Nicola Naturalist Society – Fall Events 2018

Evening meetings of the Nicola Naturalist Society are held at 7PM, usually on the third Thursday of the month, in the Lecture Theatre of NVIT (Nicola Valley Institute of Technology) on Belshaw Road, Merritt. Our evening meetings are free for members. We have awesome raffles.

Scroll down to see what is coming up from October through December 2018

For insurance reasons, our field outings are restricted to our members (visitors can join membership-for-a-day). To join the Nicola Naturalist Society click here: Membership Page

Thursday October 18th 2018, 7 PM at NVIT Lecture Theatre: Martin Ince –  Bats and Wind Turbines, Bat Acoustic Analysis at the future Mount Mabel Wind Project.

Wind turbines generate emission-free electricity. Bats are a sensitive wildlife that can often get killed by wind turbines. This presentation provides insights into the impacts of wind turbines on bats, reviews information on bats in BC, presents the methods for detecting and identifying bat species using echolocation call analysis, and lastly reviews the bat acoustical monitoring program at the future Mount Mabel Wind Project (30 km north of Merritt). Martin Ince, founder and president of MKI Wind Energy and the proponent of the Mount Mabel Wind Project, has been working in the wind-energy industry for over 17 years, as a consultant across Canada and most recently as a wind-project developer in BC.

Images courtesy Martin Ince and Wikimedia Commons

Thursday November 15th 2018, 7 PM at NVIT Lecture Theatre: Frank Ritcey –  Wolves, bears and snakes

Frank Ritcey is the Provincial Coordinator for WildSafeBC, based in Kamloops. In this presentation he will focus on the public perception of charismatic mega-fauna vs. bugs and snakes, and the challenges in trying to promote the preservation of some of the ‘lower’ creatures on the public’s list of what is important. Expect some pretty cool videos of both the charismatic mega-fauna and some of Frank’s favourite “less desirable” species. Frank was raised in the wilds of Wells Gray Park by his pioneering mother, Clara Ritcey, and Park Biologist father Ralph Ritcey. His love of nature has been with him his whole life and he still spends much time filming and studying nature. Frank often contributes to CBC’s popular North by Northwest show.

We don’t have an evening meeting in December, but two popular events …

Saturday 8th December 2 – 4 PM, NVIT upstairs Room U011:  Winter Bird Identification Workshop (for NNS Members)

Brush up on your identification skills for the upcoming Christmas Bird Count. Or improve your knowledge of the birds at your feeder. Come to the bird identification workshop led by Alan Burger. This will focus on birds likely to be seen in and around Merritt in winter. Beginner birders welcome.

White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches – birds we usually find in the Merritt Christmas Bird Counts. Photos: ©Alan Burger

Merritt Christmas Bird Count –  Sunday December 16th.

You don’t have to be an expert birder to participate in Christmas Bird Counts. Participants spend all or part of the day in a group covering a specific section of the 22-km diameter count circle. It is a great way to get to know the local winter birds and contribute to the world’s longest-running citizen science project. For more details on the Merritt CBC keep checking this website or contact

To check out photos and species from the 2017 Merritt Christmas Bird count click here: Merritt 2017 CBC

Scanning for birds on the frozen edge of Nicola Lake,  2015 Christmas Bird Count. Photo: ©Corey Burger



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