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22 January 2016 
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Thanks for Supporting the Christmas Bird Count!

Vermilion Flycatcher Photo: Allen Woodliffe

22 January 2016 – Many thanks to all Christmas Bird Count participants! The 116th season has ended, and data are pouring in. It looks like another record year for participation, with 12 new counts added to the previous season’s Canadian total of 460.
   Many volunteers reported impacts of the warm fall and winter, such as lingering migrants, particularly in eastern North America. At least one new species was added to Canada’s all-time list: a Vermilion Flycatcher on the Wallaceburg, Ontario count.
   To check out Christmas Bird Count results on the Audubon website, by species or by count, click on “Current Year” at the top of the page. So far, data have been entered for about half the counts.
   Bird Studies Canada coordinates the Christmas Bird Count in Canada. We rely on your donations to lead this important program. Please donate online.

Get Ready for the 2016 Great Backyard Bird Count!

Red-tailed Hawk Photo: Peter Ferguson

21 January 2016 – Show how much you care about birds by participating in the 19th annual Great Backyard Bird Count! Simply count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more of the count days (February12-15), and report your sightings online.
   Around the globe, tens of thousands of volunteers – of all ages and birding skill levels – will participate, wherever they happen to be. If wintery weather conditions prevent you from venturing out on a walk, you can even count the birds outside your window! This free, family-friendly event is fun, provides great opportunities to learn more about birds and connect with nature, and supports bird conservation.
   To learn more, visit the GBBC website or email our Canadian coordinator Kerrie Wilcox at By counting the birds in your neighbourhood and sharing your observations, you can make a difference for birds!
   The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada, and is supported in Canada by Armstrong Bird Food and Wild Birds Unlimited.

New Issue of Avian Conservation and Ecology

20 January 2016 – An article co-authored by Bird Studies Canada Chair of Ornithology at Acadia University Dr. Phil Taylor, “Gray-cheeked Thrush Distribution and Habitat Use in a Montane Forest Landscape of Western Newfoundland, Canada,” is among the studies published in the most recent edition of Avian Conservation and Ecology. This open-access, fully electronic scientific journal is sponsored by Bird Studies Canada and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists.
   The latest issue also includes six other research papers, as well as an editorial by Keith Hobson and Ryan Norris on the documentary The Messenger. Articles include: survival of adult Leach’s Storm-Petrels; shifts in resident bird communities associated with cloud forest patch size; sex ratios of Mountain Plovers; representation of disturbance in roadside sampling in boreal forests; bird feeders and their effects on bird-window collisions; and effects of Gunnison Sage-Grouse habitat treatment efforts.
   Visit the ACE website to read the current issue and past issues.

World Wetlands Day: Sustainable Livelihoods

18 January 2016 – More than a billion people make a living from wetlands, including livelihoods from fishing, rice farming, travel, tourism, and water provision. And wetlands are vital to us in many other ways. They host a huge variety of life, protect our coastlines, provide natural sponges against river flooding, and store carbon dioxide to regulate climate change. Each year on February 2, we honour their importance by celebrating World Wetlands Day.
   Bird Studies Canada staff are working hard on behalf of wetlands through our Marsh Monitoring Program. Please see below to learn how you can help as a volunteer in the Maritimes, Québec, or the Great Lakes region. We thank all the volunteers, partners, and funders who support bird science and wetland conservation through our Marsh Monitoring Program.
   Happy World Wetlands Day!

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Christmas Bird Count for Kids: Season Summary

Photo: Joanne Goddard, Hilliardton Marsh

20 January 2016 –A successful 2015-16 Christmas Bird Count for Kids season has wrapped up in Canada. There were 38 events across the country, including Yukon Territory’s first “CBC4Kids.” With the help of binoculars, field guides, and volunteer bird leaders, eager young naturalists identified and counted their local birds, reporting a grand total of 98 species to eBird Canada!
   Congratulations and many thanks to everyone who ran CBC4Kids events, and to all the families and young birders who participated! Also, thanks to Alexandre Nicole for designing the poster. The CBC4Kids program is supported by the Weston Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. To explore event locations and view eBird checklists, visit the CBC4Kids map. You can also connect with the CBC4Kids social media community on Facebook or by using the hashtag #CBC4Kids.

