John Francis Ryan



The Niagara Escarpment was always a feature in Jack Ryan’s life. A lifelong resident of Grimsby, born in 1936, he attended Grimsby High School and was employed for most of his career by Grimsby Wines and its successor.

As a boy he played on “the mountain”, as an adult he walked it, and in his retirement he became an avid participant in the Niagara Peninsula Hawk Watch at Beamer Memorial Conservation Area, located just above the town.

Jack began his ‘second career’ as a Hawkwatcher in 1991, as often as three times a week helping the then 85-year old Walter Klabunde and subsequently George Meyers identify and record raptors. In 1994 Jack took over as the primary weekday counter, covering three days each week, first alone and then with Tom Reavley, until the end of the 1999 season.

Sadly, Jack passed away in November 1999 and did not return for the Millenium year season in 2000.  Our thanks go to Jack’s brother and sister-in-law, Pat and Elda Ryan, for the photograph of Jack and details about his early life.