This Week's

International News

BirdLife Partners
to Meet in Argentina

Register Now for
the Third North American
Sea Duck Conference
Inscrivez vous dès
maintenant au congrès
intitulé Third North American Sea Duck Conference

National News

Species at Risk

BSC Enhances
Collaboration with
University of
Western Ontario

Regional News

Project to Examine
Foraging Habitat Use by

Roseate Terns
in Nova Scotia

BC Atlas Takes Flight

New Season for
Piping Plovers and
Volunteer Opportunities
in Nova Scotia

Tagged Short-eared Owl
on the Move

BSC Meets Members
and New Friends
at Toronto Green
Living Show

The Land Between
Annual Research Forum

Ontario Atlas Presented
to ESRI Canada


Bird Studies
Canada Main Page




2 May 2008 
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BirdLife Partners to Meet in Argentina

30 April 2008 – This fall, the 108 national conservation organizations that make up the BirdLife International Network will gather in Buenos Aires, Argentina to consider some of the most urgent conservation problems facing biodiversity today. BirdLife International’s 2008 World Conservation Conference and Global Partnership Meeting will take place from September 22-27, hosted by Aves Argentinas (BirdLife in Argentina). The conference theme is “Taking on the Millennium Challenge.” For details and to read the full conference programme, visit the BirdLife International website.
   In conjunction with this unique event, Nature Canada (our BirdLife Canadian co-partner) is offering a cultural and natural history tour to Argentina. From September 25 to October 5, participants will have the opportunity to attend talks at the BirdLife world conference, experience the famous Iguazu Falls, visit Guira Oga (a BirdLife designated reserve), spot colourful birds and butterflies at an eco-lodge, see the breathtaking Andes, and more. The trip will accommodate a group of 10-15 at a cost of $4695 per person (shared double basis; international airfare is additional). To learn more, view the travel itinerary on the Nature Canada website  or contact Jodi Joy at 1-800-267-4088 ext. 239 or

Register Now for the Third North American Sea Duck Conference

29 April 2008 – The North American Sea Duck Conference, an international meeting organized every three years under the authority of the Sea Duck Joint Venture, will be held November 10-14, 2008, in Québec City, Canada. The conference will be hosted by Environment Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service and Science & Technology, Québec Region) and the Regroupement QuébecOiseaux, in partnership with several other agencies. The deadline for early registration and abstract submission is June 13. For more information or to register, visit the Sea Duck Conference website.

Inscrivez vous dès maintenant au congrès intitulé
Third North American Sea Duck Conference

Le congrès intitulé North American Sea Duck Conference, organisé tous les trois ans dans le cadre du Plan Conjoint des Canards de Mer (Sea Duck Joint Venture), se tiendra du 10 au 14 novembre 2008 dans la ville de Québec, Canada. Il est organisé par Environnement Canada (Service canadien de la faune et Sciences & Technologie) et le Regroupement QuébecOiseaux, en collaboration avec de nombreux autres partenaires. La date limite pour l’inscription hâtive et pour la soumission d’un résumé est fixée au 13 juin. Pour de plus amples informations ou pour vous inscrire, visitez le site Internet de la conférence (anglais seulement).

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COSEWIC Updates Species at Risk

28 April 2008 – The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) held its spring Species Assessment Meeting April 20 to 25 in Yellowknife, NT. BSC employee Dick Cannings attended the meeting as the co-chair for the Birds subcommittee. The status of the Canada Warbler was assessed as Threatened; this species has experienced a significant long-term decline over most of its breeding range. The reasons for the decline are unclear, but loss of forest on the wintering grounds in South America is a likely primary cause. The Ferruginous Hawk, formerly listed as Special Concern, was uplisted to Threatened because of a 64% population decline in Alberta (the heart of its Canadian range) since 1992. Five other species were reassessed through update reports and kept their previous status: Greater Sage-Grouse, urophasianus subspecies (Alberta-Saskatchewan), Endangered; Greater Sage-Grouse, phaios subspecies (BC), Extirpated; Great Blue Heron, fannini subspecies (BC coast), Special Concern; Spotted Owl, Endangered; Short-eared Owl, Special Concern; Kirtland’s Warbler, Endangered.
   For more details on these and other species assessments, visit the COSEWIC website.

BSC Enhances Collaboration with University of Western Ontario

18 April 2008 – Bird Studies Canada and the Department of Biology at the University of Western Ontario  have a productive working relationship on programs of mutual interest, and have recently entered into a new collaborative agreement. To formalize and strengthen the association between BSC and UWO-Biology, Dr. George Finney (BSC President) and Dr. David Wardlaw (UWO Dean of Science) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, outlining areas for additional joint projects. The MOU outlines cross-organizational staffing, training, and research opportunities that reflect common interests in research related to the conservation of nature, and education and training in biology and the environmental sciences. Under this agreement, two students have already been accepted to pursue graduate research on ornithological topics. For details, watch BSC’s newsletters in the months to come, or email Dr. Phil Taylor at

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Project to Examine Foraging Habitat Use
by Endangered Roseate Terns in Nova Scotia

Photo: Becky Whittam

1 May 2008 – Bird Studies Canada (Atlantic Region) has been contracted by three companies, EnCana, Keltic Petrochemicals, and Maple LNG, to examine the foraging habitat use of Roseate, Arctic, and Common Terns breeding on Country Island, Nova Scotia. Country Island is home to a third of Canada’s breeding population of the Endangered Roseate Tern. Three industrial projects have been proposed for the Goldboro Industrial Park, which is within 10 km of Country Island: a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, a petrochemical facility including a marginal wharf, and a pipeline.
   The environmental assessments completed for the respective projects concluded that following the implementation of mitigation measures, the projects were unlikely to result in significant adverse environmental effects on terns from the Country Island colony. The goals of the foraging study are to confirm the environmental assessment predictions, to provide a better understanding of habitat needs of terns, and to identify any additional measures required to minimize any possible impact.
   Because Roseate Terns always nest in association with Common and Arctic Terns, factors that impact these more common species are likely to impact Roseate Terns as well. Therefore, the study will examine foraging patterns of all three species of terns. Dr. Cory Williams will be coordinating the study, which gets underway in the middle of May. Dr. Williams and his field staff will be using shore-based surveys and boat-based surveys to examine foraging patterns of terns at varying distances from the Goldboro Industrial Park. In addition to fulfilling Environment Assessment requirements of the proponents, this project may result in the identification of critical foraging habitat for Roseate Terns in the waters surrounding Country Island.

