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12 December 2014 
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Happy Christmas Bird Count Season!

12 December 2014 – The 115th annual Christmas Bird Count begins this weekend! From December 14 through January 5, more than 13,000 people across Canada – and over 70,000 continent-wide – will volunteer for the world’s longest-running Citizen Science wildlife census. The results of this crucial program help Audubon, Bird Studies Canada, and others assess the health of bird populations and guide conservation action.
   Visit our website to find a Canadian count near you.
   We also hope you will consider making a gift to support the Christmas Bird Count in Canada. Your donation will directly fund Bird Studies Canada’s vital national role in leading the program here and interpreting the results. With your help, we can continue to monitor winter bird populations from coast to coast.
   Thank you for helping us conserve birds and biodiversity. Happy counting!

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Season’s Greetings and Our Holiday Schedule

Brown Thrasher Photo: Ric Hornsby

12 December 2014 – All of us at Bird Studies Canada would like to thank you for supporting bird science and conservation, and to wish you happy holidays. This is our final edition of Latest News for 2014.
   If you wish to make a charitable gift before the tax year ends on December 31, please make your online donation here
   Please note: Bird Studies Canada offices will be closed from December 24-January 2, reopening at 8:30 a.m. on January 5, 2015.
   Enjoy some year-end birds and birding – then resolve to help understand and protect them further in 2015. Season’s Greetings, and Happy New Year!

Vœux et horaire du temps des Fêtes

12 décembre 2014 – Le présent numéro de Latest News est le dernier de 2014. Veuillez prendre note que nos bureaux seront fermés du 24 décembre au 2 janvier et que nous réouvrirons nos portes le 5 janvier 2015, à 8 h 30. Nous vous remercions d’appuyer nos initiatives de recherches et de conservation. Joyeux Noël et Bonne année de la part de tous les membres d’Études d’Oiseaux Canada!

Staff and Volunteer Positions Available

10 December 2014 – Canadian Migration Monitoring Network (CMMN) stations across the country have wrapped up successful fall monitoring seasons and are now planning ahead for 2015. Visit the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network webpage for more information about stations near you and volunteer opportunities offered. Population trends, seasonal abundance graphs, and other summary statistics from the CMMN are available from Nature Counts
   Bird Studies Canada’s Long Point Bird Observatory and Thunder Cape Bird Observatory are accepting applications for staff and volunteer positions. Please visit the Job Opportunities page of our website for details.

Grant Supports Migration Research

5 December 2014 – Western University Ph.D. candidate Tara Crewe has been awarded funding from the Mitacs Accelerate Program for a postdoctoral fellowship with Western University in partnership with Bird Studies Canada and Lotek Wireless Inc. The funding, valued at $105,000 over a 28-month term, will support research on landscape-level movement patterns of migratory animals using the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, a program of Bird Studies Canada in partnership with Acadia University, Western University, and the University of Guelph. Tara’s work will be co-supervised by BSC’s Senior Scientist Dr. Denis Lepage, Dr. Yolanda Morbey (Western University), and Dr. Phil Taylor (Bird Studies Canada Chair of Ornithology at Acadia University).

No Bird is an Island

Red-necked Phalarope Photo: Harold Stiver

2 December 2014 – Population declines over the last four decades, in combination with a variety of threats, led the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) to assess three bird species as Special Concern. At their fall meeting held in Ottawa from November 23-28, COSEWIC assessed the status of the Red-necked Phalarope, Cassin’s Auklet, and Ancient Murrelet.
   The latter two species are colonial seabirds that nest in burrows on islands in British Columbia. Their ground-nesting habit exposes adults, eggs, and nestlings to intense levels of predation from introduced predators, like rats and raccoons. Although predator control has been exercised successfully on some islands, ongoing surveillance and control of introduced predators are needed to maintain these seabird species in western Canada.
   Visit the COSEWIC website to learn more about these status assessments, as well as those for the 33 other species of flora and fauna that were assessed at the meeting.

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NS “Birds At Risk” Profiled in New Documentary

10 December 2014 – A new television documentary explores how birding communities are coming together to understand why some species are declining, and how to protect them from disappearing altogether. “Birds At Risk,” produced by Tell Tale Productions and CBC Television, examines the health of bird populations and profiles several passionate people engaged in bird research, monitoring, and conservation in Nova Scotia.
   The piece features a number of at-risk species, and the people and programs dedicated to their recovery. Two Bird Studies Canada initiatives are highlighted. BSC’s Nova Scotia Program Coordinator Sue Abbott is interviewed about our NS Piping Plover Conservation Program, and our Aerial Insectivore Conservation Program Coordinator Holly Lightfoot speaks about Maritimes SwiftWatch.
   “Birds At Risk” had its world broadcast premiere last weekend on Land & Sea. Visit the CBC website to watch the documentary online.

Niagara River Corridor IBA Census

Photo: Jean Iron

10 December 2014 – On November 29, a dozen volunteers participated in a new census organized by Bird Studies Canada’s Ontario Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) Program. The birders descended on the Niagara River Corridor IBA to count the gulls and waterfowl that depend on the IBA as an important staging and wintering area.
   Their final tally included nearly 6000 individuals for each of Bonaparte’s Gull and Herring Gull – representing about 1.5 % of the world population of Bonaparte’s Gull, and 1.5% of the North American population of Herring Gulls. They also recorded seven other gull species and many waterfowl species. The census used the new IBA Canada eBird protocol to streamline data entry.
   Bird Studies Canada thanks all the volunteers, the Ontario Field Ornithologists for logistical support, and Environment Canada and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for supporting the IBA Program. The successful 2014 count paves the way for an expanded 2015 census, which we hope will cover both sides of this international IBA!

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