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Snow Goose Banquet


Saturday, April 27 at Tofield Community Hall

Doors open at 5:30 pm, supper at 6:30 pm. Tickets: $50/person

Banquet Menu: Roast Barron of Beef, Chicken Breast in garlic cream sauce, mashed potatoes, green & yellow beans, carrots, Tossed Salad, Crab Pasta Salad, Classic Dill Coleslaw, dinner rolls & pickles and desserts including Mississippi Mud, Coconut Cream Cake, Raspberry Cream Cheesecake, and fresh fruit. 


Guest Speaker: Geoff Holroyd, Beaverhill Bird Observatory

Swallows – the 21st Century’s Canaries in the Coal Mine: Case Study of Tree Swallows in central Alberta

In the 19th century, coal miners took canaries to work with them to alert the miners to deadly gasses. In the 20th century, Peregrine Falcons alerted us to the cumulative impacts of deadly insecticides DDT. Now swallows and other aerial insectivores are declining rapidly. What are they telling us? The Beaverhill Bird Observatory has studied and monitored nesting Tree Swallows on the south shore of Beaverhill Lake since 1984. Swallows at this site have the largest clutches and broods of anywhere in North America. Drying of the lake and climate change in the past 30 years have resulted in later egg laying and smaller broods. Other threats come from our use of neonicotinoids, a persistent insecticide that kills aquatic insects, a major food of Tree Swallows. Dr. Holroyd, a grandson of a coal miner, and the only chair of the Canadian Peregrine Falcon Recovery Team, first studied the diet and foraging strategies of swallows for his graduate research 50 years ago at Long Point Ontario. Recent research using geolocators has revealed other parts of their annual life cycle. BBO recovered 24 geolocators providing valuable insight into post-breeding dispersal, migration and wintering grounds around the Gulf of Mexico. Despite declines elsewhere, Beaverhill Lake’s swallows continue to persist. Dr. Holroyd will put his half-century of research on swallows into the context of current declines of most birds in North America, and the history of birds as environmental sentinals.

Entertainment by Jenn Guiton - Local singer and musician.    

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