miles hearn, naturalist

I am a nature lover who has been leading over 100 walks a year in the Toronto, Canada area for many years. As a trained professional orchestral musician, I have devoted a considerable amount of time to the identification of birds by song. Each year, I spend as much time as possible in the remote corners of Northern Ontario, and I have been running breeding bird surveys for the Canadian Wildlife Research Centre in this area for many years. I come from a long tradition of involvement in the natural world – my grandfather, Dr J Murray Speirs, was a professor of ornithology at the University of Toronto and the author of several volumes on birds.

My love of nature began in childhood as a birder and wildflower enthusiast, and since then my interests have broadened into all areas of natural history. I am particularly interested in the variety of plants and birds from around the world which have become naturalized in North America. In summer, I lead several popular walks highlighting the weeds and birds of the inner city.

miles hearn, naturalist

I have worked as an educator in the past and continue to work as an adult nature walk leader for the Toronto District School Board. I have done monthly surveys for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority on birds, wildflowers, trees, shrubs, amphibians and lichen. In addition, I regularly lead walks for the Toronto Field Naturalists.

Photo: Judy Cazemier

Photo: Judy Cazemier

I have considerable experience as a cruise ship naturalist in the Great Lakes, the eastern seaboard of Canada, the northern United States, and the Antarctic region.

In the Media:

Helen Kennedy, 2 September 2018 – The Maestro of Nature

The Toronto Star, 11 July 2015 – Wild in the city: new Harper Lee book inspires hunt for mockingbird

The Toronto Star, 16 May 2015 – Wild in the city: on the trail of the elusive purple trillium

The Toronto Star, 7 June 2012 – A walk on the wild side

Friends of Cedarvale blog – Miles Hearn nature walk attracts a crowd

Parks44, 6 November 2014 – Massey Creek walk with the Toronto Field Naturalists

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Connie Rusynyk

    Hello Miles,

    What a educational website you have and how wonderful of you to take the time to share your experiences both on line and through nature walks when it is possible. Over the past few years some friends and I have made the trip to Pont Pelee for Mothers Day weekend to enjoy the migrating birds. How sad that once again due to covid we are not able to fo this. While I am very much a beginning birder it bothers me that once again this year I am missing out on the warblers and shorebirds and the enthusiasm of the birders there.

    Since I find it so hard to recall birds from one season to the next (or indeed even one week to the next, it seems) I have decided to sketch them from photos. On the internet I came across another wonderful educator, John Muir Laws, who, like you, shares his knowledge about drawing birds which I am really enjoying.

    Perhaps you would consider including me on your general email list and allow me to use some of your pictures of birds as models for my sketches. And… should you ever head west to the Royal Botanical Gardens with your camera, you might see me by the toll ponds trying to focus my binocs on the birds passing through there.

    Thanks again for your posts.


  2. Miguela Lugo

    I was given your website by a friend. I enjoyed the articles, photos, essays and walk reports.
    What an achievement! I am looking forward to follow the new posts. Thank you

  3. Stan Silver

    Your photography is quite exceptional, I have thoroughly enjoyed the posts that have been forwarded to me by Brian Whitefield.

    Thank you


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