Thank You for Supporting Bird Research and Conservation
2 October 2015 – Bird Studies Canada is our country’s leading
national charitable organization dedicated to bird science and
conservation. Our mission is to conserve wild birds of Canada
through sound science, on-the-ground actions, innovative
partnerships, public engagement, and science-based advocacy.
We are extremely grateful to our many donors, members,
volunteers, and friends for supporting our continued strength and
growth. To read about selected highlights from the past year, please
see our latest
Thank you for being part of our work!
The 2015 Canadian Lakes Loon Survey Season is Complete
Juvenile Common Loon Photo: Sandra
1 October 2015 – The 35th season of the
Canadian Lakes Loon
Survey ended on
September 15. More than 700 dedicated Citizen Scientists across the
country registered to monitor loons and their reproductive success.
Bird Studies Canada gratefully acknowledges all volunteer surveyors
for participating, and collecting important information. We thank
the participants who have already submitted their observations.
Volunteers who have yet to report can return their forms to us or
enter data online.
survey resources page
for results, program materials, and much more – including our
32-year report on long-term trends and conservation challenges.
This program is supported by Bird Studies Canada members and the
Kenneth M. Molson Foundation.
Our New Distance Learning Program is Here!
Photo: Liza Barney
30 September 2015 – Bird Studies Canada is pleased to announce
the launch of our distance learning program,
This interactive program connects students from coast to coast with
our biologists through virtual field trips and engaging lessons
focussed on Canada’s birds. We’ll run several pilot programs this
fall with classes across the country.
If you’re interested in participating, or if you want more
information about any of our educational and school programs, please
visit our website or
email email@example.com. The Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of Canada and The Gosling Foundation
provided financial support for the development of this program.
The Messenger Takes Flight
30 September 2015 – Bird Studies Canada is the National Outreach
Partner for The Messenger, a powerful
feature documentary that tells the story of alarming songbird
declines, and the range of human-made threats that birds face in our
The film is being shown at a number of festivals this fall,
including screenings this weekend in
Vancouver. As more
screenings are confirmed, details will be announced on
If you’re a coffee lover, one way you can help songbirds is by
choosing more bird-friendly shade-grown beans. Look no further!
Messenger Blend is
now available online. Birds and Beans will donate 10% from each bag
sold to Bird Studies Canada to support our research and conservation
Update from the James Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project
30 September 2015 – A crew of more than 30 professional and
volunteer biologists recently wrapped up another successful field
season working to understand the importance of the southern James
Bay coast to migratory shorebirds. Data collected from surveys,
invertebrate sampling, banding, and radio-tagging are beginning to
paint a detailed picture of how shorebirds use the coast, and how
important it is to their survival.
Many species such as Semipalmated and White-rumped sandpipers,
Hudsonian Godwits, and Red Knots more than double their weight
during their two- to three-week stays there before heading toward
South America. To view the beginning legs of these flights, visit
our Motus Wildlife Tracking System animations.
The James Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project is led by Environment
Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service in collaboration with the Royal
Ontario Museum, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry,
Bird Studies Canada, Trent University, the Moose Cree First Nation,
and Nature Canada, with support from the TD Friends of the
Environment Foundation and additional funding by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service’s Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act
Call for Applications: NL Murre Conservation Fund
25 September 2015 – The
Newfoundland and Labrador Murre
is now accepting applications for projects to be carried out in
2016-17. Co-managed by Wildlife Habitat Canada and Bird Studies
Canada, the Murre Conservation Fund supports projects that promote
the conservation of Common and Thick-billed murres and their
habitats in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Murre Fund supported two important projects this year. McGill
University researchers are examining the potential for using
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to census remote,
difficult-to-access seabird colonies. They aim to determine the
optimal distance and altitude to fly UAVs to minimize disturbance to
birds and maximize count accuracy. Acadia University researchers are
conducting a population monitoring study in Labrador, to determine
potential impacts of threats to murres from the Gannet Islands,
including an assessment of differential hunting pressure on Labrador
murres. Visit the
Wildlife Habitat Canada website
to learn about previously-funded projects.
