2016 SwiftWatch Season
Chimney Swift Photo: Catherine Jarjour
14 October 2016 – Bird Studies Canada’s
2016 SwiftWatch season
is wrapping up. We thank all SwiftWatch volunteers in the Maritimes and
Ontario for monitoring known Chimney Swift roost and nest sites, and
identifying new sites. We look forward to seeing and sharing this year’s
Information collected by SwiftWatch
participants increases our understanding of Chimney Swifts and their
habitat needs in Canada. If you have observations or roost count data to
submit, please enter data online using
contact the appropriate program coordinator.
Maritimes SwiftWatch gratefully
acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada, New
Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, Nova Scotia Habitat Conservation Fund
(contributions from hunters and trappers), and Graham and Susan Smith.
Ontario SwiftWatch was undertaken with
the financial support of the Government of Canada, the Ontario Ministry
of Natural Resources and Forestry, TD Friends of the Environment
Foundation, and the Gosling Foundation.
Celebrating Ontario Birds
11 October 2016 – Several Bird Studies
Canada staff contributed to a total of five articles for a special 100th
issue of Ontario Birds, a journal published by the
Ornithologists. One of the highlights is a major
changes to Ontario bird populations since 1983. Other topics include the evolution of birding over the last 20
years, the Motus Wildlife Tracking System in Ontario, changes in
abundance of migrating warblers at a site on Lake Ontario, and a tribute
to the late Dr. David Hussell, a founding father of migration monitoring
in North America.
Extra copies of the journal can be
purchased for $10 plus shipping and handling by emailing
Making Space for Birds in Toronto
11 October 2016 – Bird Studies Canada
and the Humber Arboretum are collaborating on an exciting new project:
we’re creating a demonstration ‘bird-friendly’ garden on the Arboretum
property. In addition to featuring plant species that benefit birds,
this new garden will include feeders, nesting boxes, a brush pile, and
more. The space will be a resource for Torontonians who want to create
bird-friendly spaces on their properties, and will also be a venue for
workshops and programs by Bird Studies Canada and Arboretum staff about
Toronto’s birds, Citizen Science, and wildlife-friendly gardens.
You can help build this community
resource! Join us at the
Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology on Saturday, October 22,
from 10:00 am until noon. Event activities will include helping with
planting, making the garden winter-ready, and installing bird feeders.
There will be outdoor fun and learning for the whole family!
Lake Ontario IBA Surveys
11 October 2016 – This fall and winter,
volunteers for the second annual waterbird count at the
West End of Lake
Ontario Important Bird
and Biodiversity Area will collect valuable waterbird population data.
If you’re available to conduct monthly surveys from October until April,
please contact the Ontario IBA Coordinator at
On the busiest day of last season’s
pilot, surveyors observed 61 species and over 70,000 individuals,
including 1255 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2798 White-winged Scoters, and
57,348 Long-tailed Ducks (5.7% of the North American population). This
year, we want to cover more of the IBA. We particularly need help with
sections east of Grimsby, and east and west of Hamilton Harbour. We hope
you can join us!
Bird Studies Canada thanks the Ontario
Trillium Foundation for supporting our work on Canada’s
Areas program. Follow the
Facebook page for program updates.
New Hybrid Warbler Discovered at LPBO
Photo: Ken Burrell
5 October 2016 – Monitoring migration
reveals information about population trends, migratory and stopover
behaviour, and sometimes even speciation. In Spring 2014, researchers at
Long Point Bird Observatory discovered an interesting-looking warbler
resembling a Magnolia. Detailed inspection of the bird’s plumage,
combined with genetic analysis, showed it was the first-ever documented
hybrid between Magnolia and Chestnut-sided warblers. The results were
published by Ken Burrell (Natural Resources Inc.), Jeff Skevington and
Scott Kelso (Agriculture and Agri-food Canada), and Mike Burrell, Dayna
LeClair, and Stu Mackenzie (Bird Studies Canada) in the most recent
issue of the Wilson Journal of Ornithology. (View the abstract
discovery is the first documented hybridization of Chestnut-sided