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26 June 2015 
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BirdLife Partners Lead Science-Based Conservation

22 June 2015 – Bird Studies Canada is proud to be part of BirdLife International, the world’s largest nature conservation Partnership. Supporters of bird conservation around the globe will be interested in a new editorial for British Birds by BirdLife Chief Executive Patricia Zurita. In “Birds, conservation and our planet: the bigger picture,” she writes that the connection between conservation, nature, and people is crucial – and that by bringing together 120 global partners to act as one, guided by sound science and local knowledge, the BirdLife Partnership is making a real difference for birds and nature.

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Please be Alert on the Lake

Photo: Justin Hoffman

25 June 2015 – By Canada Day, most Common Loon chicks will have hatched across Canada. Small chicks are surprisingly difficult to see. They are also vulnerable to predation by gulls or ravens – especially if separated from their parents, which can happen when boaters approach too closely.
    Bird Studies Canada asks boaters of all kinds to avoid disturbing loons this summer. If you see loons or other water birds, please slow down and steer clear. To learn more about loon conservation or to participate in the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey, please visit our website.

Migration Monitoring Update

25 June 2015 Canadian Migration Monitoring Network stations across the country have wrapped up another successful spring season, monitoring the passage of billions of birds into Canada from southern wintering grounds. Visit our website to learn more about CMMN stations
   The data collected by CMMN stations reveal population trends of migratory birds, and aid in numerous research projects. One example is a recent article by Bird Studies Canada scientists and collaborators Dr. Tara Crewe, Dr. Phil Taylor, and Dr. Denis Lepage. “Modeling Systematic Change in Stopover Duration Does Not Improve Bias in Trends Estimated from Migration Counts” was published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Summer Placements Benefit Birds

Photo: Kristen Grittani

25 June 2015 – Summer staff with Bird Studies Canada’s Ontario and Maritimes programs are launching their careers through placements with our scientists. Financial support from Canada Summer Jobs, the Government of Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Species at Risk Stewardship Fund enabled us to hire 12 summer staff to support our Ontario programs. Their activities include: surveying for Eastern Whip-poor-wills and Chimney Swifts; Barn and Bank swallow monitoring and stewardship; field surveys for at-risk forest birds; bird and amphibian surveys for Great Lakes Coastal Marsh monitoring; and helping deliver our Toronto Urban Bird program.
   Maritimes seasonal staff are gaining extensive field experience supporting Piping Plover conservation efforts, surveys for the Maritimes Marsh Monitoring and High Elevation Landbird programs, and the Motus Wildlife Tracking System. We received Canada Summer Jobs funding for one Maritimes MMP position, one Bicknell’s Thrush position, and one position in southeastern New Brunswick for plover conservation. Provincial funding through the NS Department of Business supported one Piping Plover position in Nova Scotia. Federal funding through Environment Canada also supports field staff for Atlantic Canada programs.
   We gratefully acknowledge our funders, and our outstanding summer staff, for all the valuable work being done.

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Celebrating Toronto’s Birds

25 June 2015 – Toronto is home to a surprising amount of avian diversity, and boasts great habitat for at-risk birds such as the Common Nighthawk and Chimney Swift.
    Bird Studies Canada’s Toronto Urban Bird Program aims to engage locals in bird appreciation and Citizen Science through walks, workshops, and monitoring projects designed especially for urban birds and communities. The new issue of The Walrus magazine features an interview with our Toronto Projects Coordinator Emily Rondel
    If you live or play near Toronto, consider joining us for the Toronto Summer Bird Count (run with The Toronto Ornithological Club), or surveys dedicated to tracking Common Nighthawks and Eastern Screech-Owls. To get involved, please email

Monitoring Invasives at Seabird Colonies

Photo: David Bradley

24 June 2015 – Bird Studies Canada’s British Columbia Program Manager Dr. David Bradley recently travelled aboard a Haida Fisheries boat with staff from BC Parks to Langara Island, north of Haida Gwaii. The island formerly supported an estimated 200,000 pairs of Ancient Murrelets. However, the introduction of invasive rats to Haida Gwaii early in the 20th century and their subsequent spread to Langara Island decimated local seabird populations. By 1994, only 20,000 Ancient Murrelet pairs remained, and five other species of burrow-nesting seabirds had been extirpated. Rats were successfully eradicated in 1995, and murrelet numbers doubled to about 40,000 pairs by 2004.
   This spring, we helped deploy wildlife cameras around fishing lodges and on nearby beaches to determine whether Langara Island remains free of invasive alien species. Each camera was baited with cans of sardines. When the cameras are retrieved in August, we hope to find they did not capture any rats on the island!
   Check out “Tackling Invasive Alien Species in the Pacific” from the Winter 2015 issue of our magazine BirdWatch Canada to learn more about our collaboration with partners to reduce threats to native bird species from invasive predators in Canada and the South Pacific.

Combing Québec Beaches for Oiled Birds

22 June 2015 – With the return of fairer weather, activity is on the rise for the Québec Beached Bird Survey. So far this season, participants have submitted data from 40 beach visits.
   This program aims to provide information concerning possible pollution problems affecting birds using the Estuary and the Québec portion of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. Last year, data were submitted for 199 visits to 46 beaches along the Côte-Nord and the Bas-Saint-Laurent, and around the Gaspésie peninsula. In total, 78 beached birds of 18 species were reported, none of which were oiled. Some participants also collected checklist data of the live birds they encountered, providing a profile of beach, shore, and inshore water use by close to 72,000 individuals of 133 species.
   Do you live close to a beach in this region that you walk regularly during the year? If you’re interested in participating, please contact Andrew P. Coughlan at
   This program has been undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada.

Kudos for Manitoba Atlas Project

22 June 2015 – The Government of Manitoba has recognized the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas with a 2015 Service Excellence Award in the partnership category. The project was praised for its inclusive approach that brought together a diverse community to build capacity for environmental monitoring in the province. The 17th annual award ceremony was held in Winnipeg on June 19.
   The seven partners who earned this award through joint efforts to make the atlas such a resounding success are: Bird Studies Canada, Environment Canada, Manitoba Conservation, Nature Manitoba, the Manitoba Museum, Manitoba Hydro, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
   This program has been undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada.

Piping Plovers Nesting in Ontario

22 June 2015 – Piping Plovers did not breed in Ontario for more than 30 years, but have been making a gradual return at selected nesting locations on Canadian Great Lakes shores since 2007. Federal and provincial governments and local agencies have been cooperating to protect these Endangered shorebirds and the habitat they need to raise their young.
   Volunteer ‘plover guardians’ provide a vital service by monitoring habitat, breeding pairs, and hatchlings. These trained volunteers also help educate beach visitors about plovers and efforts to protect them.
   To volunteer at Sauble Beach, contact
   For information about the program at Wasaga Beach, email
    To help out on the Toronto Islands, email
   For recent news coverage, see “Piping Plover comeback on Great Lakes aided by army of volunteers” ( and “Endangered birds nesting on Toronto Island” (Toronto Star).

LPBO’s 56th Spring Migration Monitoring Season

Cassin's Kingbird Photo: Ron Ridout

22 June 2015 – In the 56th spring of migration monitoring at Long Point Bird Observatory, volunteers from around the world banded 13,415 birds of more than 150 species. As always, there were many interesting observations. Perhaps the most intriguing was a Cassin’s Kingbird seen at the Tip of Long Point on June 9. This was the 4th record for Ontario, and the first live specimen since 1970! View other highlights from the season on the LPBO Sightings Board.

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