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24 October 2014 
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Bird Research and Conservation News in BirdWatch Canada

24 October 2014 – The Fall 2014 edition of BirdWatch Canada (No. 69) includes an update on efforts to conserve the Bicknell’s Thrush in Atlantic Canada, 2013-14 results and highlights from Project FeederWatch, a report on the Important Bird Areas program in Ontario, and more. Visit our website to view the table of contents, and to read a special report on the Motus Wildlife Tracking System.
   Published four times a year by Bird Studies Canada, BirdWatch Canada reports the latest results from our programs, and includes topical feature articles about the world of birds. By donating $35 or more annually, BSC members and supporters provide valuable funding for bird research and conservation, and receive quarterly issues of our magazine, free participation in any of our Citizen Science programs, and a charitable tax receipt for the full amount of the contribution. Please donate today! Make an online membership donation or call us toll-free at 1-888-448-2473.

Vol. 2 of Howard & Moore Checklist Released

20 October 2014 – After many years in the making, the second volume of the Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World, Fourth Edition has recently been completed. Bird Studies Canada’s Senior Scientist Dr. Denis Lepage played a critical role in the completion of both volumes. His contributions included managing the extensive database, hosting it on our servers, and helping with the production of the books.
   This new edition of a major reference work reflects considerable changes in our understanding of the evolution of birds. The respected scientific checklist has been updated thanks to studies of birds’ DNA over the past decade. The new edition also reflects revisions to species and subspecies. Range statements have been revised, particularly for the Americas.
   To receive a 25% discount, purchase the book online through the Aves Press website and enter the promotional code 121!dlp. Orders for delivery in Canada and the U.S. will be supplied from stock held by Buteo Books, the appointed distributors of Aves Press in North America.

IHMW: Over 1 Million Hawks Counted!

Broad-winged Hawk Photo: Manjith Kainickara

14 October 2014 – During the Hawk Migration Association of North America’s first annual International Hawk Migration Week, more than 1.2 million migrating hawks, eagles, and vultures were tallied at 100 sites throughout Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. In total, 29 raptor species were counted. The vast majority of birds counted were Broad-winged Hawks, since the count took place at the peak of their migration. Observers at watch sites in Veracruz, Mexico tallied the highest numbers of birds. Interested in more detailed results? Read the IHMW press release.

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Funding Available for Canadian Bird Research and Conservation Projects

24 October 2014 – Bird Studies Canada is now accepting applications to the James L. Baillie Memorial Fund for Bird Research and Preservation (the Baillie Fund) for the 2015 grant cycle. A portion of funds raised through our annual Baillie Birdathon are allocated to the Baillie Fund to provide grants to individuals or groups for projects that further BSC’s mission. Since 1978, the Baillie Fund has provided grants totalling nearly $700,000 to 580 bird research and conservation projects across Canada. In reviewing grant applications, the Baillie Fund Trustees give priority to projects that engage the skills and enthusiasm of amateur naturalists and volunteers to help us understand, appreciate, and conserve Canadian birds in their natural environments.
   There are three granting programs, each with a different application and review process. Applications for Regular Grants are due by December 15, 2014; applications for Small Grants are due by January 15, 2015; and applications for the James L. Baillie Student Award for Field Research, administered by the Society of Canadian Ornithologists, are due by February 15, 2015. Visit our website for more information about the Baillie Fund grant programs, past grants, and how to apply for a grant, or contact the Baillie Fund Secretary at or 1-866-518-0212.

Subventions pour les projets de recherches et de conservation des oiseaux

24 octobre 2014 – Études d’Oiseaux Canada (ÉOC) accepte actuellement les demandes de subvention du Fonds commémoratif James L. Baillie pour les projets de recherches et de conservation visant les oiseaux (Fonds Baillie) pour le cycle de subventions de 2015. Une partie des fonds recueillis par le truchement du Baillie Birdathon, qui est tenu annuellement, est versée au fonds en vue de l’attribution de subventions aux particuliers et aux groupes dont les projets aident à réaliser la mission d’ÉOC. Depuis 1978, le Fonds Baillie a versé des subventions atteignant presque 700 000 $ à 580 projets de recherches et de conservation visant les oiseaux du Canada. Au cours de l’examen des demandes, les administrateurs du fonds accordent la priorité aux projets qui mettent à profit les aptitudes et l’enthousiasme de naturalistes amateurs et de bénévoles afin de favoriser une meilleure compréhension, appréciation et conservation des oiseaux du Canada dans leurs milieux naturels.
   Il existe trois programmes dont les processus de présentation et d’examen des demandes sont distincts. Les dates limites de présentation des demandes de subventions ordinaires et de petites subventions sont respectivement le 15 décembre 2014 et le 15 janvier 2015. En ce qui concerne la Bourse de recherches sur le terrain James L. Baillie à l’intention des étudiants qui est administrée par la Société des ornithologistes du Canada, la date limite de présentation des demandes est le 15 février 2015. Pour obtenir plus de renseignements au sujet des programmes et des subventions et bourses versées antérieurement et pour savoir comment présenter une demande, cliquez ici ou communiquez avec le secrétaire du Fonds Baillie par courriel à ou par téléphone, au 1-866-518-0212.

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Piping Plovers in NS: Productivity Up, Population Down

Piping Plover Photo: Walker Golder

23 October 2014 – Bird Studies Canada’s Nova Scotia Piping Plover Conservation Program is reporting better breeding success for this endangered shorebird in 2014 compared to the previous three years. In the 2014 breeding season, the provincial productivity rate of 1.78 fledglings per pair monitored surpassed the annual objective (1.65) outlined in the federal Recovery Strategy for the species. However, the province’s total 2014 population of 46 pairs was down by six pairs from 2013, returning to the 2012 population level.
   The vast majority of plover adults and young have now left Canada for their wintering grounds. Walker Golder of Audubon photographed this Nova Scotia-banded individual on September 28 off North Andros, The Bahamas. We appreciate the work of all our international partners, including Bahamas National Trust, to identify key wintering areas for the species and strengthen range-wide conservation efforts.
   To learn more about plover conservation and wintering ground sightings, please visit our website and connect with us on Facebook.

Ontario Barn Swallow Studies

Nesting Structure Photo: Carolyn Zanchetta

22 October 2014 – Barn Swallows are such a common sight in Ontario that many are surprised to learn this species’ population has declined in the province by more than 65% over the last 40 years. Habitat loss is considered to be among the possible causes.
   Since 2012, Bird Studies Canada has been conducting a multi-faceted Barn Swallow project that includes deploying artificial nesting structures and evaluating their success. Eight structures were installed and monitored over the last two springs, with mixed results. We also partnered with Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario to study the impact of social attraction on nest site choice using decoys and auditory playback.
   Bird Studies Canada will use the results of this project to: expand our knowledge of Barn Swallow nesting; further develop habitat loss mitigation strategies; and aid in recovering the Barn Swallow population in Ontario.
   We would like to erect additional structures next spring. Anyone interested in hosting a nesting structure can contact Bird Studies Canada Stewardship Biologist Kristyn Richardson at or 519-586-3531 ext. 127. Special thanks to the property owners who hosted nesting structures in 2013-14 and provided support for this important program.

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