This Week's
Highlights

International News

International Science Review of the Christmas Bird Count 
24th International Ornithological Congress Call for Symposia 
Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Fund Presents at North American Symposium Pirates Hunted to Stop Seabird Slaughter

National News

Winter's for the Birds! Revised Granting Program for Baillie Fund Applications 
Canadian Migration Monitoring Network Meeting Notes Available On Line 
Boreal Forest Bird Project Data Now On Line
Communication Towers' Impact Under Canadian Review

Regional

Conservation Planning for Landbirds in Southern Ontario 
Thunder Cape Bird Trends Available On Line Eastern Towhee and Vesper Sparrow Decline at Long Point 
BSC at A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium Birding Workshop at Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver 
BSC at Forest Explorers Event

 


31 October 2003

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          INTERNATIONAL

 

International Science Review of the Christmas Bird Count

31 October 2003 - National Audubon has organized a peer review of the Christmas Bird Count (CBC), to assess all aspects of the program including scientific usefulness of CBC data, conservation benefits of CBC, and enjoyment and interest of count participants. An initial meeting of the peer review team takes place 4-6 November, in Pennsylvania, with final recommendations likely to be ready by end of the winter. Bird Studies Canada scientists, Denis Lepage and Peter Blancher, are part of the review team. To learn more about CBC in Canada, click here

24th International Ornithological Congress Call for Symposia

30 October 2003 - The call for symposia for the 24th International Ornithological Congress (IOC) has been issued. Click here to link to the IOC web page where an on-line submission form and detailed instructions are available. The deadline for proposals is 1 April 2004.

Long Point Waterflowl and Wetlands Research Fund Presents at North American Symposium

29 October 2003 - Dr. Scott Petrie, Research Director of Bird Studies Canada's (BSC) Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Fund (LPWWRF), Dr. Shannon Badzinski (BSC/LPWWRF Scientist), Michael Schummer (Ph.D. Candidate) and Paul Ashley (M.Sc. Candidate) will be giving presentations at the 3rd North American Duck Symposium, Sacramento CA, next week. The title of their presentations are: Petrie, S.A. - Selenium burdens in lesser and greater scaup staging on the lower Great Lakes, an Oral Presentation; S.S. Badzinski, C.D. Ankney, and S.A. Petrie - Influence of tundra swans on the abundance and behaviour of staging waterfowl at Long Point, Ontario, an Oral Presentation; Schummer, M.L., S.A. Petrie, and B. Bailey - Comparisons of resource use by diving ducks during winter on eastern Lake Ontario, a Poster Presentation; and, Ashley, P, and S.A. Petrie - Age determination of yearling and adult American black ducks (Anas rubripes), a Poster Presentation. Click here to view the entire program.

Pirates Hunted to Stop Seabird Slaughter

23 October 2003 - Pirate fishermen are the people sailor John Ridgway is most hoping to find, name and shame when he sets sail 25 October to highlight the plight of albatrosses. Ridgway is leaving Cape Town for Melbourne to follow the route of the Wandering Albatross, one of the 17 southern hemisphere albatross species threatened with extinction, largely because of illegal longline fishing. Click here to read more.

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         NATIONAL

 

Winter's for the Birds!

31 October 2003 - Bird lovers across Canada are cleaning out and putting up their feeders this month, getting ready for another winter of sunflower seeds, corn, millet, and suet. They're also getting ready for the 29th season of Project FeederWatch (PFW), a national program run by Bird Studies Canada (BSC), where birds are identified, counted, and reported in order to monitor changes in the size and distribution of winter bird populations. Click here to learn more about PFW and how you can join the team.

Revised Granting Program for Baillie Fund Applications

30 October 2003 - A review of the The James L. Baillie Memorial Fund has been completed and the granting program has been revised. Applications are now being accepted for the Regular Grants program (deadline 15 December) and the Small Grants program (15 January). The application and review process is different for each grant program. Click here for applications which are available on the Baillie Fund website in PDF and Word format. If you have any questions, please contact the Secretary, James L. Baillie Memorial Fund by e-mail (jwilson@bsc-eoc.org) or telephone (519-586-3531 ext. 217).

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network Meeting Notes Available On Line

30 October 2003 - Notes from the 2003 National Canadian Migration Monitoring Network (CMMN) Meeting, held in Calgary, AB, 3-5 October, are now available on-line. Click here to read these notes, which include short summaries of station reports for many of the CMMN member stations and pilot projects, as well as the various technical presentations and items related to the ongoing development of the CMMN.

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Boreal Forest Bird Project Data Now On Line

27 October 2003 - The 2003 results of Bird Studies Canada's Boreal Forest Bird Project have just been added to the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas on-line database. Nearly 15,000 atlas records have been recorded in 278 10x10 km squares over the summer, and more than 7,200 point counts have been conducted, recording over 90,000 individual birds, in areas that would otherwise receive very little coverage. Data summaries and recently updated maps of this effort, integrated with results from the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, can be viewed from the Atlas web page.

