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29 August 2014 
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Take a Moment for Reflection

Photo courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum

29 August 2014 – You may want to pause for a minute of silence at 1 p.m. on Monday, September 1, the centennial of the moment when “Martha” – the last Passenger Pigeon on the planet – quietly kicked the bucket at the Cincinnati Zoo. Many organizations are acknowledging what is arguably the world’s most infamous extinction event, including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the Smithsonian Institution.
   In case you missed it, please read “One Hundred Years after Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon”  from the Summer issue of Bird Studies Canada’s magazine BirdWatch Canada, written by our Director of National Programs Jon McCracken.

Celebrating World Shorebirds’ Day

27 August 2014 – An international network of shorebird scientists, conservationists, and enthusiasts will participate in the first annual World Shorebirds’ Day on Saturday, September 6, 2014. The event invites people around the world to celebrate and count shorebirds, and raise awareness about the conservation issues these birds face. For suggestions on how to mark the occasion, please visit the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) website.

More on the HBW-BirdLife Checklist

26 August 2014 – We announced in the August 15 edition of our enews that Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International have just released Volume 1 of the first-ever Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Please visit the BirdLife International website to learn more and take advantage of a limited-time special offer that includes free worldwide shipping.
   Bird Studies Canada thanks everyone who entered our draw for a copy of this amazing book. Congratulations to Debra Martin of Waterville, Québec, the very lucky winner!

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Our 2014 Annual Members Meeting

29 August 2014 – Please join us at our national headquarters in Port Rowan, Ontario for Bird Studies Canada’s 2014 Annual Members Meeting! All are welcome to attend this event, taking place on Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 2-4 p.m.
   Following brief presentations on 2013-14 program and financial highlights, there will be a talk by Dr. George Finney. Dr. Finney, who has made outstanding contributions as Bird Studies Canada’s President since 2004, is retiring this fall. The subject of his presentation is “Ten Years at BSC: A President’s Perspective.” The talk will be followed by a wine and cheese social.
   For more information or to register, contact Rosie Kirton at 519-586-3531 ext. 141, 1-888-448-2473, or

New BC Program Manager Joins Our Team

29 August 2014 – Dr. David Bradley has been hired as Bird Studies Canada’s new British Columbia Program Manager, beginning October 6. He will be responsible for the coordination and delivery of a variety of our national programs in BC, and for the design, development, management, and delivery of regional projects.
   Dr. Bradley recently completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Bird Studies Canada and the University of Guelph, and has been coordinating Tree Swallow breeding research at Long Point, Ontario. He has authored and co-authored many peer-reviewed papers. He earned his Ph.D. in Animal Behaviour and Conservation from the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, New Zealand, where he studied vocal dialects of the North Island Kōkako. Dr. Bradley holds an M.Sc. in Behavioural Ecology from the University of Windsor and a B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia.
   Dr. Bradley is dedicated to conservation science. His new position fulfills a long-time career goal of working for a BirdLife International partner on bird conservation programs. We’re pleased to welcome him to our team in his new managerial role.

Tree Cavities Used by Chimney Swifts

27 August 2014 – A recent article in Avian Conservation and Ecology summarizes characteristics of 59 tree cavities used by nesting or roosting Chimney Swifts, based on a variety of sources including Bird Studies Canada’s Ontario and Maritimes SwiftWatch programs. As the number of suitable chimneys declines, Chimney Swifts may increasingly nest and roost in tree cavities. The study found that nest or roost trees are enormous – on average 1 m diameter at the base – and that the number of suitably hollow trees may be two to three times higher in unlogged forests than in logged forests.
   “Tree Cavity Use by Chimney Swifts: Implications for Forestry and Population Recovery” was authored by Bird Studies Canada staff Carolyn Zanchetta, Dr. Doug Tozer, Kristyn Richardson, and Debbie Badzinski with Trina Fitzgerald (Millbrook, ON). Assistance for the project was provided by the Government of Ontario and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Young Ornithologists Join Elite Group

Photo: Dayna LeClair

15 August 2014 – From August 3-10, six talented field biologists joined Bird Studies Canada and Long Point Bird Observatory for the 2014 Doug Tarry Young Ornithogists’ Workshop. This year’s participants were: Carlos Barbery (Gatineau, QC), Luke Berg (Peterborough, ON), Caroline Biel (Toronto, ON), Rowan French (Sherwood, AB), Liron Gertsman (Vancouver, BC), and Kyron Giroux (Saskatoon, SK). These young naturalists joined us for a week of ornithological, scientific, and natural history excursions, presentations, and activities.
   The program had its start in the 1970s. Thanks to the generosity and foresight of the late Doug Tarry, it has operated continuously since 1994 as the Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists’ Workshop. To date, 140 teenagers from across the country have participated in the program. Many thanks to all the staff and friends who helped deliver the successful 2014 workshop.

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2014 BC Shorebird Surveys

27 August 2014 – The 2014 field season for the British Columbia Shorebird Survey has just wrapped up. More than 60 volunteers conducted surveys at 36 sites in BC and Washington. Interestingly, a Western Sandpiper observed on Sidney Island in July was identified as an individual that was banded on October 9, 2013 at the Mississippi River Delta, at Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana.
   This collaborative project was launched by Bird Studies Canada and Simon Fraser University in 2013, with the goal of gaining insight into factors affecting site selection by Western Sandpipers during southward migration. David Hope, a Ph.D. student at SFU supported by NSERC in partnership with BSC, is conducting the research with help from Citizen Scientists. We thank our many volunteer surveyors. If you would like to participate in 2015, please email or
   Funding for this work has been provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Simon Fraser University, Environment Canada, and Bird Studies Canada.

Opportunities to Connect with BSC in Toronto

Photo: Jon Hayes

27 August 2014 – On August 25, Bird Studies Canada and the High Park Nature Centre hosted our second annual Nighthawk Night in Toronto’s High Park. A crowd of about 30 visitors enjoyed counting 128 Common Nighthawks as the birds fed voraciously to fuel their fall migration to South America. Nighthawk Night is part of a program dedicated to monitoring the Threatened Common Nighthawk during an especially interesting and visible period of its life cycle.
   Visitors are welcome to join Bird Studies Canada at High Park’s Hawk Hill (just north of the Grenadier Restaurant) as we continue to watch for these birds nightly from 6 p.m. until dark in good weather until September 7. Thanks to the Toronto Field Naturalists and TD Friends of the Environment for supporting this program.
   Our Toronto-area friends may also be interested in visiting us at the Royal Ontario Museum on Sunday, September 7, when our Toronto Projects Coordinator Emily Rondel will host a “Partners in Protection” presentation in the Earth Rangers Studio. We hope to see you there!


Long Point Getaway Funds Bird Research & Conservation

Long Point Bird Observatory’s private, rustic cabin at the Tip of Long Point, Ontario is available for rentals of five days or more during fall migration. The cabin sleeps six and has all the basic amenities. Your only neighbours will be the birds (and a handful of researchers, housed in a separate building). Relax and enjoy the wildlife, or opt to receive hands-on field biology training.
   Visit between September 1 and October 25. The proceeds will support our migration monitoring program. For more information, or to book your adventure, email
   Visit the OFNC website for one group’s account of their experiences at the cabin in May 2013.


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