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11 July 2014 
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Bird Research and Conservation News in BirdWatch Canada

11 July 2014 – The Summer 2014 edition of BirdWatch Canada (No. 68) includes a reflection on the centennial of the Passenger Pigeon’s extinction, national results from the 114th Christmas Bird Count in Canada, reports from Bird Studies Canada’s Prairie Marsh Monitoring Program and the Important Bird Areas program in British Columbia, and more. Visit our website to view the table of contents, and to read a special report on the debate over whether widely-used neonicotinoid pesticides are a serious threat to bird health.
   Published four times a year by Bird Studies Canada, BirdWatch Canada reports the latest results from our programs, and includes topical feature articles about the world of birds. By donating as little as CDN $35 annually, BSC members and supporters provide valuable funding for bird research and conservation, and receive quarterly issues of our magazine, free participation in any of our Citizen Science programs, and a charitable tax receipt for the full amount of the contribution. Please donate today! Make an online membership donation or call us toll-free at 1-888-448-2473.

Research Highlighted in New ACE-ECO Issue

10 July 2014 – The latest issue of Avian Conservation and Ecology (Volume 9, Issue 1) is now online. Visit the journal’s website to explore the table of contents. The issue features research papers on a wide range of topics, including results of a study that explored how well regional and national Breeding Bird Survey trends predicted songbird population trends at an intact boreal study site in the Northwest Territories, Canada.
   Avian Conservation and Ecology is an open-access, fully electronic scientific journal, sponsored by the Society of Canadian Ornithologists and Bird Studies Canada.

2014 AOU / COS / SCO Meeting

10 July 2014 – The 2014 joint meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union, the Cooper Ornithological Society, and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists will take place September 23-27 in Estes Park, Colorado. The meeting will feature five days of workshops, contributed scientific papers, posters, and invited speakers. Visit the meeting website for details. Regular registration will be accepted until the end of August, but there’s a discounted fee if you sign up before Tuesday, July 15, the early registration deadline.

What’s in a (Species) Name?

Common Gallinule Photo: Ron Ridout

25 June 2014 – Standardized scientific names for biological species have been in use for nearly 300 years, but these names are not precise descriptors of the natural world. As global biodiversity databases grow, so do problems arising from taxonomic revisions (meaning a name’s definition changes over time). To solve this issue of imprecision in communicating with their colleagues, some scientists use taxonomic concepts, which pair each use of a scientific name with a citation to a source that defines a particular meaning for it.
   A new article published in the open-access journal ZooKeys explains how Avibase, an extensive online global bird database created and managed by Bird Studies Canada’s Senior Scientist Dr. Denis Lepage, successfully addresses issues related to this multiplicity of meanings, and organizes scientific names and their definitions on an unprecedented scale.
   Visit Science Daily for a related story, or read the full paper “Avibase: A database system for managing and organizing taxonomic concepts” by Denis Lepage, Gaurav Vaidya, and Robert Guralnick on the ZooKeys website.

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Summer Students Support BSC Programs

11 July 2014 – Summer staff at Bird Studies Canada offices across the country are launching their careers through placements with BSC scientists. Canada Summer Jobs funding enabled us to hire two summer interns in Saskatchewan for the Prairie Marsh Monitoring Program, and four undergraduate university students to support our Ontario programs. Ontario students’ activities include: surveying for Whip-poor-wills and Chimney Swifts; Barn Swallow monitoring and stewardship; field surveys for at-risk forest birds (Acadian Flycatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Cerulean Warbler); and helping deliver our Toronto Urban Birds program.
   Maritimes seasonal staff are gaining extensive field experience supporting Bobolink research, Piping Plover conservation efforts, and surveys for the Maritimes Marsh Monitoring and High Elevation Landbird programs. We received Canada Summer Jobs funding for one Maritimes MMP position, one Piping Plover position in southeastern New Brunswick, and one student in Atlantic Canada to support fieldwork for the Motus Wildlife Tracking System. Provincial funding through the NS Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism supported one Piping Plover position in Nova Scotia. Federal funding through Environment Canada supported two Bobolink positions in NB.
   We gratefully acknowledge our funders, and our outstanding summer students, for all the valuable work being done.

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2014 American Woodcock Status Report

Photo: Frank & Sandra Horvath

9 July 2014 – The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has published their 2014 American Woodcock Population Status report, which includes data collected by Citizen Scientists in Ontario. The number of American Woodcocks in Ontario has declined by 0.9% per year between 1968 and 2013. Fortunately, this negative trend continues to lessen, with no significant change in population between 2013-14 – or in the last decade. Bird Studies Canada thanks everyone who participated in our Ontario module of the American Woodcock Singing-ground Survey this spring. Our 2014 volunteers contributed data on 82 routes, despite daunting weather, cold spring conditions, and poor route access.
  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s American Woodcock Singing-ground Survey monitors the size of breeding populations throughout northeastern North America. The Ontario module is delivered by Bird Studies Canada, in partnership with Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

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