeting and election of the executive, members are invited to share their favourite nature-related photographs from the past year.  Each presenter is asked to limit their contribution to a maximum of 10 photographs or a maximum of 7 minutes.  Please contact Gerry Racey (gdracey(at)tbaytel(dot)net) by January 17 of your interest in presenting some slides and the general subject matter.  Bring your photographs or presentation on a memory stick to have them loaded on the computer prior to the meeting.  Slides embedded in a Powerpoint presentation are preferred. Please label the file with your name.  If your presentation requires special software you will have to bring your own computer (please notify Gerry Racey).  Presenters should plan on arriving 15 minutes before the 7:00 meeting start time in order to have their photographs loaded on the computer.


Sunday, 23 February 2020

Thunder Bay Field Naturalists Annual Dinner

The TBFN Annual Dinner Meeting will be held at the Current River Community Centre on Sunday, February 23, 2020. Additional information is available on the website (

Our guest speaker this year will be Dr Matt Tocheri. He is the Canada Research Chair in Human Origins at Lakehead University (Thunder Bay, Ontario) and a Research Associate in the Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program. He received his PhD in Anthropology from Arizona State University in 2007 and was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2013. His research focuses on the evolutionary history and functional morphology of the human and great ape family, with a special interest in Homo floresiensis, the so-called ‘hobbits’ of human evolution.

Watch for information on ticket sales on our website and in your email inboxl.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Polar bear social behaviour in southern Hudson Bay

Join us as Courtney Mondoux shares her research experience with polar bears of the southern and western Hudson Bay subpopulations. Her MSc research was conducted out of Trent University and was based on capture data from 1999-2013 for the southern and western Hudson Bay subpopulations of polar bears which include parts of Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, and Nunavut.  She will talk about how polar bear individuals and groups, especially maternal groups, organize themselves when they come together on shore in the summer after the sea ice breaks up. On the sea ice, there is lots of space, but when polar bears come ashore they have to co-exist at a higher density.  Her talk will discuss family groups, influence of age, sex and reproductive status on distribution, even adoption of wild offspring.


Continue to check back on this page as more talks are added for the coming season.


Past Talks

To view a list of past indoor lectures CLICK HERE