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12 September 2014 
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State of the Birds Report Assesses Bird Health

9 September 2014 – North American bird populations are declining in several key habitats, according to The State of the Birds 2014. In addition to assessing population trends, the authors created a “Watch List” of 230 bird species that are currently endangered or at risk of becoming endangered without significant conservation help. Fortunately, the report also reveals that bird populations are recovering in areas where a strong conservation investment has been made.
   The report was prepared by the U.S. Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, a 23-member partnership of government agencies and organizations dedicated to advancing bird conservation. The scientists analyzed four decades of data from several continental-scale monitoring programs, including the North American Breeding Bird Survey and the Christmas Bird Count. Bird Studies Canada thanks all those who participate in our Citizen Science programs – your contributions make reports like this and the State of Canada’s Birds possible!

New Birds and Climate Change Report Released

9 September 2014 – A new study warns that global warming is a serious threat to nearly half of the bird species in the continental United States and Canada. According to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report, 314 North American bird species will lose more than 50% of their current ranges by 2080. The study predicts that 126 of those species will lose more than 50% of their current ranges by 2050, with no possibility of moving elsewhere if global warming continues on its current trajectory.
   Visit the BirdLife International website to learn more. Bird Studies Canada is a Canadian co-partner in BirdLife International, the world’s largest conservation alliance for nature and people. Audubon is the U.S. BirdLife partner.

International Bird Observatory Conference

Photo: Stu Mackenzie

8 September 2014 – Bird Studies Canada was well represented at the recent International Bird Observatory Conference in Falsterbo, Sweden. There was great interest in some of our work presented by Stu Mackenzie (Manager of Long Point Bird Observatory and the Motus Wildlife Tracking System) and Dr. Erica Dunn (long-time Bird Studies Canada advisor and Canadian Migration Monitoring Network steering committee member).
   More than 100 participants represented over 50 bird observatories working on almost every continent. Topics included bird population and phenology monitoring, research being conducted in collaboration with the world’s bird observatories, and public outreach and fundraising initiatives. The overwhelming consensus was that bird observatories will continue to play an integral part in bird research and conservation around the world. Talk of the next meeting in the northeast United States has begun.

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Farewell to a Dear Friend

10 September 2014 – Bird Studies Canada is sorry to share news of the passing of Bryce Hunter, a cherished friend to our organization and staff. Bryce joined our Board of Directors in 2009 and was re-elected for his second term in 2012. His career in the general insurance brokerage business spanned more than 40 years. For many of these he was the Chairman and CEO of Canada’s largest private broker, and more recently he was Chairman of Hunters International. He also had significant business interests in the food and environmental sectors, and was passionate about genealogy, golf, and birding.
   Bryce was a generous supporter of our work. We’re grateful that he shared his business experience and his friendship with us. He will be greatly missed.

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Bird Science and Environmental Education Program

11 September 2014 – Bird Studies Canada is ready for another exciting season of Bird Science and Environmental Education programming in southern Ontario! Check out the 2014-2015 school program flyer to view exciting, curriculum-linked field trip programs at Bird Studies Canada and Long Point Bird Observatory, as well as in-school classroom programs and Citizen Science workshops. For more information and to register, please contact or call 519-586-3531 ext. 128.

2014 SwiftWatch Season

Photo: Donna Crossland

10 September 2014 – Bird Studies Canada’s 2014 SwiftWatch 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 2014 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 contact the appropriate program (Maritimes: or 1-506-364-5196; Ontario: or 1-888-488-2473 ext. 124). Or, enter data online using NatureCounts (for Maritimes volunteers) or the Ontario SwiftWatch data entry portal.
   Maritimes SwiftWatch gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of the Environment, New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, Nova Scotia Habitat Conservation Fund, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Walmart Evergreen, and the Sage Environmental Program.
   Ontario SwiftWatch was undertaken with the financial support of Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Geese Banded at Queen Maud Gulf

9 September 2014 – Banding of arctic-nesting geese each summer provides information on harvest, survival, and population growth rates to ensure the responsible management of game bird species. In the Central Arctic, annual efforts to band light geese (Ross’s and Lesser Snow geese) occur during the first two weeks of August within the Queen Maud Gulf (QMG) Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Nunavut, Canada. Since 2000, Bird Studies Canada biologist Dr. Kiel Drake has been directing the QMG goose banding operation based out of the Karrak Lake Research Station working in collaboration with Dr. Ray Alisauskas, a Canadian Wildlife Service Research Scientist.
   Summer 2014 saw another successful year of banding at this location, with about 10,150 geese banded. In addition to normal banding activities, satellite transmitters were fitted to 10 females of each species in an effort to learn about the timing of movements and habitat use on a continental scale, with particular interest in the timing of departure from arctic areas and their use of the boreal biome during migration.

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