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17 April 2014 
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Groundbreaking Migration Research

17 April 2014 – Bird Studies Canada is proud to be involved in one of the most comprehensive studies of migratory birds ever undertaken in Canada. The MOTUS Wildlife Tracking System will enable researchers to track the real-time movements of radio-tagged birds (as well as bats and insects) with unprecedented precision. This spring, researchers are deploying over 200 automated radio telemetry stations in southern Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Each station can detect and track radio-tags within a range of roughly 20 km.
   Other project partners are setting up smaller temporary arrays along the U.S. eastern seaboard, in western Canada, and on Hudson and James Bay. Ultimately, a network of automated telemetry arrays will be established throughout the Americas, giving researchers a better understanding of how flying migratory animals use and move through the landscape. Their findings will support informed, ecologically sound wildlife management, policy, and regulation decisions.
   The MOTUS Wildlife Tracking System is a joint project of Bird Studies Canada, Western University, Acadia University, and the University of Guelph. We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of many individual landowners. Major funding support is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Environment Canada, and the partner organizations.

Conference, Publication Highlight BSC Citizen Science

15 April 2014 – More than 150 people from 24 countries met at the recent Cambridge International Swift Conference in Cambridge, United Kingdom, to discuss how to reverse worldwide declines in swift populations. The three-day conference covered a variety of topics; see the programme for details. A presentation by Bird Studies Canada’s Kristyn Richardson highlighted results from Ontario SwiftWatch and the efforts of our amazing volunteers!
   The article “Loss of nesting sites is not a primary factor limiting northern Chimney Swift populations,” published in Population Ecology, is based on information gathered by Ontario SwiftWatch participants. The authors, including former Bird Studies Canada employees Elisabeth van Stam and Debra Badzinski, used data collected by volunteers at 928 chimneys across southern Ontario. Their analyses indicated that only 24% of suitable chimneys were occupied by swifts – suggesting that other factors may be responsible for population declines. However, the authors noted that the number of chimneys available in Ontario is finite, and is likely to become a limiting factor if chimneys continue to be lost at current rates.
   To ensure appropriate management and conservation actions for at-risk species, studies like this one are essential. Thank you very much, SwiftWatch volunteers!

Bird Studies Canada Participates in International Bird Fair

Photo: Simba Chan

7 April 2014 – Bird Studies Canada was greatly honoured to be invited to participate in mainland China’s first international bird fair, held in Fuzhou on March 29. This event marked the 10th anniversary of the Fujian Bird Watching Society. Birding societies from around China attended, as well as numerous Asian organizations, and many representatives of the global BirdLife community. Visit the BirdLife International website to learn more. The fair received considerable attention from the Chinese media. Attendance was staggering – estimated at 20,000 visitors! The fair was followed by a visit to the Minjiang Estuary, a stopover site for some of Asia’s rarest birds, including Chinese Crested Tern, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, and Black-faced Spoonbill.
   Dr. Christian Artuso, our Manitoba Program Manager, represented Bird Studies Canada at this historic event. The fair provided excellent opportunities to make new connections and explore interesting avenues for collaboration across the Pacific. Special thanks to the Fujian Birding Society for funding our participation, and to BirdLife International for assisting in communications and arrangements.

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Help Monitor Loons and Lake Health

Photo: Barry Peyton

17 April 2014 – Common Loons are returning to their territories on inland lakes. Do you spend at least one day a month in summer (June-August) on a Canadian lake where loons breed? If so, you could help monitor loons and lake health for Bird Studies Canada’s Canadian Lakes Loon Survey.
   For three decades, our volunteers have supported loon and lake conservation by reporting on loon chick survival. Our 30-year report outlines key program findings. 
   This iconic species is facing significant threats. The Canadian Lakes Loon Survey supports lake stewards by providing materials such as conservation tips and articles, nesting platform instructions, and signs that can be posted in areas where loons nest.
   Survey participants are needed for 2014. Visit our lake activity map to view survey locations. To join, please register as a Bird Studies Canada member and opt into the loon survey. Active members can sign up by emailing Kathy Jones (

