It is with tremendous sadness that I announce the passing of Chris Michener of Golden Lake on June 25th, 2011 after a short battle with cancer. In Renfrew County, Chris was an avid birder, naturalist and environmentalist. He was a founding and life member of the Pembroke and Area Field Naturalist Club (1983) and was the club's newsletter publisher and record keeper for 28 years. Chris also founded both the Eganville (1992) and Killaloe (1996) Christmas Bird Count and was compiler (Eganville) for most of its 18 years. He took part in both Ontario Breeding Bird Atlases and was regional coordinator on the second. Prior to his passing, Chris was working on the Renfrew County Biodatabase.
Eastern Ontario birders are going to miss his generosity. During the early 80's, Jacques Bouvier introduced me to the Pembroke birders which included Chris Michener, Manson Fluegel and Ken Hooles. It was through this connection that Chris introduced me to birding Lake Dore and Westmeath Provincial Park in the late 80's and early 90's. He will be remembered for bringing the birding community together with finding many great birds on Lake Dore such as the Razorbill and Ivory Gull. Other notable sightings by Chris included both Pomarine Jaeger and Red Phalarope, a male Garganey and an adult Slaty-backed Gull near Pembroke. He will also be remembered for his unique style of pelagic birding with Manson on Lake Dore, locally known as "popcorn pelagic" (chumming for rare gulls with stale popcorn) which helped net Sabine's, Little and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Nothing made Chris happier than sharing a find and spending time with birding colleagues. He will be greatly missed by all. Condolences should be sent to Jean Brereton, his lifelong partner, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce Di Labio