Atlassing in the Flood
Greater White-fronted Goose Photo: Christian Artuso
24 July 2014
– In 2013, the Manitoba Breeding
Bird Atlas had to contend with numerous forest fires. This year,
devastating floods wreaked havoc across the province and disrupted many
carefully laid atlassing plans. (A derailment that closed the train line
to Churchill caused further complications.) Our valiant volunteers and
crew demonstrated extraordinary dedication in braving the miserable
conditions to fill in white gaps on our survey effort maps.
Nearly 4000 hours of atlassing have already been logged for this
season, and many more still need to be entered. Highlights have
included: the first confirmed breeding of Black Scoter; the atlas’s
first Yellow-billed Loon, Greater White-fronted Goose, and
Black-throated Blue Warbler; and the project’s second Snowy Owl.
Point counting is complete! However, the final big push is now on
to squeeze as much general atlassing as possible into areas that need it
before the birds migrate south once more.
New Research on Piping
Plovers in Atlantic Canada and Québec
Piping Plovers Photo: Ron d’Entremont
24 July 2014
– Despite limited population gains in Newfoundland-Labrador and Nova
Scotia, the past six years have not been good for the recovery of
endangered Piping Plovers in Atlantic Canada and Québec. Research
initiated by Environment Canada intends to increase understanding of
adult and juvenile survival rates, vulnerable periods in the plover’s
life cycle, and where plovers migrate and spend the winter.
A flag with a unique two-letter and/or number combination will be
placed on the upper leg of adults and chicks. Coloured flags represent
two plover breeding regions: black (and a limited number of white from
2013) for the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and grey for southern Nova Scotia.
Success of this study depends on collective efforts to re-sight
banded plovers throughout the species’ range. In Nova Scotia, Bird
Conservation Program will work with Environment Canada to train
volunteers and partners on how to re-sight bands. Band re-sightings
should be reported to Dr. Cheri Gratto-Trevor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and include: 1) Flag colour, code, and leg location, and 2) where and
when you observed the bird.
Middleton Chimney Swift
21 July 2014
– Staff and volunteers of Bird Studies Canada’s
SwiftWatch program monitor roost sites across Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick, and have found that roughly 40% of the entire Maritimes
Chimney Swift population roosts at just three schools: Middleton
Regional High School in Middleton, NS; Temperance Street School in New
Glasgow, NS; and Tobique Valley Middle High School in Plaster Rock, NB.
This spring, BSC unveiled a “Meet the Chimney Swift” interpretive panel,
permanently installed outside Nova Scotia’s Middleton Regional High
School. The school’s chimney is one of the Maritimes’ most important
roost sites, regularly hosting more than 250 swifts. The new sign
combines creative student artwork with conservation information and
stewardship suggestions for this Threatened species.
Design and installation of the interpretive panel was generously
supported by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the Nova Scotia
Habitat Conservation Fund, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, Walmart
Evergreen, Blomidon Naturalists Society, Mersey Tobeatic Research
Institute, Nature NB, the Nova Scotia Bird Society, Pictou County
Naturalists Club, and Kennebecasis Naturalist Society, and was
undertaken with financial support from the Government of Canada through
the federal Department of the Environment.
BSC Online Store Closing
Please note: As of August 31, Bird
Studies Canada will no longer operate an online store. Take a moment to
visit the BSC
Store before the end of August if you wish to order great items
such as bird guides, educational games, puzzles, children’s books, and
more! Thank you for your support!
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