Good News for Bank Swallows
Photo: Ron Ridout
22 July 2016 – Bird Studies Canada is
helping recover declining Bank Swallows. An article in the June issue of
the Wilson Journal of Ornithology discusses the importance of wetland
roost sites for breeding pairs, based on data collected by Bird Studies
Canada’s Swifts and Swallows Program
and Motus Wildlife Tracking System.
Visit the journal’s website to
read a summary
of the article by Myles Falconer and Dr. Doug Tozer (BSC), Dr. Greg
Mitchell (Environment and Climate Change Canada), and Dr. Phil Taylor
Recovery Strategy for the Bank
Swallow in Ontario
summarizes extensive detail on the species’ ecology, population trends,
and threats, with numerous specific approaches for recovery. The
strategy was prepared by Bird Studies Canada staff Myles Falconer, Kristyn Richardson, Audrey Heagy, Dr. Doug Tozer, Becky Stewart, and Jon
McCracken, with Ron Reid (Bobolink Enterprises).
B.C. Beached Bird Survey Detects Die-off
Photo: Penny Lancaster
20 July 2016 – Over the space of a few
days in mid-July, volunteers for Bird Studies Canada’s
Beached Bird Survey detected
an unusually high number of Rhinoceros Auklets washing up on beaches
around Victoria, B.C. At least 72 auklet carcasses have been found in
the area over the last week. Our beached bird survey would normally
receive reports of only a couple of these birds each year over the
entire B.C. coast.
The largest nearby breeding colony is at
Protection Island in Washington, with around 72,000 birds. The birds
washing ashore in Victoria are thought to be breeders from that site.
The Canadian Wildlife Service is conducting post-mortem examinations of
21 birds to determine the cause of death.
The B.C. Beached Bird Survey was
undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada and TD
Friends of the Environment Foundation.
Help Monitor Common Nighthawks in
20 July 2016 – This summer, you can help
our Toronto Urban Bird Program
monitor Common Nighthawks as they stream over High Park on their way to
southern wintering grounds. Although among the iconic species of
Toronto’s urban wilderness, Common Nighthawks are still mysterious and
poorly understood. Bird Studies Canada is monitoring their migration
movements though our city landscape, and we need your help!
Volunteers are needed to help us monitor
migrating nighthawks every evening from August 22 to September 9. Shifts
take place from 7:00 p.m. until dark (around an hour and half), and are
run at Hawk Hill in High Park, behind the Grenadier Restaurant. Beginner
birders are welcome! For more information, visit our
Common Nighthawk page or email
Emily Rondel (email@example.com).
If you can’t volunteer, but are curious
about Toronto’s most mysterious bird, come to the
with our Toronto Programs Coordinator Emily Rondel on August 31 at the
High Park Nature Centre.
Breeding Bird Monitoring on Long Point
18 July 2016 – This summer, seven
biologists helped conduct intensive research and monitoring for Long
Point Bird Observatory’s breeding bird projects.
Through breeding bird censuses on Long
Point since the early 1990s, LPBO has monitored responses of vegetation
and breeding bird communities to reduction of the local deer herd. This
summer, with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the
Nature Conservancy of Canada, LPBO surveyed all 15 breeding bird census
plots. The results will help us assess impacts of deer foraging and
other threats (such as invasive species) on sensitive Long Point
In five key wetland areas, we conducted
extensive marsh monitoring surveys. And the Long Point Tree Swallow
project completed its 46th consecutive year.
Significant discoveries from this
season’s fieldwork included a breeding Merlin pair (first for Norfolk
County), and White-eyed Vireo (an extremely rare breeder in Canada).
Piping Plovers Nesting in Ontario
8 July 2016 – Following an absence of
breeding pairs in Ontario for more than 30 years, Piping Plovers have
been making a gradual return at selected nesting locations on Canadian
Great Lakes shores since 2007. Federal and provincial governments and
local agencies cooperate to protect these Endangered shorebirds and the
habitat they need to raise their young.
Volunteer ‘plover guardians’ provide a
vital service by monitoring habitat, breeding pairs, and hatchlings.
These trained volunteers also help educate beach visitors about plovers
and efforts to protect them. Visit the stewardship program websites for
Sauble Beach and
for results from the 2016 nesting season.
Until 2015, when a nest failed at
Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands, Piping Plovers had not nested on
the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario since 1934. We’re excited to report
that this season, two Piping Plover pairs raised seven young at
Darlington Provincial Park, and one pair at Presqu’ile Provincial Park
raised three young!