Participez à la surveillance des Plongeons huards

17 avril 2014 – Les Plongeons huards regagnent actuellement les lacs intérieurs. Durant l’été (de juin à août), fréquentez vous au moins un jour par mois un lac canadien où nichent des Plongeons huards? Si c’est le cas, vous pourriez participer à l’Inventaire canadien des Plongeons huards d’Études d’Oiseaux Canada qui vise la surveillance de l’espèce et de l’état des lacs.
   Depuis trois décennies, nos bénévoles collaborent à la conservation des lacs et des Plongeons huards en nous faisant part de leurs observations concernant la survie des oisillons de l’espèce. Pour prendre connaissance d’un article (bilingue) donnant un aperçu des résultats du programme, rendez-vous sur notre site Web.
   Les Plongeons huards sont aux prises avec d’importantes menaces. Les responsables de l’Inventaire canadien des Plongeons huards vous fourniront des conseils et des articles portant sur la conservation, des instructions pour l’installation de plateformes de nidification et des panneaux qui peuvent être placés aux endroits où nichent les oiseaux.
   Nous avons besoin de participants pour la saison de 2014. Consultez notre carte de surveillance pour connaître l’emplacement des lacs faisant l’objet de l’inventaire. Pour vous joindre à l’équipe de bénévoles, vous devez devenir membre d’Études d’Oiseaux Canada, puis vous inscrire à l’inventaire. Les personnes qui sont déjà membres peuvent s’y inscrire en faisant parvenir un courriel à Kathy Jones (

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What Does the Future Hold for SK Grasslands?

Chestnut-collared Longspur Photo: Glenn Bartley

15 April 2014 – Bird Studies Canada recently participated in the 2014 Public Pastures – Public Interest (PPPI) Annual General Meeting in Regina, SK. PPPI draws together rural and urban Canadians who share an interest in conserving the great public grasslands of Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan, management of 1.8 million acres of land in 62 former Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration community pastures is being transferred from the federal government to the province. This is a land area larger than Prince Edward Island, and includes some of the largest remaining tracts of intact native grasslands.
   Topics discussed at the meeting included: the process of transfer from the federal to the provincial government; the effects on the cattle producers who use the pastures, and their communities; the effects on species at risk and habitat protection; oil and gas developments on the pastures; First Nations concerns; and protecting heritage sites on the pastures.
   Visit our website to read the article “Prairie Grasslands in Peril?” from the Fall 2013 issue of our magazine BirdWatch Canada.

Précieux appuis à l’Atlas des oiseaux nicheurs du Québec

15 avril 2014 – Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer que Protection des oiseaux du Québec (POQ) a accepté de financer, pour une deuxième année consécutive, les travaux d’une équipe d’atlasseurs embauchés pour couvrir les régions éloignées du Québec. Cet engagement représente un somme de 27 000 $, et permet de payer tous les frais liés aux salaires et aux dépenses de l’équipe. Les responsables de l’Atlas remercient chaleureusement le plus ancien club d’ornithologie du Québec, qui fut par ailleurs un des principaux partenaires de la publication du premier atlas. Par ailleurs, les responsables du projet tiennent également à remercier la Fondation de la faune du Québec qui, pour une troisième année consécutive, appuie l’Atlas pour la somme de 20 000 $. Ces contributions s’avèrent des plus importantes puisque 2014 est la dernière année consacrée à la récolte de données dans le Québec méridional.

Invaluable Support for the Québec Breeding Bird Atlas

15 April 2014 – The Québec Breeding Bird Atlas is pleased to announce that for the second year running, Bird Protection Quebec (BPQ) is supporting one of the two-person crews that will be hired to conduct fieldwork in some of the province’s remote areas. BPQ’s contribution ($27,000) will cover the cost of hiring the crew members and their expenses. The atlas team is extremely grateful to BPQ, which is the oldest bird club in the province, and was one of the major partners in the publication of the first atlas.
   The atlas team also thanks the Fondation de la faune du Québec which, for the third year in a row, has contributed $20,000 to the atlas. In southern Québec, 2014 is the last year of data collection for the project.

Bird Identification Hike for Beginners

14 April 2014 – From warblers, thrushes, and swallows to waterfowl, spring migration brings a large diversity of birds to Ontario. Join Bird Studies Canada in the Pledge to Fledge movement to inspire a global appreciation of birds. Invite friends or family members out to learn about our local birds, identify spring migrants, and become more familiar with using binoculars and field guides. This event is free, and is a great fit for anyone who has thought about taking up birding but didn’t know where to start!
   Join us on Saturday, April 26 from 9:30 a.m. until noon. We’ll meet at Bird Studies Canada’s national headquarters in Port Rowan, Ontario. Come prepared for the weather and outdoor trails. Bring your binoculars and bird guides, if you have them (if not, these will be provided). Please register by contacting us at 519-586-3531 ext. 128 or

LPBO E-news

11 April 2014 – The latest edition of Long Point Bird Observatory’s biannual electronic newsletter LPBO E-news is now available on Bird Studies Canada’s website. This issue includes the Fall 2013 Migration Summary, a report on the 2013 Long Point Christmas Bird Count, noteworthy bird sightings from the second half of 2013, news about the Long Point Birding Trail and the Baillie BIRDATHON, and more. Many thanks to all the volunteers and supporters who make LPBO’s work possible!

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