infolettre en français : Dernières nouvelles
Avian Conservation and
Shorebird Biofilm Feeding
Seabird Habitat Restored
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Avian Conservation and
Ecology Keeps Getting Better!
5 May 2015
– Thanks to major efforts by the editors of the online journal
Avian Conservation and Ecology,
the time between submission of papers and an initial decision has been
cut to six weeks or less. Such a quick turnaround time is almost unheard
of in the world of ornithology, making the journal a top choice for
timely publication. This open-access, fully electronic scientific
journal accepts a broad range of articles relevant to the bird
conservation community, and is sponsored by the Society of Canadian
Ornithologists and Bird Studies Canada. Visit the journal’s website to
read the current issue
and past issues, or
to submit an
article for publication.
New Study: Shorebird Biofilm
Photo: Catherine Jardine
29 April 2015
– Over 60% of the Western Sandpiper’s global population uses the
River Estuary Important Bird Area
as a critical migratory stopover and refueling location. It was recently
discovered that in addition to consuming intertidal invertebrates there,
these shorebirds also feed on a substance known as biofilm, a thin layer
of sugars and microbes that grows on the surface of mudflats.
Bird Studies Canada biologists and collaborators have published the
“Biofilm Consumption and Variable Diet Composition of Western
Sandpipers during Migratory Stopover”
in PLos ONE. The study found that biofilm was consumed throughout the
entire Fraser Estuary, and that biofilm is essential to Western
Sandpipers, making up between one quarter and one half of their diet.
These findings highlight the need to carefully monitor and manage
development affecting Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas – and the
importance of understanding how human activities may impact biofilm, a
vital resource for migrating shorebirds.
Seabird Habitat Successfully
Ancient Murrelet Photo:
Glenn Bartley www.glennbartley.com
15 April 2015
– Parks Canada and the Haida Nation have announced that Arichika Island
in Haida Gwaii is now free of the invasive rats that for years have been
devastating colonies of ground-nesting seabirds in the region. Remote
islands along Canada’s west coast in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve,
National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site are
breeding grounds for a considerable proportion of several
globally-significant seabird populations, including about half of the
world’s population of Ancient Murrelets, a Species at Risk in Canada.
Arichika Island is recovering thanks to
a restoration project implemented by the Government of Canada and the
Haida Nation in collaboration with international partners experienced in
island restoration and invasive species removal. Find details in the
April 15 Parks Canada news release.
Learn more about the groundbreaking Night Birds Returning project in the
article “Making Islands Rat-Free Again for Seabirds”
from the Spring 2014 edition of Bird Studies Canada’s magazine BirdWatch
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Join the Great Canadian Birdathon: Save Birds AND Win Prizes!
8 May 2015 – During the month of May, thousands of Canadians from
coast to coast will take part in the
Great Canadian Birdathon.
This is the best time for you to join! By becoming a participant or
supporter, you will raise the critical funds we need for Canada’s
birds, and encourage more Canadians to discover the fascinating
birds around us.
Participants have the chance to win
including an amazing birding vacation from
Eagle-Eye Tours, and they receive the exclusive 2015 Great Canadian Birdathon
t-shirt, Canadian-made by PRBY Apparel. Your Birdathon day will have
a positive impact on conservation!
Sign-up is easy. Just
visit our website
to get started on your personal webpage today.
We’re also excited to feature Bird Studies Canada’s very own
Steven Price as our 2015 “Guest” Birder! It’s Steven’s first
Birdathon as our president. You can
show your support for Steven
We’re grateful for your contribution!
Help Monitor Loons and Lake Health
Common Loon Photo: Dave Gignac
8 May 2015 – 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
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 2015.
Visit our lake activity
to view survey locations. To join, please
register as a Bird Studies
and opt into the loon survey. Active members can sign up by emailing
Kathy Jones (email@example.com).
Another Swift Decline
5 May 2015 – The conservation status of the Black Swift was
assessed at the spring meeting of the Committee on the Status of
Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), held last week in Québec
City. The Black Swift nests on cliff faces (often behind waterfalls)
in mountainous areas of British Columbia and extreme western
Alberta. It lays only one egg per year. Its wintering grounds in
South America are very poorly known. The swift’s population in
Canada has declined by more than 50% over the past four decades,
which is a threshold that triggers an Endangered status.
“The Black Swift’s plight draws further attention to the
mysterious long-term declines faced by many aerial insectivores in
Canada,” said Bird Studies Canada’s Jon McCracken, who co-chairs
COSEWIC’s Birds Subcommittee.
Visit the COSEWIC website
to learn more about the recent status assessments for Canada’s
SwiftWatch Season Begins
5 May 2015 – Chimney Swifts have returned to Canada! Stay tuned
for the launch of Bird Studies Canada’s new Swifts and Swallows webpages, where visitors can submit sightings and monitoring data,
learn about “aerial insectivores,” and browse stewardship resources.
You can also submit sightings through
During the National Population Roost Monitoring Blitz,
participants monitor a known roosting site for four evenings (May
20, May 24, May 28, and June 1). SwiftWatch results are combined
with other information to assess Chimney Swift population trends
To learn more abut SwiftWatch and how you can contribute, visit
or Maritimes SwiftWatch webpages, or email
Ontario SwiftWatch is supported by Environment Canada and the
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Species-at-Risk
Stewardship Fund. Maritimes SwiftWatch is supported by Environment
Canada, the NB Wildlife Trust Fund, the NS Habitat Conservation
Fund, and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
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The Québec Marsh Monitoring
Sora Photo: Frank & Sandra Horvath
8 May 2015
– It’s already the beginning of May, and migrant birds will soon all be
back on their breeding grounds in Québec. During the coming weeks, a
number of these will be setting up territories in marshes across the
province. However, as several marsh-nesting species are elusive and
principally active at dawn and dusk, they are rarely recorded during
regular bird surveys.
In an effort to learn more about the population trends of these
species, Bird Studies Canada coordinates the
Québec Marsh Monitoring
Program with support from
Environment Canada. The two annual surveys, which are easy to conduct,
take place between May 27 and July 12, and use call playback to
stimulate a response from some of the program’s focal species.
If you would like to find out more about participating in the Marsh
Monitoring Program or to register, contact Andrew P. Coughlan at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-518-0212 (toll-free).
Vancouver Celebrates Bird
7 May 2015
– Vancouver Bird Week opened on May 2 and
there have been bird-related walks, talks, workshops, exhibitions, and
lectures throughout the week. Bird Studies Canada’s British Columbia
Program Manager Dr. David Bradley led a Dawn Chorus Walk on May 3 at
Queen Elizabeth Park.
Vancouver’s next bird of the year will be unveiled at the
at the Vancouver Public Library. Thanks to everyone who voted for your
favourite Vancouver bird!
Bird Studies Canada is one of several partners participating in the
Vancouver Bird Advisory Committee, to help advance the
and plan the annual Bird Week festival.
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