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8 April 2016 
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Join Us at NAOC!

8 April 2016 – Registration is now open for the 2016 North American Ornithological Congress (NAOC), which will unite an estimated 2000 participants from around the world. The event will be held in Washington, D.C. from August 16-20.
   Bird Studies Canada will present a number of sessions, talks, and posters strongly tied to the congress theme: “Bringing Science and Conservation Together.” We will also be sharing information about our work at an exhibitor booth, so if you’re attending, please drop by and say hello.
   Bird Studies Canada is proud to be a sponsor of North America’s largest ornithological conference, alongside many of our great partners and collaborators.

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Baillie Fund Supports Conservation

8 April 2016 – Since 1978, Bird Studies Canada’s James L. Baillie Memorial Fund has awarded nearly $740,000 to 602 projects across Canada to advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of Canadian birds. This astounding support is possible thanks to proceeds from our annual Great Canadian Birdathon.
   This year, some of the funded projects will help monitor and protect species at risk in the Maritimes and the Prairies, and declining aerial insectivores in Québec. Others will provide new information on birds breeding in northern parts of Québec, and in interior and coastal British Columbia. Another project will develop and test a spring warbler monitoring protocol new to Canada, and yet another will help establish new Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program routes in British Columbia. Finally, important outreach work with students and families in Québec and Ontario will improve public awareness about Canadian birds.
   We thank the grant recipients for their valuable work, and all our generous Birdathon supporters!

SwiftWatch Season Begins

Photo: Ron d’Entremont

8 April 2016 – Chimney Swifts are heading north! Observers from Manitoba to Nova Scotia will soon participate in the National Population Roost Monitoring Blitz. Blitz participants monitor a known roosting site for four evenings (May 25, May 29, June 2, and June 6 this year). SwiftWatch results are combined with other information to assess Chimney Swift population trends across Canada.
   To learn more about Chimney Swifts, submit your sightings, and report new nest and roost sites, visit Bird Studies Canada’s SwiftWatch page or email us at or Our online offerings include information about other aerial insectivore species, recent reports, and stewardship resources. You can also submit sightings through eBird Canada.
   Ontario SwiftWatch is supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Maritimes SwiftWatch is supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada, the NB Wildlife Trust Fund, the NS Habitat Conservation Fund (contributions from hunters and trappers), Sage Environmental Fund, and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Canadian BBS Volunteers Wanted

Savannah Sparrow Photo: Nick Saunders

5 April 2016 – The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the primary source of long-term, large-scale data on North American breeding bird populations. In Canada, this valuable information is collected each June by more than 300 volunteers who survey over 500 BBS routes on secondary roads throughout the country.
   To complete a BBS survey, these skilled birders rise very early to drive to their assigned routes before sunrise. They then spend a full morning hopping in and out of their vehicles to tally all of the birds they hear or see during three-minute counts at 50 designated roadside stops.
   The scientific utility of BBS data comes from the rigorous, yet simple, sampling protocol that’s strictly followed by all participants. Learn more
   New volunteers are needed regularly in all regions of Canada. Volunteers must be able to identify all the birds around their route area by sight and sound. Visit the BBS map to find a vacant route near you.
   To volunteer, contact the BBS office at or 1-613-998-0492.

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

15 March 2016 – The 10th semi-annual meeting of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network (CMMN) was hosted by Delta Marsh Bird Observatory at the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre in Stonewall, Manitoba, March 10-13. Thirty representatives from 13 bird observatories gathered for updates, technical and scientific presentations, and planning and development sessions.
   The network’s mission is to contribute to conservation, knowledge, and public understanding of Canadian birds and bird migration through a network of independent migration monitoring and research stations. It is a collaborative initiative among the member stations, Bird Studies Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.
   Bird Studies Canada serves as a coordinating body for the CMMN, and undertakes data management and analysis of population trends with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service. We also operate two of the member stations: Long Point Bird Observatory and Thunder Cape Bird Observatory (in partnership with the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists).

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American Woodcock Singing-ground Survey

8 April 2016 – The 2016 American Woodcock Singing-ground Survey is about to begin! Volunteers for this Ontario program report all American Woodcocks seen or heard at roadside survey points on one evening between April 20 and May 20 each year. The information is used to monitor the size of populations throughout North America, to guide management and conservation. We received data for an impressive 81% of 99 routes assigned in 2015, and we’re hoping for even better returns in 2016! Many thanks to all volunteers and coordinators, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.
   Bird Studies Canada’s Ontario Volunteer Coordinator Kathy Jones has been contacting coordinators and volunteers regarding their 2016 survey plans. The survey is especially in need of participants near Sudbury and North Bay, with a few additional routes available throughout Ontario. Anyone interested can review the online route map. To register for a particular route, email

Job Opportunity: Ontario Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas

7 April 2016 – Bird Studies Canada (BSC) is seeking a motivated, organized person to coordinate work on Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) at our national headquarters in Port Rowan, Ontario. The IBA Program is a global initiative that seeks to identify, monitor, and conserve the world’s most important sites for birds. The IBA Coordinator’s principal responsibility is to lead and grow the Ontario IBA Program, with a secondary objective to support and provide oversight to the national IBA Program. For full details and application procedure, please see our website. For priority consideration, please apply by April 22.

Volunteers Wanted for BC Shorebird Survey

5 April 2016 – The British Columbia Shorebird Survey is returning for its final season this summer. The project was launched in 2013 by Bird Studies Canada and Simon Fraser University to study Western Sandpiper abundance and behaviour with help from Citizen Scientists. The 2016 surveys will occur on the weekends of July 16-17 and August 20-21 at several sites around Vancouver, Victoria, eastern Vancouver Island, Tofino, and Washington.
   We’re looking for volunteers able to commit to two to three days of surveys, lasting two to three hours each day. To learn more, see results from previous years, and register as a new or returning volunteer, visit the project webpage. If you have questions, please contact David Bradley ( or David Hope (

Call for Piping Plover Census Volunteers in Ontario

5 April 2016 – Preparations are under way for the 2016 International Piping Plover Census. The primary function of the breeding census is to gather data for monitoring moderate- to long-term population trends, and to assess success of recovery efforts in meeting objectives.
   This is a great opportunity to get involved and help collect Piping Plover data around Ontario. It is easy to participate, and there are still sites available on Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior.
   If you are interested in learning more, please contact Carolyn Hann at or 902-312-1052.

More Kudos for the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas

Photo: Les McCann

29 March 2016 – The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas has been awarded the Ernest Thompson Seton Medal. Bird Studies Canada’s Manitoba Projects Manager Dr. Christian Artuso accepted the award on behalf of the atlas Steering Committee and all contributors at Nature Manitoba’s annual meeting on March 21. The medal recognizes “enthusiastic commitment to an outstanding achievement in the study of Manitoba’s natural history. Like Seton, the recipients carefully recorded observations of nature, stimulated the interest and cooperation of others, and shared all acquired knowledge.”
   This is the project’s second major award, after receiving a Service Excellence Award in the partnership category from the provincial government in 2015. These awards – and greatly increased engagement in a variety of other projects following the atlas – are clear indicators of the massive impact this Citizen Science project is having in Manitoba.

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