(Photo courtesy of Ruthven Park)
Ruthven Park is a beautifully preserved Greek Revival mansion on the banks of the Grand River. It stands above the river, elegant, dignified and evocative of times past.
It is a fascinating house to visit, and the grounds offer walking trails through field and forest, past the remains of a town now long gone, and two cemeteries. It's a place worth visiting anytime, but it is particularly attractive this weekend, when the estate celebrates its importance as a birding centre.
When war devastates a country, what happens to the birds? Major Randel Rogers will talk about Birding From the Trenches, discussing his experiences in Iraq. David Brewer will talk about his adventures banding birds in Kazakhstan, and Darryl Edwards will discuss the sex life of shorebirds.
The well known author Dr. Bridget Stutchbury will be speaking about her new book, The Bird Detective. Dr. Stutchbury, a professor of biology at York University, has been studying the behind-the-scenes details of the social live of birds to understand why females cheat on their mates, what makes males attractive, why some pairs divorce and what all this means, not just for the avian world, but for ours. Her talk on Sunday evening will be part of a dinner catered by D&D’s Fine Family Diner in Jarvis.
Other speakers will explore the issues of birds at risk, and various elements of the bird world.
But the weekend is about more than lectures.
On Friday evening, the satirical folk band, The Arrogant Worms, will perform in the Coach House. There will be a beer tent, too.
Saturday sees hikes and guided walks through the park grounds and bird banding demonstrations. There will be as show of live birds of prey by the Mountsberg Raptor Centre, and bird making crafts for young children. Throughout the weekend, exhibitors, like The Royal Botanical Gardens and Wild Birds Unlimited will be available and there will be tours of Ruthven on the hour.
It’s a busy weekend at this historic home, with something for everyone. Ruthven is about a forty minute drive from Hamilton, and sits on the banks of the Grand, near Cayuga.
Visit the website, www.ruthvenpark.ca or call (905) 772-0560 for details.
Spend a weekend, or just an afternoon, with family and feathered friends, at one of Ontario’s most authentic historic properties, Ruthven.
Admission is by donation ( suggested $15)
243 Haldimand Hwy #54