Communication Towers' Impact Under Canadian Review

24 October 2003 - Bird Studies Canada's President, Michael Bradstreet, has sent a submission to draw attention to the impact of communication towers on wild birds, as part of Canada's review of policies and regulations with regard to these structures. BSC is asking that serious consideration be given to proper siting of towers; appropriate design of towers; and the types of lighting used on communication towers. Professor David Townsend, of the University of New Brunswick's Faculty of Law, leads the National Antenna Tower Policy Review. Conservative estimates on avian mortality, caused by the towers in the United States, are 4 - 5 million birds annually. Since the early 1960s, BSC has been involved in studies of avian mortality caused by towers. Most recently, Andrea Kingsley, BSC contractor, has helped to complete a review of the effects of wind turbines on birds, which will soon be published by Environment Canada. Click here to read a paper prepared for the US Fish and Wildlife Service by Paul Kerlinger (March 2000) on recent literature, research, and methodology on avian mortality at communication towers.

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         REGIONAL

 

Conservation Planning for Landbirds in Southern Ontario

31 October 2003 - Experts from several government and non-government organizations met in Peterborough, ON, 29-30 October to discuss landbird conservation needs in the Lower Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Plain Bird Conservation Region, which includes Ontario south of the shield. This is the initial stage in writing Partners in Flight landbird conservation plans for each of the four Bird Conservation Regions that overlap Ontario. Discussion centred on identifying species most in need of attention, habitats that are most important to landbirds in this landscape, conservation issues faced by landbirds, and desired objectives to be achieved by conservation action. The effort was organized and led jointly by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Bird Studies Canada (BSC). BSC staff, Steve Wilcox and Peter Blancher, will be drafting the conservation plans and conducting analyses of data to support them.

Thunder Cape Bird Trends Available On Line

30 October 2003 - Population trends of migratory landbirds passing through Thunder Cape Bird Observatory from 1995-2002 have been added to the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network species trend web page. Click here to view the trends which indicate that the majority of species at Thunder Cape declined over this period, with Cape May Warbler and Philadelphia Vireo showing the most pronounced declines.

Eastern Towhee and Vesper Sparrow Decline at Long Point

30 October 2003 - A Report summarizing population trends in migrant birds at Long Point Bird Observatory is now available. Click here to read the results of the analyses of trends in population indices for 64 species of migrant birds from 1961-2002. Combined spring/fall indices show that 53% of migrants have increased and 47% have declined over the last 42 years. For example, Chipping Sparrow and Eastern Phoebe have shown the largest increases, whereas Eastern Towhee and Vesper Sparrow showed the largest declines.

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BSC Presenting at A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium

29 October 2003 - Bird Studies Canada's Ontario Program Manager, Jon McCracken, will be giving a presentation at this year's A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium in Alliston, ON, 12-14 November 2003. The presentation, entitled The 1987 Haldimand-Norfolk Natural Areas Inventory: What Have We Learned?, focuses on the Natural Areas Inventory of the Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk, completed in 1987, which was widely regarded as a state-of-the-art investigation and conservation effort. The project entailed two years of fieldwork, led by an expert team of three principal researchers (Mary Gartshore, Don Sutherland, and Jon McCracken), with support from the Norfolk Field Naturalists. McCracken will be providing an overview of the project -- how it got started, the approach taken, staffing and funding needs, its relevance to environmental protection and planning, other spin-off applications, challenges, and lessons learned. The Latornell Symposium is Ontario's most prestigious and well-attended conservation conference. It attracts over 600 delegates, including international researchers and practitioners, conservation authorities, federal and provincial agencies, municipalities, university students, private businesses, and community groups. Click here for more information about the symposium which is hosted by Conservation Ontario and the Centre for Land and Water Stewardship (University of Guelph).

Birding Workshop at Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver

24 October 2003 - A birding workshop will be held Saturday 15 November, at 10 a.m. in Vancouverís Jericho Beach Park parking lot (at the end of Point Grey Road). Michael Dunn, Canadian Wildlife Service, will give this outdoor workshop, aimed at novice to intermediate birders. Included are birding identification exercises, tips on distance estimates, and if the weather is good, be followed by a birding outing in the area. Please bring a notebook and pen, binoculars, and lunch. The workshop itself will occur rain or shine so please bring rain gear. This workshop is open to anyone interested, so please feel free to bring a friend.

BSC at Forest Explorers Event

20 October 2003 - Bird Studies Canadaís Prairie Canada Program Manager, Lisa Priestley, will be at the Boreal Forest Research Center's Forest Explorers event 27-28 October, Peace River, AB. This event will feature over 25 displays on science and management in the boreal forest and attracts over 500 visitors. Students will be visiting the event in the afternoon and the public is invited in the evening to an open house. Click here for more information about the Center.

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