To be eligible to receive a Murre Conservation Fund grant, the
project must meet the criteria for current priority program areas.
Applications must be submitted
to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than November 2, 2015.
BSC Board Members Elected
22 September 2015 – At Bird Studies Canada’s Annual Members
Meeting on September 19, four vacancies were filled on our Board of
Directors. Alan R. Smith and Dr. Rodger Titman were elected to our
Board for the first time. Two people who had previously served on
the Board were re-elected for a new three-year term: David Love and
Anne Murray. The other Board members are: Karen Brown (Chair), Dr.
Kathleen Blanchard, Brian Finnigan, Dr. Susan Hannon, Jean-Pierre
Martel, Dr. Art Martell, Karen McDonald, Diane Salter, and Dr. Steve
Wendt. Evan Engell and Margaret Skeel have completed their terms on
the Board. We’re indebted to all past and present Board members for
their efforts on our behalf.
2015 Great Canadian Birdathon Prize Winners
22 September 2015 – Congratulations to the 2015
Great Canadian Birdathon prize
winners! Grand prize winner Al Serfas of Vancouver, BC is thrilled
to have his choice of a tour of Central Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago,
or the High Arctic and Northwest Territories, courtesy of
Tours. The Bruce Peninsula Bird
Observatory won the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network prize: a
Regal M2 80ED spotting scope & 20-60x zoom eyepiece donated by
Celestron. Great prizes from
Canada went to Barry Trakalo of
Calgary, AB (spotting scope and tripod), Peter Fuller of Belleville,
ON (8x42 binoculars), and Sasha Steeves of St. John’s, NL, who won
the Young Birdathoner prize (8x32 binoculars).
Vortex Canada donated binoculars won by Mark
Cranford of Mississauga, ON. Yvonne Pigott of Toronto, ON was the
winner of a fabulous framed print donated by artist
The 2015 Great Canadian Birdathon has brought in more than
$225,000 so far. It’s not too late to
Many thanks to all the participants, supporters, and prize donors
who make the Great Canadian Birdathon a success!
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2015 SwiftWatch Season
Photo: Ron d'Entremont
1 October 2015 – Bird Studies Canada’s 2015
season is nearing its end. In the Maritimes and Ontario, volunteers
monitored known Chimney Swift roost and nest sites and identified new
sites. We thank all SwiftWatch volunteers, and look forward to seeing
and sharing 2015 results.
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 NatureCounts or
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
the Sage Environmental Program.
Ontario SwiftWatch was undertaken with the financial support of the
Government of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and
Forestry, and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
Grand Opening of the Port Rowan Wetlands
25 September 2015 – Bird Studies Canada’s interest in the Port Rowan
sewage lagoons began in 1977 with our long-term Tree Swallow studies in southwestern Ontario. The site later became a top birding destination,
but its attractiveness faded over a decade ago, after the lagoons filled
to their capacity.
In 2007, Norfolk County began talking with Bird Studies Canada and
other local partners about decommissioning the lagoons. We’re proud to
have been part of a great team of stakeholders that came together to
turn the site into a first-class environmental project restoring and
showcasing wetland and grassland habitat features. Water from a nearby
farm drain, which once emptied into a creek, now flows through the
wetland. A grand opening event was held on September 24.
We’ve already seen many species of birds, plants, insects, and
amphibians returning to the site. And downstream water quality that
flows into Long Point’s Inner Bay has improved, thanks to the wetland
serving as a natural filter within the local drainage system. We are
moving forward with the County to act as one of the site’s primary
Long Point Waterfowl Hires Dr. Michael Schummer
21 September 2015 – Long Point Waterfowl, a program that has been
administered by Bird Studies Canada, has announced the hiring of Dr.
Michael Schummer as Interim Scientist. Dr. Schummer is a Visiting
Professor of Zoology at The State University of New York (SUNY) Oswego,
Adjunct Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and
Forestry, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Ontario.
He was among the original cohort of graduate students at Long Point
Waterfowl, where he studied the ecology of sea ducks and diving ducks
wintering at Lake Ontario. He went on to become one of the most
published students funded by Long Point Waterfowl. Dr. Schummer can be
reached at email@example.com.
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