BC Atlas Takes Flight

30 April 2008 – The British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas is off to a roaring start. Over 500 people have registered to participate in the BC Breeding Bird Atlas, and 116 species have been entered. Bushtits and Anna’s Hummingbirds are already fledging young from their nests, and many migrants are winging through the southern part of the province. Regional Coordinators are trained and are enlisting help in their regions. Anyone from within BC or out-of-province is welcome to help. Visit the Atlas website or call us toll-free at 1-877-592-8527. Rob Butler, Christopher Di Corrado, and Pete Davidson have teamed up to do a Baillie Birdathon on bikes across the Fraser Delta-Boundary Bay IBA to help raise funds for the Atlas. Their aim is to beat the number of species for which breeding evidence has already been entered for the Atlas (which is becoming more of a challenge by the day)! If you would like to sponsor their effort, please visit the Birdathon web page and select one of their names from the drop-down list.

New Season for Piping Plovers and Volunteer Opportunities
in Nova Scotia

30 April 2008 – Piping Plovers have arrived on beaches in Atlantic Canada, where they will nest and raise their young from May through August. For years, volunteer “Piping Plover Guardians” have played a key role in plover protection in Atlantic Canada. This spring, Bird Studies Canada will train and engage over 50 volunteers around Nova Scotia in a variety of activities on the beach, such as informing beachgoers about plovers and monitoring nests. BSC also works with Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, and Parks Canada Agency to protect sensitive Piping Plover nesting areas. Last summer, these efforts helped increase the total number of breeding pairs in Nova Scotia from 37 in 2006 to 40 in 2007. While birds in northern NS produced good numbers of fledged chicks last summer, southern NS birds are not producing enough chicks to maintain their population. As a result, biologists and volunteers will be focusing much of their efforts on improving habitat protection on beaches in southern NS. Beachgoers can help plovers by leashing pets, walking on the wet sand to avoid disturbing birds, and reporting incidents of nest vandalism or vehicles on beaches. To get involved or for further information, contact the Program Coordinator, Sue Abbott, at (902) 426-4055 or by email at

Tagged Short-eared Owl on the Move

Photo: Elaine Secord

30 April 2008 – As part of a binational effort to learn more about the movements of Short-eared Owls (a species of Special Concern in Canada), a female owl was equipped with a solar-powered satellite transmitter in February 2008. We are excited to report that she is now on the move to northern breeding grounds. This owl spent the winter months (February, March) close to where she was banded in southern Ontario, then moved to Michigan in early April for a few weeks. After that, she went north to the Bruce Peninsula before continuing north. She is now near the James Bay coast in Québec. We encourage you to follow this owl’s movements by visiting this page of BSC’s website.  For more information about this project, or about sponsoring one of our owls, please contact Debbie Badzinski at 519-586-3531 ext. 211 or

BSC Meets Members and New Friends at Toronto Green Living Show

28 April 2008 – Bird Studies Canada participated in the recent Green Living Show in Toronto, April 25-27. BSC was part of a bird-themed display that also included booths from our partners Nature Canada and BirdLife International. Our staff were pleased to connect with existing and potential supporters to discuss BSC’s work, and how our Citizen Science programs contribute to important biodiversity research and conservation in Canada and abroad. Special thanks to Mark Peck of the Royal Ontario Museum for lending us the beautiful Sooty Albatross specimen that helped draw attention to the international Save the Albatross campaign. Finally, congratulations Geoff King of Fonthill, Ontario, the lucky winner of our free draw for a copy of the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario.

The Land Between Annual Research Forum

22 April 2008 – A group of sixty landowners, researchers, and interested citizens gathered in Buckhorn, Ontario for the second annual Research Forum of The Land Between Collaborative. The Collaborative includes a variety of not-for-profit organizations, scientists, planners, landowners, and others, working toward the common goal of understanding and conserving “The Land Between” – an ecologically unique area in south-central Ontario straddling the contact zone of the granite bedrock of the Canadian shield to the north, and the limestone plains to the south. This interface produces heterogenous physiographic conditions and high ecological diversity. Andrew Couturier, GIS Analyst with BSC, and co-editor of the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, presented results from the Atlas that demonstrate the importance of the region to a wide variety of bird species. Bird species richness patterns and range maps also illustrate the unique character of this ecozone and will help define conservation priorities. Select this link to learn more about The Land Between and how you can get involved.

Ontario Atlas Presented to ESRI Canada

8 April 2008 – Andrew Couturier, GIS Analyst with BSC, presented an overview of the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario project to an audience of 175 people at the annual ESRI Regional User’s Conference in London, Ontario. ESRI is a world leader in Geographic Information Systems software and technology. Their software, ArcGIS, was used extensively by BSC’s GIS Lab in producing the 900+ maps featured in the Atlas book. In recognition of ESRI’s supporting role in the project, Andrew presented ESRI Canada President, Alex Miller, with a copy of the book. To order your own copy, visit the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas website.

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