The Messenger Coming to Canadian Cinemas

20 January 2016 – The beautiful, moving, science-based documentary The Messenger follows experts as they explore staggering global songbird declines. This first-of-its-kind film has been at selected festivals in recent months, and a U.S. theatrical tour is currently under way. The Canadian theatrical release is next, and kicks off with an opening week at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema, February 26 to March 3.
   To view the trailer and learn more about showings in select Canadian theatres, visit the Canadian Screenings page of The Messenger website. Screenings are booked for late February and March in Cobourg, ON, Regina and Saskatoon, SK, and Calgary and Edmonton, AB. The site will be updated frequently as additional screenings are confirmed, so check back often for opportunities to see the film at a theatre near you!
   With the goals of helping deliver the film’s important message, and motivating audiences to take action for birds, Bird Studies Canada is the documentary’s National Outreach Partner. Please visit our website for our Top 6 Ways You Can Help Birds.

Apply Now for the 2016 Young Ornithologists’ Workshop

19 January 2016 – Every year, with support from our Doug Tarry Natural History Fund, Bird Studies Canada and Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO) select six of Canada’s most promising young birders between the ages of 13-17 to participate in our Young Ornithologists’ Workshop at LPBO in southern Ontario. The Doug Tarry Bird Study Award covers all on-site expenses for those chosen to attend.
   The 2016 workshop will take place from Saturday, August 6 to Sunday, August 14. Participants receive hands-on training in field ornithology. Activities include an introduction to bird monitoring and banding, bird identification, birding trips, preparing museum specimens, guest lectures, and more! Applications are due by April 30, 2016. For more information and an application form, visit our website or email

Marsh Monitoring Volunteers Wanted

Photo: National Park Service

18 January 2016 – Through Bird Studies Canada’s Marsh Monitoring Program (MMP), volunteer Citizen Scientists in many parts of Canada survey marsh bird populations and report their valuable observations to us. In some regions, they also collect information about frogs.
   This spring will bring the second Citizen Science survey season for the Maritimes MMP; the 13th MMP season in Québec, and the 22nd for the Great Lakes region of Ontario and the U.S. To volunteer in New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island, contact Holly Lightfoot (, and stay tuned for upcoming training sessions! In Québec, contact Andrew Coughlan (
   Volunteers are also needed to help fill survey gaps for the Great Lakes MMP. Please contact Kathy Jones ( You can also check out assigned and available routes around the Great Lakes on our online map.
   This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada.

2016 Green Budget Coalition Recommendations

18 January 2016 – Each year, the Green Budget Coalition provides the Government of Canada with recommendations aimed at helping restore the health of Canadian ecosystems and protecting Canadian communities from environmental risks.
   The coalition’s Recommendations for Budget 2016 include suggestions for investments in addressing climate change, protecting the Canadian Arctic, delivering on our country’s conservation commitments, engaging citizens in conservation, and protecting fresh water.
   Bird Studies Canada is one of the 16 leading Canadian environmental organizations that make up the Green Budget Coalition. The coalition presents an analysis of the most pressing environmental sustainability issues in Canada, and makes annual recommendations to the federal government regarding strategic fiscal and budgetary opportunities.

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Vancouver Window Collision Surveys

20 January 2016 – In September and October 2015, volunteers for our Vancouver Window Collision Project conducted 171 surveys at various high-rise buildings in Vancouver’s downtown core, searching for evidence of bird-window collisions. Surveyors found two carcasses (a Hermit Thrush and a Varied Thrush) and three injured birds (a Varied Thrush, a Song Sparrow, and an American Robin). They also found seven partial carcasses, and two of those were identified as Varied Thrushes. Factors such as efforts by building managers, and predation by scavengers, may affect the surveyors’ detection of bird-window collisions.
   More surveys will be conducted this spring, along with a residential monitoring study. Learn more on our website or contact Karen Devitt ( to sign up to monitor downtown buildings or your own home!
   This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada.


Long Point Getaway Funds Bird Research & Conservation

Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO) is making their private cabin at the Tip of Long Point, Ontario available for rentals of five days or more during spring and fall migration. Visit between April 20 and June 10, or between September 1 and October 25. The proceeds will support LPBO’s migration monitoring program.

The rustic cabin sleeps up to six and has all the basic amenities. Your only neighbours will be the birds (and a handful of researchers, housed in a separate building). Spend your days simply relaxing and enjoying the wildlife, or opt to receive casual or intensive hands-on training in field ornithology from LPBO biologists.

For more information, or to book your adventure, email


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