New BC Program
Tree Cavity Use by
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Take a Moment for Reflection
Photo courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum
29 August 2014
– You may want to pause for a minute of silence at 1 p.m. on Monday,
September 1, the centennial of the moment when “Martha” – the last
Passenger Pigeon on the planet – quietly kicked the bucket at the
Cincinnati Zoo. Many organizations are acknowledging what is arguably
the world’s most infamous extinction event, including the
Royal Ontario Museum, the
Canadian Museum of Nature, and the
In case you missed it, please read
“One Hundred Years after Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon”
from the Summer issue of Bird Studies Canada’s magazine BirdWatch
Canada, written by our Director of National Programs Jon McCracken.
27 August 2014
– An international network of shorebird scientists, conservationists,
and enthusiasts will participate in the first annual
World Shorebirds’ Day
on Saturday, September 6, 2014. The event invites people around the
world to celebrate and count shorebirds, and raise awareness about the
conservation issues these birds face. For suggestions on how to mark the
occasion, please visit the
Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) website.
More on the HBW-BirdLife
26 August 2014
– We announced in the August 15 edition of our enews that Lynx Edicions
and BirdLife International have just released Volume 1 of the first-ever
Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Please visit the
BirdLife International website to learn more and take advantage
of a limited-time special offer that includes free worldwide shipping.
Bird Studies Canada thanks everyone who entered our draw for a copy
of this amazing book. Congratulations to Debra Martin of Waterville,
Québec, the very lucky winner!
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Our 2014 Annual Members Meeting
29 August 2014 – Please join
us at our national headquarters in Port Rowan, Ontario for Bird
Studies Canada’s 2014 Annual Members Meeting! All are welcome to
attend this event, taking place on Saturday, September 20, 2014 from
Following brief presentations on 2013-14 program and financial
highlights, there will be a talk by Dr. George Finney. Dr. Finney,
who has made outstanding contributions as Bird Studies Canada’s
President since 2004, is retiring this fall. The subject of his
presentation is “Ten Years at BSC: A President’s Perspective.” The
talk will be followed by a wine and cheese social.
For more information or to register, contact Rosie Kirton at
519-586-3531 ext. 141, 1-888-448-2473, or
New BC Program Manager Joins Our Team
29 August 2014 – Dr. David
Bradley has been hired as Bird Studies Canada’s new British Columbia
Program Manager, beginning October 6. He will be responsible for the
coordination and delivery of a variety of our national programs in
BC, and for the design, development, management, and delivery of
Dr. Bradley recently completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship
at Bird Studies Canada and the University of Guelph, and has been
coordinating Tree Swallow breeding research at Long Point, Ontario.
He has authored and co-authored many peer-reviewed papers. He earned
his Ph.D. in Animal Behaviour and Conservation from the Department
of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, New Zealand, where he
studied vocal dialects of the North Island Kōkako. Dr. Bradley holds
an M.Sc. in Behavioural Ecology from the University of Windsor and a
B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Bradley is dedicated to conservation science. His new position
fulfills a long-time career goal of working for a BirdLife
International partner on bird conservation programs. We’re pleased
to welcome him to our team in his new managerial role.
Tree Cavities Used by Chimney Swifts
27 August 2014 – A recent
article in Avian Conservation and Ecology summarizes
characteristics of 59 tree cavities used by nesting or roosting
Chimney Swifts, based on a variety of sources including Bird Studies
SwiftWatch programs. As the number of suitable chimneys declines,
Chimney Swifts may increasingly nest and roost in tree cavities. The
study found that nest or roost trees are enormous – on average 1 m
diameter at the base – and that the number of suitably hollow trees
may be two to three times higher in unlogged forests than in logged
Use by Chimney Swifts: Implications for Forestry and Population
Recovery” was authored by Bird Studies Canada staff Carolyn
Zanchetta, Dr. Doug Tozer, Kristyn Richardson, and Debbie Badzinski
with Trina Fitzgerald (Millbrook, ON). Assistance for the project
was provided by the Government of Ontario and the Natural Sciences
and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Young Ornithologists Join Elite Group
Photo: Dayna LeClair
15 August 2014 – From August
3-10, six talented field biologists joined Bird Studies Canada and
Long Point Bird Observatory for the 2014
Doug Tarry Young Ornithogists’ Workshop. This year’s
participants were: Carlos Barbery (Gatineau, QC), Luke Berg
(Peterborough, ON), Caroline Biel (Toronto, ON), Rowan French
(Sherwood, AB), Liron Gertsman (Vancouver, BC), and Kyron Giroux
(Saskatoon, SK). These young naturalists joined us for a week of
ornithological, scientific, and natural history excursions,
presentations, and activities.
The program had its start in the 1970s. Thanks to the generosity
and foresight of the late Doug Tarry, it has operated continuously
since 1994 as the Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists’ Workshop. To
date, 140 teenagers from across the country have participated in the
program. Many thanks to all the staff and friends who helped deliver
the successful 2014 workshop.
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2014 BC Shorebird Surveys
27 August 2014
– The 2014 field season for the
British Columbia Shorebird Survey has just wrapped up. More than
60 volunteers conducted surveys at 36 sites in BC and Washington.
Interestingly, a Western Sandpiper observed on Sidney Island in July was
identified as an individual that was banded on October 9, 2013 at the
Mississippi River Delta, at Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana.
This collaborative project was launched by Bird Studies Canada and
Simon Fraser University in 2013, with the goal of gaining insight into
factors affecting site selection by Western Sandpipers during southward
migration. David Hope, a Ph.D. student at SFU supported by NSERC in
partnership with BSC, is conducting the research with help from Citizen
Scientists. We thank our many volunteer surveyors. If you would like to
participate in 2015, please email
Funding for this work has been provided by the Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of Canada, Simon Fraser University,
Environment Canada, and Bird Studies Canada.
Connect with BSC in Toronto
Photo: Jon Hayes
27 August 2014
– On August 25, Bird Studies Canada and the High Park Nature Centre
hosted our second annual Nighthawk Night in Toronto’s High Park. A crowd
of about 30 visitors enjoyed counting 128 Common Nighthawks as the birds
fed voraciously to fuel their fall migration to South America. Nighthawk
Night is part of a program dedicated to monitoring the Threatened Common
Nighthawk during an especially interesting and visible period of its
Visitors are welcome to join Bird Studies Canada at High Park’s
Hawk Hill (just north of the Grenadier Restaurant) as we continue to
watch for these birds nightly from 6 p.m. until dark in good weather
until September 7. Thanks to the Toronto Field Naturalists and TD
Friends of the Environment for supporting this program.
Our Toronto-area friends may also be interested in visiting us at
the Royal Ontario Museum on Sunday, September 7, when our Toronto
Projects Coordinator Emily Rondel will host a “Partners in Protection”
presentation in the Earth Rangers Studio. We hope to see you there!
Long Point Getaway Funds Bird Research &
Long Point Bird
Observatory’s private, rustic cabin at the Tip of
Long Point, Ontario is available for rentals of five days or
more during fall migration. The cabin sleeps six and has all
the basic amenities. Your only neighbours will be the birds
(and a handful of researchers, housed in a separate
building). Relax and enjoy the wildlife, or opt to receive
hands-on field biology training.
Visit between September 1 and October 25. The proceeds will support
our migration monitoring program. For more information, or
to book your adventure, email
OFNC website for one group’s account of their
experiences at the cabin in May 2013.
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